New law to help disaster victims rebuild
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has approved a measure to help southern Illinois tornado victims rebuild their homes.
The Democrat signed a law Friday that creates a property tax exemption. It is equal to the difference in property values between a resident's new home and the one destroyed by a Feb. 29 tornado in the Harrisburg area or another natural disaster.
Two main rules apply. The home must be rebuilt within two years of the destruction and the new residence must not be more than 110 percent of the previous home's square footage.
The legislation was sponsored by two Democrats — Rep. Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg and Sen. Gary Forby of Benton.
Federal low-interest loans are also available to homeowners, renters and businesses in nine southern Illinois counties.