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Our View: Wheeler bill makes sense

Published: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

It’s refreshing when common-sense legislation is proposed in Springfield.

House Bill 3715, filed by Crystal Lake Republican state Rep. Barb Wheeler, is legislation that makes sense.

The bill eliminates the four-year limit on the property-tax exemption for home improvements and additions as long as they were done to care for a senior citizen or disabled person living in the home. Instead, the homeowner could claim the exemption for as long as the senior or disabled individual lives in the home.

Wheeler’s bill also increases the exemption from $75,000 to $100,000.

The goal is to make it attractive to keep seniors or disabled individuals in home care as long as possible and financially help those who open up their home.

“In an ideal situation, the best care of loved ones rests with family members. It’s not always the case, but when it is, what can we do to alleviate some of the financial burden on families who choose to care for their family members?” Wheeler said.

The bill also could help the state save money, and we all know the state needs to save as much money as possible.

A 2010 report by the Illinois Homecare and Hospice Council cited home health care as a way to save the cash-strapped state government money because it costs less and is preferred by most patients.

The bill is in the House Rules Committee awaiting assignment to the appropriate committees for hearings. We encourage lawmakers, especially those locally, to support the bill.

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