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Gov. Bruce Rauner signs tax credit bill to help property owners affected by July flooding

CRYSTAL LAKE – Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday signed into law a tax credit worth up to $750 for property owners in 18 Illinois counties where July floods damaged property.

The bill opens a natural disaster credit that eligible property owners can apply to their 2017 Illinois income taxes. Eligible counties include Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, Alexander, Clinton, Jackson, Marshall, Union, Woodford, Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson and Whiteside. Rauner declared each of those counties state disaster areas during the summer.

“July’s severe storms pushed rivers and lakes over their banks across a wide swath of Illinois,” Rauner said in a statement. “Many home and business owners are still working to restore their properties after the inundation of water, debris and mud they suffered through, in some cases for weeks. In northeastern Illinois counties, the flooding was unprecedented. This tax credit offers a measure of much-needed relief.”

Initial damage assessments conducted by county officials showed that about 300 homes suffered major damage or were destroyed, and more than 3,000 others were affected by floodwaters.

Qualified properties include a taxpayer’s principle residence or land owned by a small business. For each taxpayer who owns qualified property in a county declared a state disaster area, the allowable income tax credit will be the lesser of $750 or the deduction allowed under the Internal Revenue Code.

The bill requires township assessors to issue eligibility certificates for property owners who request them. Assessors must send all listings of flood-damaged properties to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Based on damages previously reported to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the tax credit’s fiscal impact on the state is estimated at $4.6 million.

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