State Rep. Spain helps pass economic development bill

Bill expected to help spur home ownership in challenged neighborhoods

State Rep. Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, is pictured at the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules hearing Tuesday in Springfield. The committee objected to proposed permanent rules governing the state’s assault weapons ban, although the ban and registration requirement remains in place.

Legislation passed the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate that expands a property tax abatement process to improve investment opportunities.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2936, was carried by state Rep. Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, whose district includes Bureau County.

“This legislation presents an opportunity to spur economic development and investment in our communities, particularly in older neighborhoods and areas that have experienced disinvestment,” Spain said. “I want to thank Peoria City Councilman John Kelly for his work over the past several years to make this legislation a reality. It would not have been possible without him.”

Under current law, property located in an area categorized as experiencing urban decay may be granted a property tax abatement (reduction in taxes) by a municipality only for new construction of single-family or duplex units. While this has proved helpful to communities in need of new investment, it does not apply to efforts to remodel existing homes or duplexes. SB 2936 expands current law to include remodeling projects, as well as removing a limitation in the law that reduced the granted abatements in the final four years of the abatement period, Spain said in a news release.

As Spain referenced, Kelly has been working on this issue for many years.

“This bill will increase the value of home ownership in some of our more challenged neighborhoods, as well as make investment in those neighborhoods more attractive,” Kelly said in a news release. “The incentives of this bill go directly to homeowners and will encourage the rehabilitation of many homes that are currently in need of improvements or updates.”

Having passed both the State House and Senate, SB 2936, now heads to the governor for his signature to become law.

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