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Cloonen to offer tax relief for tornado-affected areas

Published: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 9:20 p.m. CST

KANKAKEE – FEMA may have denied federal assistance to municipalities affected by the November tornadoes in Illinois, but local legislators are trying to help by pushing for tax relief.

In the wake of last month’s decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deny federal assistance, state Rep. Kate Cloonen, D-Kankakee, is sponsoring a measure that provides tax relief to those that have property damaged by a natural disaster.

Cloonen represents Coal City and Diamond, which were hit by a tornado in November.

“Upon hearing the disappointing news about FEMA’s denial of public assistance, I joined my colleagues in supporting the appeal of their decision mid-January,” she said in a news release. “Simply sitting idly by and waiting for another decision is not enough to help our community begin to recover the financial losses from cleaning up and rebuilding.”

Cloonen’s proposed measure would amend the income tax credit by establishing a natural disaster income tax credit that would equal any amount paid by the taxpayer toward rebuilding or restoring structures damaged because of a natural disaster or the costs to clean up.

If approved, it would offer financial protections in some of the following instances: extended periods of inclement weather, fires, floods, tornadoes and storms.

In addition, the proclamation of a natural disaster would not be needed from the president or the governor.  

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