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Illinois businesses that suffered a financial loss from recent public protests and looting could get a break from the state.
State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, has filed legislation to allow for a property tax credit in the same amount as whatever financial hit was taken.
“While it won't cover everything, I think, at a minimum, these businesses that have already suffered under COVID, they ought to be compensated, or at least be given a small tax credit to make up for at least a portion of their losses,” Syverson said.
He says many businesses suffered losses that will be higher than the tax bill, which would mean a full waiver of the year’s property taxes.
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Last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Pritzker $25 million from the state’s capital program would go to help businesses that sustained property damage due to looting during recent protests. Syverson argues more is needed.
“The ones that won't help are the stores couldn't open up due to protests, those that law enforcement [advised] to close because of what might happen, or those businesses that had to hire private security because the city would not guarantee any protection,” Syverson said.
He says it’s most critical to provide assistance in communities where local authorities either chose not to enforce the law or could not provide adequate protection.
“The first job of any municipality is to provide a protection for individuals, their families, and their property,” Syverson said. “If they're going to allow crimes to occur, then they should at least reimburse those who were victims of the municipality’s unwillingness to fulfill and follow the law.”
Syverson represents portions of Rockford, which was hit hard by damage done from looting and vandalism surround the George Floyd protests.
“So much of the property they destroyed was property that was owned by minorities or property where the majority of employees were minorities,” Syverson said. “They’ve now lost their jobs because of this.”