Spain, Weaver Pass Legislation to Improve Revitalization Efforts of Blighted Communities

Legislation carried in the Illinois House of Representatives by State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) and co-sponsored by fellow Peoria area State Representatives Travis Weaver (R-Edwards) and Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria), as well as the delegation of legislators from the Peoria area, passed the House today and is now ready to be signed into law. The legislation, Senate Bill 2936, expands a property tax abatement process to improve investment opportunities.

“This legislation presents an opportunity to spur economic development and investment in our communities, particularly in older neighborhoods and areas that have experienced disinvestment,” said Spain. “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.

“I cannot thank Councilman Kelly enough for his persistence on this bill, something he began advocating for nearly a decade ago,” said Weaver. “SB 2936 is his brainchild, and it creates an excellent tool for our communities to revitalize neighborhoods. He has truly done a service for Illinois.”

As Spain and Weaver referenced, At-Large Peoria City Councilman John 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,” said Councilman Kelly. “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. We are grateful to Peoria’s legislators Win Stoller, Dave Koehler, Ryan Spain, Travis Weaver, and Jehan Gordon-Booth for their diligence in finally bringing this bill across the finish line.”

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