Tax break could help businesses rebuild

By Kelsey Gibbs |

Published 04/10 2014 12:52PM

Updated 04/10 2014 01:02PM

ILLINOIS -- Many businesses never rebuild after disaster strikes. That's why a local lawmaker is proposing big breaks for small businesses affected by tornadoes. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs finds out what he hopes to do.

"If you don't get the infrastructure, if you don't get the businesses back up, you're just going to have a wasteland."

Matthew Milkint lost his job in 2006 when two tornadoes ripped through Springfield destroying his place of work.

"I really wasn't sure what my employer was going to do and I felt the best option for me, at that time, was to try to go out on my own."

Many small businesses struggle with the decision to rebuild after disasters like tornadoes. But one proposal could help change that.

"What we're trying to accomplish is to encourage small businesses to rebuild in communities like Gifford."

Representative Chad Hays (R) is proposing tax breaks for businesses looking to start over.

"There's a business that was built many decades ago and being rebuilt at 2014 costs will cause their property taxes to go up as high as four times higher than it use to be."

The bill would provide a property tax break which gradually decreases over 15 years. It's something Matthew Milkint and Representative Hays say is needed for communities to rebuild.

"What does it take? It takes a community, businesses, it takes everything to make a community survive."

"When there's only a handful of businesses, losing some of those businesses really has a dramatic impact, not only on the tax base for the community, but on the amenities that are offered in the community."

The bill has passed the Senate and now heads to the House for consideration.

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