CHAMPAIGN — A volunteer program that helps seniors and others figure their taxes is looking for a new home, now that space at Urbana's Lincoln Square Village is no longer available.
The AARP Tax Aide program has offered tax assistance for drop-in clients at the mall for "probably 10-plus" years, said Hal Loebach, technology coordinator for Tax Aide in downstate Illinois.
But lack of available space there has forced the program to look elsewhere in Champaign-Urbana — and finding the right place hasn't been easy, Loebach said.
For now, the Stevick Senior Citizens Center at 48 Main St. in downtown Champaign is a "back-up" option, Loebach said. But the parking situation there "isn't wonderful," he said.
Loebach figures the Tax Aide volunteers could use 800 to 1,000 square feet of space from late January through April, but could get by with as little as 500 to 600 square feet.
The space needs to be convenient to bus routes, since more than half of clients come by bus. It should also have free parking for clients and volunteers, he said.
The space needs to be secured, since volunteers typically use six desktop computer stations, he added.
Loebach has checked with local resources, such as the Champaign and Urbana libraries and the Urbana Civic Center, but so far hasn't come across an arrangement that's ideal.
The program doesn't have money to pay rent, but since Tax Aide is a 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Service code, the donation of space could be taken as a charitable deduction, said Loebach, who has been involved with the program for 20 years.
Anyone who knows of a space that might work can reach Loebach at 637-2262.