Quinn to sign bill on storm relief in Gifford
GIFFORD — Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to be in Gifford at noon Monday to sign legislation to help businesses rebuild after damaging tornadoes, such as the storm that ripped through the town last November.
Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, whose district includes Gifford, said Thursday that Quinn is scheduled to sign SB 3259, which was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, in a ceremony at the Rademacher Building Center on Main Street.
The bill would limit property assessment increases on business owners who want to rebuild after a tornado. Property assessment increases would be limited to 4 percent per year for 15 years.
"I'm very pleased that, working with Sen. Frerichs, we were able to move the bill through the General Assembly. And I'm pleased the governor is signing the bill," Hays said. "He obviously realizes the need for the bill and how important small businesses are to our rural communities."
Frerichs released a statement saying that the state needs to look out for small businesses.
"Local business owners choose to stay and rebuild their businesses in Gifford. They shouldn't be penalized with the additional expense of higher property tax bills. If we want to continue to grow as a state, it's our job to make sure we take care of our small business owners," he said.
Hays noted that Rademacher's property tax bill probably would have quadrupled if the business had attempted to rebuild without the legislation.
"That has a chilling effect on the business model and, in the end, we need small businesses to rebuild. The people in Gifford are very enthusiastic about the rebuilding going on and I'm pleased the governor realizes the need for this," he said.
Earlier Monday, in Washington, another Illinois town damaged by tornadoes last Nov. 17, Quinn is scheduled to sign another Hays-sponsored bill that would allow state employees and annuitants to make a contribution to the Red Cross through payroll deduction, to areas like Gifford and Washington that are affected by natural disasters.
"I've learned that the payroll deduction is almost always the best way to encourage employees to give. This would allow state employees at any level, and annuitants, to do it through a payroll deduction," Hays said.