SPRINGFIELD – Millions of dollars could soon offer much-needed relief to local officials as they prepare for winter, said State Sen. Terry Link.
Legislation that would free up gas tax money for Lake County communities was approved in the Illinois Senate today. State transportation officials haven’t provided exact numbers on how much these communities are owed, but last year, Waukegan, for example, received more than $2 million in gas tax money. Across Lake County, the total was $23.6 million.
“This measure frees up money that belongs to local communities,” said Link, a Waukegan Democrat who represents much of the northern suburbs. “It makes no sense for it to sit in Springfield while local officials worry about affording winter services their communities need.”
This legislation will also distribute funds for:
• Support for domestic violence shelters;
• 9-1-1 emergency services;
• State heating assistance program; and
• Lottery prize payouts.
Link voted to approve legislation that frees up billions of dollars across the state that is owed to local communities but were held in the lingering budget battle at the Capitol. The legislation will now head to the governor for final approval. While Gov. Bruce Rauner said he supports this proposal, the budget impasse began when he vetoed similar proposals back in June.
State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) joined a gathering of more than 100 business professionals and area lawmakers this week. The event, sponsored by the Green Oaks, Libertyville, Mundelein, Vernon Hills (GLMV) Chamber of Commerce, was an opportunity for an open dialogue on legislation aimed to improve the business environment in Illinois.
“Working side-by-side with the business community to keep a healthy economy and employment opportunities is one of my top priorities,” said Link. “I look forward to continuing to work with these entrepreneurial leaders to promote a thriving Illinois."
Sen. Link joined U.S. congressman Robert Dold and State Representatives Carol Sente and Ed Sullivan Jr. at the annual breakfast event.
Wadsworth, Illinois - State Senator Terry Link was honored recently by a group of veterans’ organizations for his steady commitment to those who have served in the military. Link was recognized on Friday, September 25, for his sponsorship of Senate Bill 107, a measure that expands the Disabled American Veterans Homestead Exemption. This legislation protects veterans from property tax hikes after home improvements for accessibility.
“I’m thrilled to spend time with our beloved men and women in uniform. I thank members of the American Legion, VFW, DAV, AmVets and the Reserve Officers’ Association for their friendship and the awards,” Sen. Link said. “I proudly sponsored SB 107 to protect our veterans from an additional burden for building the accessibility features they need to do their day-to-day activities.
Senator Link served as the Sub-chairperson of the State Government and Veterans Affairs in the 97th General Assembly.
PHOTO: Al Lynch, Medal of Honor Recipient and Assistant Superintendent Veterans Assistance Commission of Lake County thanked State Representative Rita Mayfield and State Senator Terry Link
SPRINGFIELD – Disabled veterans will see property tax relief and active military personnel gain added ID and credit security under two newly signed laws sponsored by state Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan).
“Our service men and women put their lives on the line to protect us. I’m honored to be able play a part in providing them some financial relief and security,” Link said. The proposals he sponsored – SB 107 and HB 3425 – were signed Sunday by the governor.
This new law take effect immediately and provides property tax relief for veterans who have accessibility improvements, such as wheelchair ramps, made to their homes. Accessibility projects can cost thousands of dollars and increase the value of homes, meaning disabled veterans are hit with higher property tax bills just for making their homes more livable.
Senator Link sponsored the proposal after a disabled veteran living in his district partially remodeled her kitchen to make room for her walker, only to have her assessed evaluation increase. After numerous appeals, she won her case to have the evaluation lowered. She then pursued a change to state law to make sure accessibility projects don’t affect property taxes.
Senator Link was able to deliver for her. Thanks to his legislation such improvements will not increase the assessed valuation of the property for a period of seven years after the improvements are completed.
In addition, many disabled veterans will qualify for additional property tax relief. For instance, a veteran with a service-related disability of 30 percent to 50 percent qualifies for a $2,500 property tax exemption. Previously this veteran would not qualify for any exemption.
A veteran with a service-connected disability of 50-70 percent qualifies for a $5,000 exemption, up from the previous $2,500.
And a veteran with a service-connected disability of 70 percent or more is exempt from taxation. Previously this veteran would qualify for a $5,000 exemption.
“These soldiers personally sacrificed so much for our country and freedoms. It’s time we recognized that and do what we can to give back,” said Link.
SB 107 takes effect immediately.
Military personnel are often the target of identity thieves and credit scams. In fact, a Federal Trade Commission report found they are victimized twice as often as the general public.
In response, Senator Link was the chief Senate sponsor of HB 3425, which offers free credit freezes for active military personnel and veterans.
Previously, consumer reporting agencies could charge consumers up to $10 each time they request a credit freeze. Credit security freezes prevent new creditors from accessing a person’s credit report. This prevents identity thieves from opening a new account in a veteran’s name.
The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, eliminates the charge for military personnel and veterans.
Sen. Terry Link
Assistant Majority Leader
Years served: 1997 - Present
Committee assignments: Executive; Financial Institutions (Vice-Chairperson); Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities; Insurance.
Biography: Partner, Lake County Industrial Equipment; born March 20, 1947, in Waukegan; attended Stout State University; married (wife, Susan McCall Link), has four children.>