Plum Creek builders vow to fight tax increase on home repairs
Already suffering under one of the highest property taxes in the nation, a proposed 6.25 percent tax increase on home repair goes too far, Terry Ruhland, a builder with Plum Creek Builders, told Peoria Standard, adding that homeowners “should not be taxed further" as the state tries to fix the budget.
“When fixing damage, remodeling a kitchen or bath, adding a deck, replacing a furnace, roof, or routine maintenance, the new tax will apply,” Ruhland said, adding the tax could hurt homeowners, building associations and crews, real estate agencies, and construction services. “It will further limit the amount of work that people can afford to do and will serve as a disincentive to take care of your home.”
Plum Creek Builders is outspoken in its opposition to the bill.
“We have undertaken an aggressive public campaign to fight this bill and support homeowners who would be affected,” Ruhland said. “We have done a study with our National Association to determine that this measure will cost Illinois 520 jobs and $8 million in lost tax revenue from work that will not be performed as a result of the higher costs.”
In addition to fewer jobs, Ruhland said homeowners could neglect home maintenance as they try to save money.
“Neglecting maintenance, especially for those on fixed incomes, will lead to lower home prices when it comes time to sell,” he said. “Things like leaky gutters, dripping faucets and aging roofs have always affected the sale price of a home, and with more folks unable to afford repairs, the sale price will be affected for many.”
Homes that have suffered fire or storm damage will bear the brunt of the tax, Bill Ward, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Illinois told the State-Journal Register.
“On $20,000 damage to a home, the tax will amount to $1,250 in home repair work," he said.
Ruhland said homeowners and the industry suffer enough under the state policies that have kept in dead last in the number of building permits issued.
“We have contended that homeowners already pay more than a fair share of Illinois financial mismanagement,” Ruhland said. “Homeowners, who have a huge investment in their homes should not be taxed further as we are already paying exorbitant property taxes while being 50th in new home builds in the nation.”
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