Proposal would provide $5,000 property tax exemption for disabled police and firefighters

Officer Mullen testifies before the Senate Executive Committee

SPRINGFIELD – While working as a tactical officer in Rogers Park in 1996, Officer Jim Mullen responded to a “shots fired” call. The suspect was shooting at passing “L” trains from his back porch. While leaving the scene after unsuccessfully entering the offender’s apartment, the offender fired two shots, and one hit Officer Mullen in the face.

“I was an instant ventilator-dependent quadriplegic,” Mullen said in a committee hearing last week. “This is not something you plan for, or can even fathom. It’s been a difficult and devastating injury for me and my family, and a lot of other first responders like myself.”

State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) introduced Senate Bill 3197 to support disabled police officers and firefighters like Officer Mullen. Under his proposal, disabled police officers, disabled firefighters and their families would receive a $5,000 homestead exemption.

“I’ve known Jim for a long time,” Mulroe said. “His story as well as the incident with Commander Bauer inspired me to bring forward this bill. This legislation would not only help officers who are injured or killed in the line of duty, but it would also help their families.”

The exemption would carry over to the surviving spouse if the spouse holds the legal or beneficial title to the home, permanently resides in that home and does not remarry. Such an exemption would only apply if the home’s equalized assessed value is less than $250,000.

“This is a modest effort to show officers and firefighters who risk their lives for us every day how much we appreciate them and their work,” Mulroe said.

The legislation passed out of the Senate Executive Committee last week.


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