Calling it “just a small token of appreciation,” Chicago aldermen on Thursday gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that would provide a property tax break to the spouses of police officers, firefighters, and paramedics who die in the line of duty.
The measure sponsored by Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th) would allow those spouses to apply for a waiver of the city’s portion of their property tax bill for as long as they remain unmarried, and stay in the home where they lived with their wife or husband.
The Illinois legislature authorized the tax breaks in a 2012 state law that allows local and county governments to offer a tax abatement to the families of fallen first responders.
The tax exemption would apply only to Chicago’s share of property tax bills, which usually make up 20% to 25% of the overall amount due.