toro 2624SPRINGFIELD —With many Illinoisans struggling with rising costs of living, State Senator Natalie Toro introduced an initiative to provide financial relief for low-income families by offering a refundable tax credit in an amount equal to 5% of rental costs for taxpayers.

“Rising costs of living have forced families to make unthinkable sacrifices — like spending less on groceries or heat — to keep a roof over their heads,” said Toro (D-Chicago). “This should never be a choice people have to make. This initiative will provide some financial relief to lower-income households to ensure the cost of living is more sustainable for all Illinoisans.”

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, a greater percentage of lower-income households pay more than 20% of their income on rent versus higher-income households. This makes it more difficult for these families to put money toward savings, higher education and necessities such as food and utilities — all of which can seriously impact their quality of life.

To provide more rental assistance to low-income Illinoisans living in high-cost areas, Toro’s bill would give taxpayers with a federal adjusted gross income of 300% or less of the federal poverty level and who spend over 20% of their income on rental payments a tax credit equal to 5% of rental costs. With this credit, working families will be able to invest their hard-earned money on things other than rent and ensure they are not priced out of their neighborhoods.

“My family has lived in the district since my grandfather moved here from Puerto Rico in the 1950s. Our neighborhood has been an amazing community where families have lived for generations, and it has been devastating to watch many of my longtime neighbors be priced out of our community,” said Toro. “We need to make certain rent and housing prices do not displace people who have lived in our neighborhood for decades, and this bill is the first step to do that.”

Senate Bill 2624 awaits discussion in the spring legislative session.