Official: Don't tax military housing

July 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM

BELLEVILLE, Ill., July 26 (UPI) -- Taxing housing at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois could leave the families there without homes, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Terry Yonkers said.

In a letter to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Yonkers said the housing, built by Hunt Development Group of Texas, does not have reserves for local property taxes. He also argued the Air Force provides the services -- including schools, police and fire protection -- that are normally covered by local property taxes.

"The project owner is prohibited from requiring military families to pay more than their basic allowance for housing as rent," Yonkers said. "Because there are no funds presently available from the project's operating reserves to pay increased taxes, the project would be forced to drastically reduce operating expenses by slashing services currently provided to our Air Force families."

Yonkers suggested the end result of taxing the housing could be either forcing military families out or leaving them in substandard homes.

Garret Reuter, a Belleville, Ill., lawyer representing Hunt, said the development cannot be sold without permission of the U.S. government.

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