CHICAGO (CBS) — Tim Carner, who lost a leg in Afghanistan, was on the verge of losing his home due to a paperwork snafu.
“I was on foot patrol in Afghanistan,” the 32-year-old said of when an improvised explosive device dramatically changed his life in 2011. “I remember waking up in the bed and my foot wasn’t there.”
The Army Specialist was in Kandahar Province when he stepped on the IED and suffered a traumatic brain injury and had part of his leg amputated.
“From below the knee.”
When he got back to the states, Carner applied for financial help. His wife and two children, including his son Timmy who has autism, had their home built in Woodstock by the non-profit Operation Finally Home in December 2014.
But the Purple Heart recipient is now fighting a new battle — trying to save his home because of unpaid property taxes, which, by law, he is supposed to be exempt from paying.
A 2015 Illinois law waives property tax for veterans with a 70 to 100 percent disability rating. Carner is considered 100 percent disabled, yet, he continues to get billed year after year — nearly $19,000.
Now, he’s facing the loss of his home and says he does not have that kind of money.
In order to get the tax exemption, paperwork needs to be filed every year. Carner says he did file two times and still received delinquent tax letters saying his unpaid taxes were sold to a company, which can now charge him hefty interest rates.
The 2 Investigators went to the McHenry County Assessor and to the Veterans Assistance office, where we spoke with Jane Dorfner.
“We are working with the Assessor’s Office here to clear this up,” she said.
Both offices launched investigations. After record requests, phone calls and four days of digging, the family will now be able to keep their home.
The Carner’s say two years ago they submitted their exemption forms to the County Treasurer’s Office, the agency listed on their tax bills. It was supposed to go to the county Assessor’s Office. No one knows why the forms, or the Carner’s, were not redirected to the right office.
Operation Finally Home has offered to cover any property taxes that remain after the county investigation.