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Disabled Afghan War vet nearly loses his donated home over property tax dispute
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Disabled Afghan War vet nearly loses his donated home over property tax dispute

Army vet Tim Carner very nearly lost a home that was gifted to him after he returned to the U.S. in 2011 after a grave war injury left him disabled.

Despite grievous injuries, however, for Tim, the blessings kept on coming.

Chicago's 2 Investigators intervened in February after hearing that Tim was on the verge of losing his home over unpaid property taxes. The 2 Investigators were able to rectify the mistake that was made which put Tim's home and family life in jeopardy.

What's the history here?

Tim, a Purple Heart recipient, was injured in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province in 2011 during a foot patrol.

Tim told WBBM-TV about encountering an improvised explosive device.

"I was on foot patrol in Afghanistan," Tim said. "I remember waking up in the bed and my foot wasn’t there."

In addition to losing his foot and part of his leg, Tim also suffered a traumatic brain injury.

As a result of his horrific injuries, Tim received 100 percent disability when he returned home to the U.S.

Through the work of a Texas-based agency, Operation Finally Home, Tim and his family — a wife and two children — were gifted with a fully-furnished five-bedroom home in 2014.

What happened with the family's property taxes?

Tim's wife, Britt, shared a concerning Facebook status in February about the status of the family's home.

She explained that while Tim should have been exempt from paying property taxes according to Illinois law, property tax bills kept mounting despite the family reportedly filing appropriate paperwork to resolve the issue.

Britt wrote:

So we had an awesome organization build us our beautiful home in 2014 in McHenry County, IL. Not long after that, veterans rated 70% and above were granted exemption from property taxes. I printed out the form and sent it in along with the proof requested of Timothy Carner’s disability rating. Not long after that we got a letter stating the county never received our property tax payment. I called them and they told me they never got the forms and could I please bring them in so I did.

Several months ago we got a letter saying our taxes were sold at auction and we had until 2019 to pay them or lose our home. So Tim called them and they were apologetic and said they would get back to us. He called a few more times with no answer until today when they told us there was nothing they can do for us since the tax year is now closed and there is no money left. That they have no record of ever receiving anything from us or even speaking to us. So we have to somehow come up with 18,000 dollars to keep our house after THEY dropped the ball not once, not twice but several times. This is how veterans are treated.

After graciously being given this beautiful gift because Tim served our country and came back disabled now we could lose our house because the county we live in won’t grant him the exemption that he’s earned for serving his country and coming back disabled and correct the mistake they made. We did everything we could to fix this and ignored multiple people who told us to go to the media and blast them because we believed that we could get it fixed, that the right thing would be easily done. We were so wrong and now here we are. I can only hope that this hasn’t happened to any other family like mine.

If anyone has dealt with this before we would appreciate any and all advice and resources. I also made this public so it’s shareable.

WBBT also reported that a "2015 Illinois law waives property tax for veterans with a 70 to 100 percent disability rating."

The station's reporting added that Tim's property taxes accrued year after year to the tune of nearly $19,000 — and $19,000 is not an amount of money that Tim has available.

Tim's homeownership was put at risk as a result of the unpaid property taxes, despite reportedly filing for an exemption — twice.

WBBT reported that in order to get the tax exemption, the appropriate paperwork must be completed annually.

The 2 Investigators visited McHenry County's tax assessor to rectify the situation.

The 2 Investigators also visited with the local veteran's affairs office.

The two offices investigated Tim's case, and determined that the family will be able to keep their home after the property tax snafu was resolved.

Operation Finally Home offered to pay any remaining balance on the property taxes, should there be anything left over.

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