La Ha Backs Bipartisan Bill to Protect Meals on Wheels

Lemont, IL… Seniors and those in need in Illinois scored a big win with the passage of Senate Bill 3476 last month. This legislation creates a sales tax exemption for home-delivered meals, such as Meals on Wheels providers, when payment is made by an intermediary as part of a Medicare or Medicaid program.

“This legislation will make a significant difference in the lives of so many individuals who rely on programs like Meals on Wheels for nutritious meals,” said State Rep. La Ha. “By providing this sales tax exemption, we are ensuring that these crucial services remain affordable and accessible to those who need them most.”

The bill helps providers such as Meals on Wheels offer nutritious meals to seniors and those in need at lower costs. Senate Bill 3476 passed both chambers with unanimous support.

The Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Department of Revenue, and Illinois Chamber of Commerce were proponents of this legislation. These meals were already supposed to be tax-exempt, however, due to federal contracting with third-party intermediaries to administer portions of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, providers of home-delivered meals to these recipients have been incurring sales tax liabilities.

Seniors and other people in need have relied on programs such as Meals on Wheels for decades. Last year alone, with the help of more than 500 volunteers, Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois delivered more than 100,000 meals. Meals on Wheels Chicago has helped seniors and those with disabilities for more than 35 years, serving just under five million meals per year. Its Home Meal Delivery program serves more than 13,000 individuals and runs in partnership with Open Kitchens and the City of Chicago. 

Meals on Wheels serves over 2 million seniors annually in communities all across the country. Their network includes over 5,000 independently run programs. Volunteers are always needed, and to find your nearest provider or information on how to volunteer, visit Meals on Wheels America.