House Committee Approves Property Tax FreezeNovember 3, 2017 | Legislative briefs
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House Committee Approves Property Tax Freeze
On Thursday, November 2, 2017, the House Revenue and Finance Committee held a hearing in Chicago and approved House Amendment 1 to SB 851 (available via this link). The amendment is sponsored by Representative Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg).
SB 851 includes provisions intended to provide property tax relief to Illinois taxpayers. The relief would be offered by: (1) increasing the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption to $8,000 and General Homestead Exemption to $10,000 for residents outside of Cook County to create parity with the higher exemptions offered to Cook County residents; (2) mandating a two-year temporary property tax freeze on local governments in Cook County and the collar counties (DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will); and (3) providing voters in counties outside of Cook and the collar counties the option to adopt a two-year property tax freeze via referendum if a county board places the issue on the ballot. County boards outside of Cook and the collar counties would also be permitted to hold a referendum asking if voters want to place non-home rule units of government under the tax caps imposed by the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) beginning in the year following the expiration of the two-year temporary property tax freeze. The bill also imposes PTELL tax cap limitations for the 2017 and 2018 levy years on any taxing district not subject to a 0% extension (SB 851 HA#1 p.16, lines 13-18).
There was some confusion in the hearing over whether bonded indebtedness and pension obligations are exempted from the 0% extension limitation, and the sponsor indicated the intent is to provide for these exemptions. Additionally, schools that meet certain financial hardship criteria would be exempt from the property tax freeze.
Having been approved by the House Revenue and Finance Committee, SB 851 will next be considered by the full House. The Illinois Municipal League (IML) opposes the bill based upon the restriction it would impose on local revenues.
As always, IML staff will continue to monitor any prospective legislative developments and aggressively advocate on behalf of our membership. Should you have any questions, please contact our Legislative Department at (217) 525-1220 or IMLLegislation@iml.org. Thank you.