General Assembly Update: House Revenue and Finance Committee

Rep. Mike Batinick (HB 6630) and Rep. Jack Franks (House Amendment #2 to SB 1919) presenting identical bills to amend the current Property Tax Extension Limitation Law to include ALL taxing districts including Home Rule units and to lower the extension limitation to zero percent beginning with the 2016 levy year. Further, local units could not vote to opt out. Photo: Julie Sullivan

Action occurred this week on the final two days of the current 99th General Assembly on the issue of property tax relief.

On Monday, the House Revenue and Finance Committee heard testimony and voted on TWO identical measures that amend the existing Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL).

Commonly referred to as the “property tax cap law”, it does not “cap” a property tax bill or a property assessment but it limits the increase in tax extensions on existing property by a taxing district.

The provisions of the law initially began in the collar counties in 1991; Cook County was added in 1994 and ultimately it was extended to apply to other parts of the State by referendum.  IMPORTANT to note is that home rule units were never included in the provisions of the limitation.

The law, since its enactment limited increases in property tax extensions to the lesser of 5 percent or the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the year preceding the levy year.  This limitation was able to be increased by vote of the electors in the community subject to the law.

The two duplicate measures, HB 6630 is sponsored by REALTOR® Representative Mark Batincik (R-Plainfield) and an amendment to SB 1919 is sponsored by Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) are similar to other measures considered in the 2016 session.

Key provisions the bills limit the increases in property tax extensions to zero percent unless a higher amount is approved by the voters; home rule taxing units will be subject to the limitation; PTELL can no longer be rescinded by referendum.

On Tuesday, the full House passed one of the bills- HB 6630 – on a roll call vote of 76-24-6 which, although too late for consideration by the Senate, is encouraging that debate will continue on the issue of property taxes for the new General Assembly which begins on Wednesday, Jan. 11th.

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About Julie Sullivan

Julie Sullivan is Director of Legislative and Political Affairs for Illinois REALTORS®. She assists in carrying out the legislative programs and policies of the Association, monitors and provides research and analysis on local, state, and federal legislation impacting the real estate industry, and represents the Association before the General Assembly, other elected officials, and other interest groups. She also prepares and coordinates materials related to the election of candidates for public office. Sullivan writes and edits State Capitol Report, the legislative newsletter of the Association, and contributes to the Illinois REALTOR® Magazine on governmental affairs issues. She also advises and provides staff support to the Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Member Involvement Group, the Realtors® Political Action Committee and various task forces and working groups which are appointed from time to time.

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