Under the Real Estate Tax Cap (PTELL to the technocrats), tax districts are limited to the increase in the Cost of Living as to how much they can receive out of our wallets.
This coming year, tax district officials were limited to hiking the total tax take on currently existing real estate by 1.5%.
In 2013, it will be twice that high – 3%, according to the Illinois Revenue Department.
But, there is an exception.
They are allowed to “capture” taxes from all of the new buildings constructed.
I have no objection to that, even if it means, as it would, the tax district gets more money to spend in the coming year.
However, the current law provides a problem.
The tax district officials must guess how much that is.
And they usually don’t have a good idea of the amount. Sometimes assessments are not turned in by township assessors until after the levies (taxing request) is due.
So, the law encourages tax districts to “balloon levy,” that is, ask for more than they know they can get.
I propose that the levy be bifurcated.
Spit it into two parts.
One part would be for already existing property.
Doing that would allow school districts and other much smaller tax districts to levy the amount of last years’ extension (the amount collected +/- 1/10 of one percent after the delinquent tax collection process is completed) on existing property.
Result: no increase in taxes.
It would also allow them to capture all of the new growth.
If split in two, it would not matter how high the levy on new construction were. In fact, the legislation could be written to allow all of the new construction, including additions to houses, to be taxed in full. without a pulled out of the air number having to be inserted.
How about that idea, legislators?