On the first day of his third set of three-year terms, Democratic Party State Rep. Jack Franks introduced four bill that could be merchandised to homeowners in a General Election four years from now.
Seems to me it is in response to the emphasis that 2014 Republican opponent Steve Reick made on real estate taxes during his election campaign.
- House Bill 156 – With respect to the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption, provides that, beginning in assessment year 2013, the taxpayer’s household income shall be reduced by any amounts paid as Medicare premiums. [That is, it makes more seniors eligible.]
- House Bill 157 – Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. In a Section granting a tax credit for residential real property taxes, provides that, for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, if the taxpayer qualifies for the disabled persons’ homestead exemption under the Property Tax Code, then the taxpayer is entitled to a credit equal to 10% (instead of 5%) of real property taxes paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year on the qualifying property. Provides that the credit may not be carried forward or back and may not reduce the taxpayer’s liability to less than zero. Exempts the credit from the Act’s automatic sunset provision. [This hits some under 65, too.]
- House Bill 158 – Amends the Property Tax Code. Authorizes counties to establish and operate a homestead protection program under which the county treasurer may make payments from the indemnity fund to pay the delinquent taxes, along with all associated fees and interest, on the primary residence of eligible taxpayers. Provides that the county treasurer shall have a lien on the property in the amount of the assistance provided. Sets forth requirements for the program. [An interesting, new idea.]
- House Bill 159 – Amends the Property Tax Code. In a Section concerning the disabled veterans standard homestead exemption, provides that, for taxable years 2015 and thereafter: (i) if the veteran has a service connected disability of 30% or more but less than 50%, the annual exemption is $2,500; (ii) if the veteran has a service connected disability of 50% or more but less than 70%, the annual exemption is $5,000; and (iii) if the veteran has a service connected disability of 70% or more, then the property is exempt from taxation.
None of these, however, will lower the property taxes of the vast majority of homeowners.
They will made for several good “at least I’m trying to do something” articles in the Northwest Herald.