Illinois Municipal League Opposes Government Tax Take Freeze

Not only the Township Officials of Illinois, but the more powerful Illinois Municipal League has lined up against State Rep. Jack Franks’ bill to keep property taxes constant in years when real estate assessments are declining.

Under the way that the 1991 Property Tax Cap works, local schools and other tax districts are allowed to obtain the real estate taxes they extracted last year, plus the increase in the cost-of-living, as defined by the Consumer Price Index.

Since property values consistently exceeded the CPI until the late 2000’s, County Clerks had to cut tax rates in order to make certain that tax districts did not get more than the law (acronym: PTELL) allowed.

That drove tax rates down well below their statutory maximum.

Once assessments grew less that the CPI, with tax districts still asking for what they got last year, plus the inflationary increase, County Clerks complied by hiking their tax rates, which were still under the maximum limit.

Back to the Illinois Municipal League. Here’s what’s on the front page of the organization’s web site:

House Revenue Committee Votes to Take Taxing Power Away from Communities

On October 25, 2011, the House Revenue and Finance Committee voted to adopt House Amendment No. 1 to HB 3793 (Representative Franks, D-Harvard) This legislation amends the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) to provide that the capped property taxes may not be adjusted for inflation if the total equalized assessed value of all taxable property declines from the previous year.

If this legislation were to pass, it would be an explicit acknowledgment by the General Assembly that local government should not be allowed to raise enough revenue to cover any increase in the cost of providing service. The bill would limit revenue collections without limiting the costs of salaries, pensions, fuel, and other goods and materials necessary to provide public services.

Please contact your Representatives at their Springfield offices and ask them to OPPOSE HB 3793.

As with the Township Officials of Illinois, the Illinois Municipal League lobbying is financed by your tax dollars.

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