Generally, the rule for fees are that they bear a relationship between the charge and the use of the proceeds.
The Will County Circuit Court ruled against a $50 fee for those filing foreclosure suits.
The decision was appealed.
The proceeds went to the Illinois Housing Development Authority to “create additional programs for people in foreclosure problems” and to “help people who needed help with their mortgage situations and in our foreclosure-plagued society,” according to the Illinois Supreme Court decision.
A lot of the money went to counseling agencies.
The rest was designated to municipalities for “cutting grass at abandoned properties, trimming trees and bushes, extermination of pests, removing garbage and graffiti, installing fencing, and demolition” as well as general “
“repair or rehabilitation of abandoned residential property.”
The Illinois Supreme Court decision is described below:
IL Supreme Court: Court foreclosure filing fees are illegal tax to support state ‘neighborhood beautification plan’ – Cook County Record
“The fees, instead, are a revenue-raising measure designed to fund a statewide social program administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority,” Justice Robert L. Carter wrote in the majority opinion. “As the circuit court recognized, ‘the statutory scheme is tantamount to a litigation-tax funded neighborhood beautification plan.’”
McHenry County Circuit Clerk passed on this infon:
“We stopped assessing those fees about a year ago when a Will County Circuit judge declared them unconstitutional.”
This court found that the relationship between domestic shelters and programs was “simply too remote” to save the $5 tax from its constitutional shortcomings. We found “no rational basis for imposing this tax on only those petitioners filing for dissolution of marriage, thereby causing members of that class to bear the cost of maintaining the public welfare program provided, while excluding other classes of taxpayers.”
The Supreme Court also previously rules the nexus between a marriage license fee and domestic violence shelters inadequate, as stated below:
This court has also found a statute requiring county clerks to place part of the marriage license fee into a domestic abuse fund to be unconstitutional where the relationship between those who were being taxed and those who were benefitting from the tax was too remote.
The relationship between a fee and how it is used
“must be relatively direct, clear, and ascertainable.”
The conclusion was that the fee was “a tax on litigation.”