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  • prop taxesChicago – Every year, hundreds of properties in Cook County are lost by homeowners to so-called "tax scavengers," who buy houses at auction when the owner fails to pay property taxes. Oftentimes, homeowners are caught off guard, having missed their property tax bill in the mail or because they failed to keep up with confusing paperwork.

    “Property owners can find themselves in crisis situations because they’re unaware their property taxes went unpaid,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs.

  • glowiak 022819OAKBROOK TERRACE – To clarify the numerous property tax reform initiatives introduced this legislative session, State Senator Suzy Glowiak (D-Western Springs) is urging local residents to use available resources to educate themselves on proposals working through the Senate this spring.

    “When I talk to residents, their top concern remains high property tax bills,” Glowiak said. “It is vital for residents to know what legislative measures are being considered in Springfield to help their legislators represent their interests.”

    Suburban property taxes tend to be high to ensure schools are properly funded. The state has adjusted that model to more fairly direct funding toward schools, which Glowiak believes should result in lower property taxes. In the upcoming April municipal elections, 18 suburban school districts will empower voters to decide the fate of property taxes for the schools through referendums.

    “The state funding schools properly should result in property tax savings in Illinois,” Glowiak said. “I’m interested in seeing what local residents decide.”

    There are exemptions available for seniors and veterans, but reapplying every year can be burdensome.

    “There are new measures that if passed would cut redundant bureaucratic hurdles our seniors and veterans need to repeat every year,” Glowiak said. “We need to continue to look for ways to cut bureaucratic red tape to streamline the process to allow residents to see savings without inessential paperwork.”

    There measures introduced in the Senate include:

    Senate Bill 39 creates a homestead exemption for police officers and firefighters who suffered severe injuries like permanent paralysis or amputation in the line of duty.

    Senate Bill 1199 provides that a veteran who is considered "permanently and totally disabled" by the Department of Veterans' Affairs is not required to reapply annually to receive a Disabled Veterans Standard Homestead Exemption.

    Senate Bill 1257 eliminates the need for senior citizens to reapply for an exemption once the assessor or chief county assessment officers grants a Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption.

    Senate Bill 1348 allows a newly remodeled house or duplex in an area of urban decay within a municipality to exempt owners from the property taxes attributed to the improvements.

    Senate Bill 1689 increases the maximum income restriction for the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption to $75,000 beginning in taxable year 2019 in Cook County and, in taxable year 2020, statewide.

  • sims013119SPRINGFIELD – Property taxes will be lower for some homeowners and business owners in South Suburban communities thanks to a new state grant program that seeks to lift some of the burden on school districts that are heavily taxed.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant is part of the education funding reform package that has been put in place to level the playing field to better serve struggling school districts.

    “For far too long struggling communities were faced with paying higher property taxes in an attempt to provide students in the area a quality education, and more often than not the students still weren’t receiving adequate resources,” State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) said. “Going forward this program will provide the relief necessary to help keep families in Illinois and boost local economies.”

    Local school districts that are eligible for the grant include: 

    • Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215: $1,906,225.40
    • Lansing School District 158: $1,836,888.06
    • Bloom Township High School District 206: $2,168,029.38

    Eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30 to receive the grant. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then give the money to the school districts once they have received all of the abatement certificates.

    “This grant program is a crucial step to help change how we fund the education of our future leaders,” Sims said. “It is high time we shift some of the burden from property tax payers to the state in order to help provide a quality education to every student in Illinois, regardless of where they live.”

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • hastings 013119SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners and small businesses across the South Suburbs will see decreases in their property tax bills under a new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

    State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is proud to announce that community school districts received over $4.9 million dollars from the Property Tax Relief Grant that was included in the historic school funding reform law.

    The new school funding formula advocated for by Hastings has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year alone, the 19th State Senate District received nearly $20 million in additional state funding.

    “The people of the Southland are trying to do their very best to provide our children with an exceptional education and an excellent quality of life,” Hastings said. “Illinois’ families have a school funding formula in place to ensure schools are funded the right way to help homeowners find property tax savings and guarantee our children receive the best possible educational opportunities.” 

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Bremen Community High School District 228 ($3,541,127)
    • Rich Township High School District 227 ($2,736,497.20)
    • Homewood Flossmoor Community High School District 233 ($1,963,818.30)
    • Elementary School District 159 ($242,794.24)

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • cunningham 022817SPRINGFIELD – Home owners and small businesses in Chicago’s southwest suburbs will see a decrease in their property tax bills thanks to a new state grant program aimed at providing relief to school districts in high-taxed areas. 

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was a part of a historic school funding reform law that brought millions of dollars to school districts in dire need of funding.

    “Our communities should not be forced to choose between providing a high quality education for students and keeping property tax rates manageable for homeowners and businesses,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “These grants will ensure that our students have access to a great education without paying for it at the expense of local taxpayers.”

    Several school districts in the 18th Senate District will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Evergreen Park Community High School District 231: $965,999.66
    • Community High School District 218: $5,788,140.28
    • Oak Lawn Community High School District 229: $2,125,024.36

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • bush 013019SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners and small businesses across Lake County will see decreases in their property tax bills under a new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was included in the historic school funding reform law that has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year alone, schools in the 31st Senate District received $8.5 million in additional state funding.

    “For years, Lake County has had to rely heavily on property taxes to ensure our children have access to the best education possible,” State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “As promised, the new school funding law is changing the way we fund our schools by increasing state support and relieving some of the local tax burden.”

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Zion-Benton Township High School District 126: $1,793,018.36
    • Grayslake Community High School District 127: $2,733,574.72
    • Zion Elementary School District 6: $1,095,379.59
    • Antioch Community High School District 117: $2,890,111.07

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates. 

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • hutchinson 051018SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners and small businesses across the South Suburbs will see decreases in their property tax bills under a new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was included in the historic school funding reform law supported by Hutchinson that has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year alone, the 40th Senate District received nearly $10 million in additional state funding.

    “Communities with little property wealth have been forced to increase their taxes year after year, placing a high burden on homeowners and small businesses and cheating students out of a quality education,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) said. “For many South Suburban communities, this has only increased economic disinvestment and neighborhood stagnation.”

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Rich Township High School District 227 ($2,736,497)
    • Bloom Township H.S. District 206 ($2,168,029)
    • Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School District 233 ($1,963,818)
    • Park Forest School District 163 ($573,153)

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    “The new funding law represents a fundamental shift in how we pay for education in Illinois,” Hutchinson said. “Reducing reliance on property taxes while increasing state support is the only way of ensuring no Illinois student is relegated to a sub-par education simply because of their ZIP code.”

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • harris 111518SPRINGFIELD – South Suburban homeowners and small businesses will see smaller property tax bills under a new state grant program for school districts in high-tax areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was included in the historic school funding reform law that has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year of the program, public schools in the 15th Senate District will see $8.4 million in property tax relief.

    “One of the biggest hurdles to funding our schools is a lack of property wealth paired with high property taxes in the South Suburbs,” said State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey). “This new program can help us solve that problem and bring more resources to our local schools and economic growth to our community.”

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Thornton Township High School District 205: $3,662,072.45
    • Ford Heights School District 169: $216,232.14
    • Bremen Community High School District 228: $3,541,127.33
    • Dolton School District 148: $1,050,639.44

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

     

  • sandoval 062018­SPRINGFIELD – Home owners and businesses in Argo Community High School District 217 will see a decrease in their property taxes as a result of a new state grant program for school districts in highly-taxed areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was a part of a historic school funding reform law that brought millions of dollars to school districts in dire need of funding.

    “Homeowners and businesses should not have to pay exorbitant property taxes for our children to have access to a good education,” said State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), a longtime advocate of tax relief. “This grant helps ensure the success of our students without placing an undue burden on taxpayers.”

    Argo Community High School District 217 will receive over $1.8 million dollars from the new program.

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • silverstein 030117SPRINGFIELD- To provide relief to working families in Illinois, Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) plans to reform property taxes in Cook County and the contiguous collar counties of Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Will.

    Silverstein’s plan calls for a four-year freeze of property taxes. In addition to saving money for taxpayers, his goal is to provide the legislature the time and incentive to institute a graduated income tax system and bring the entire taxation system into greater balance. The Senator will submit legislation this week to launch the plan.

    “We have a regressive tax system, and skyrocketing property tax rates are surely playing a role in some of the flight of working families from Illinois,” Silverstein said. “I believe this plan would pause the process long enough for lawmakers to analyze and make changes to our state income tax rate for a more fair overall tax picture.

    “Balancing the system with income tax reform could eliminate the need for property tax increases going forward. Taxpayers need a break, and our state’s highly regressive system causes burdens, usually on middle class and lower income families.”

    Other facets of Silverstein’s property tax reform plan include giving the same exemptions senior citizens receive to individuals on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and to retired first responders who are eligible for property tax exemptions.

    Recipients of SSI typically have limited income, and home ownership is threatened by rising property taxes. Adding those on SSI who are disabled would be a compassionate practice to match what is provided to those over 65.

    First responders may retire earlier than age 65 due to the stress and physical demands of the job. These individuals who put their lives on the line as firefighters, police officers or EMTs have better odds of staying in their homes in the community if the state provides this tax relief and stability.

    “We must get started on big steps to reform our taxation system and I believe this plan moves us in the right direction,” Silverstein said. “As a cosponsor of the joint resolution to amend the Constitution to allow a graduated income tax (SJRCA 1), I know we need a plan with several components to change our overall system to make it fairer while providing revenue for the services Illinoisans expect. I think the steps in this plan open the door to major change.”

    The property tax freeze would not apply to school districts that meet financial hardship provisions. Those districts could suffer greater harm when they are already in financial distress.

    The four-year freeze would provide the Legislature with time to implement a graduated income tax that would generate sufficient revenue to make up for the lost revenue from property taxes.

    Silverstein will file legislation outlining his plan this week; he then anticipates it being assigned to the Senate Revenue Committee for its review.

  • murphy 021617DES PLAINES – More senior citizens could save money on their property taxes under legislation filed by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

    Murphy’s proposal raises the income limit to $75,000 for senior citizens to claim the assessment freeze homestead exemption on their property taxes. The cap currently is $65,000.

    “I think the legislature should do more to help seniors stay in their homes and not be pushed out by rising home values and property taxes,” Murphy said. “That’s why I introduced a plan to raise the income cap for the senior freeze exemption.”

  • tc 052417VILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) urges Governor Bruce Rauner to sign Senate 3, bipartisan government consolidation, into law today.

    Senate Bill 3 is based on Cullerton’s DuPage County government consolidation model that is expected to save taxpayers more than $100 million over the next 20 years.

    “The time to act is now,” Cullerton said. “This is a no brainer. I ask Governor Rauner to sign this legislation today to empower local bodies to eliminate and combine services. The best way for local government to lower property taxes is find efficiencies. This one step will improve government services and lower property taxes without sacrificing the needs of residents.”

  • proptax house

  • bennett 053116SPRINGFIELD – A permanent property tax freeze from Springfield will only squeeze local schools and park districts according to one Illinois State Senator.

    State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) says that while the freeze may be a good talking point, in reality it squeezes school districts that have been shortchanged by Springfield for years.

    “Before the governor demanded a permanent property tax freeze, he never met with the Illinois State Board of Education to determine what it would do to local school districts,” Bennett said. “I don’t know how you make a decision that consequential without talking to your own experts.”

    In a hearing on Thursday at the Senate Appropriations Committee, Bennett challenged the assertion that Springfield’s freezing of property taxes permanently will amount to returning control to taxpayers.

    “Springfield does not spend or collect a single dollar of property taxes,” said Bennett. “Property taxes are set locally by people we elect, that is the very essence of local control.”

    Bennett later said that while he agrees that the property tax burden is large, he believes the Senate’s bipartisan plan to temporarily freeze property taxes will bring stability and predictability.

    “What we have proposed in the Senate is to freeze property taxes for a few years so we can see the results,” Bennett said. “If there are no negative effects and the voters are happy with the freeze, they will be more than able to decide to extend it.”

  • koehler 022817SPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would extend the homestead property tax exemption to individuals in supportive living facilities was passed in the Illinois Senate today. Senate Bill 1887 would extend the property tax homestead exemption to seniors, veterans and individuals with disabilities living in a supportive living program

    Currently, an individual can be awarded the homestead exemption when they become a resident of a nursing home and still own their original place of residence. 

    State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is the legislation’s sponsor.

    “This is a crucial step in guaranteeing that our citizens are being treated fairly by the tax system,” Koehler said. “That is why I believe we should extend this exemption to individuals in assisted living facilities the same way we do for nursing homes.”

    The measure now moves to the House of Representatives.

  • sm houseSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced legislation through the Illinois Senate today to prevent disabled veterans from being forced to reapply for the Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption every year.

    The exemption is available to veterans with service-related disabilities. 

    As of 2015, veterans with a 30 percent - 50 percent disability can receive $2,500 exemption, those with 50 percent - 70 percent receive a $5,000 exemption, and veterans with at least a 70 percent disability are exempt from paying property taxes.

    “These property tax exemptions are a small token to show our thanks for making these great sacrifices for our country, but forcing disabled veterans to reapply every year is duplicative,” Murphy said. “My proposal removes the legal barriers that force them to reapply and make their lives just a bit easier.”

    Senator Murphy’s legislation, Senate Bill 1437, passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 55-0. It will now head to the Illinois House. 

  • PropertyTaxBillSPRINGFIELD – For many homeowners or commercial property owners who appeal their property tax assessments, the complexity of the overall process can be daunting. 

    State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) passed a plan out of the Senate today that would streamline the appeals process and lower the often excessive wait times faced by many who file appeals.

    “Rising property taxes continue to be one of the biggest concerns facing residents in my district,” Morrison said. “Instead of making appeals more burdensome and difficult to utilize, we must simplify the process and make it easy to navigate for homeowners.”

    Senate Bill 609 would allow homeowners to combine multiple-year appeals of their property assessments within the same assessment period. Currently, homeowners must appeal an assessment every year. With long wait times at the Property Tax Appeal Board, many homeowners are forced to file each subsequent year’s appeal separately after they win the initial appeal.

    Senate Bill 609 passed the Senate this afternoon without opposition and now heads to the Illinois House for further debate.

  • koehler 040616SPRINGFIELD – Seniors and disabled property owners in supportive living facilities will soon be able to keep their property tax savings thanks to successful legislation from Senator Dave Koehler (D – Peoria).

    The measure updates current law to allow a taxpayer moving into a supportive living facility to keep their homestead exemption. Currently, homestead exemptions apply to specific nursing facilities, not including supportive living facilities.

    “Seniors and disabled property owners should not have to pay more in property taxes because their health or family situations have forced them into a nursing facility,” said Sen. Koehler. “And we cannot allow some facility residents to keep their benefits, while residents in other similar facilities cannot.”

    Supportive living facilities are a newer type of nursing home care option officially defined in 2006 as an alternative, more independent-living option for low-income seniors and disabled persons under Medicaid.

    “Even in these trying times, we can still find substantive solutions to protect the well-being of our state’s most vulnerable,” Koehler said.

    The legislation, Senate Bill 2934, passed the Senate and now heads to the House for further action.

  • murphy proptaxSPRINGFIELD- Nearly $583 million in funding for local governments is being held hostage due to the failure to negotiate a state budget by the legislative leaders and governor. As a result, many local governments are being forced to consider significant cuts or find new ways to generate tax dollars, such as a property tax increase. These funds, already collected by the Motor Fuel Tax, have no impact on the total state budget.

    To keep communities from being forced to take these drastic measures, a House panel today voted to release the funding. Former Des Plaines alderman and newly appointed State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), supports the proposal.

    “Our communities should not be forced to raise property taxes or layoff police and firefighters because the leaders in Springfield cannot work together to solve the budget crisis they have created. As a former Des Plaines alderman, I know firsthand how important these funds are to our communities,” said Murphy.

    The legislation, House Bill 4305, also releases funding from special state funds to pay prizes for lottery winners and 9-1-1 operators. Similar to the Motor Fuel Tax, the funding has been collected through separate fees and taxes that do not impact the overall state budget.

    The proposal will now head to the full House for a vote.

  • link vets awdsWadsworth, Illinois - State Senator Terry Link was honored recently by a group of veterans’ organizations for his steady commitment to those who have served in the military.  Link was recognized on Friday, September 25, for his sponsorship of Senate Bill 107, a measure that expands the Disabled American Veterans Homestead Exemption. This legislation protects veterans from property tax hikes after home improvements for accessibility.

    “I’m thrilled to spend time with our beloved men and women in uniform. I thank members of the American Legion, VFW, DAV, AmVets and the Reserve Officers’ Association for their friendship and the awards,” Sen. Link said. “I proudly sponsored SB 107 to protect our veterans from an additional burden for building the accessibility features they need to do their day-to-day activities.

    Senator Link served as the Sub-chairperson of the State Government and Veterans Affairs in the 97th General Assembly.


    PHOTO: Al Lynch, Medal of Honor Recipient and Assistant Superintendent Veterans Assistance Commission of Lake County thanked  State Representative Rita Mayfield and State Senator Terry Link