Currently, non-home rule local governments (cities, villages, townships, libraries, etc.) in Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, McHenry, and Lake Counties are subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Act, commonly known as a "tax cap law." This law limits the ability of these local government units to raise property taxes beyond the statutory cap without first going to referendum. Recently, there have been a number of bills introduced to expand the tax cap law to other units of government and to institute a property tax freeze.
For example, House Bill 696 would apply tax caps to all non-home rule units of local government and school districts in Illinois. The legislation would also permanently lower the property tax extension limiting rate to zero percent above the previous year (a property tax freeze). Currently, the tax caps limit a taxing district's levy to the previous year's levy plus the lesser of 5% or the consumer price index. This limitation rate has always been intended to allow levies to grow with inflation up to a maximum of 5% per year. HB 696, however, would lower any inflation increase to zero. If the legislation becomes law, all non home-rule local government and school district levies would be limited to the taxing district's previous year's levy, permanently.
The bill passed the Illinois House on April 26, 2016, and now goes to the Senate. We'll keep you posted about this bill.
Post authored by Julie Tappendorf