In the last paragraph of a previous post, “Tax cap law provides excuse for taxing bodies to raise taxes with declining property values,” a solution was proposed to halt increasing property taxes as property values decline.
The suggested solution was to “repeal tax caps in times of declining property values” and House Bill 3793, co-sponsored by 8 Democrats and 8 Republicans would have at least repealed a portion of the increase!
An unintended consequence of tax caps allows taxing bodies to levy the same amount of taxes as the previous levy year, plus the rate of inflation or 5% whichever is less.
So, even as property values decrease, taxing bodies subject to tax caps are permitted by law to increase the property tax RATES to recover the previous year’s taxes, plus the inflation component – thereby increasing property taxes even in a declining housing market.
HB3793 would have allowed a taxing district to keep the amount of taxes levied the previous year, but would have eliminated the CPI or 5% extension of tax caps. The bill’s passage by the General Assembly could have saved Illinois taxpayers millions of dollars in property taxes in 2012.
My question is why did our local House representatives, Chuck Jefferson, Jim Sacia, Joe Sosnowski, and Dave Winters all vote against HB3793 along with 69 others? One legislator’s office explained that there was strong opposition by their constituients to decreasing taxes and very little, if any, favorable comments.
Were local taxpayers publically informed that this tax cap amendment was coming up for a vote in Springfield to decrease property taxes in a declining housing market, in order to allow taxpayers to voice their support for the bill?
Taxpayers don’t have lobbyists in Springfield that follow our legislators around every single day the Illinois General Assembly is in session to make sure our opinion is considered. The legislators are our representatives, we shouldn’t need lobbyists.
You can bet that taxing bodies directly affected by this legislation were represented and no doubt they were the constituients in opposition to the bill!
The bill’s defeat was an opportunity lost forever. As a result of this vote, each taxing district will now have an initially higher tax levy base, from which to calculate all future tax levies in perpetuity.
Thanks to the November vote of the Illinois House of Representatives, including all four of our local house members, your property taxes will be higher in 2012 than they would have been, even though your property values are decreasing.
After paying your higher tax bill this summer and fall, give your local rep a call and ask why they voted against HB3793!