The Illinois Senate has recognized the importance of providing property taxpayers with some practical transparency, said State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods), as it unanimously passed his legislation on Thursday which would clearly outline for taxpayers when they receive a property tax break from their units of local government.
Senate Bill 1072 requires local property tax bills to clearly indicate when a local taxing body chooses not to collect the full amount of property taxes for that year and allows taxpayers to keep a portion of the money.
“Not only does this bill provide much-warranted transparency to taxpayers, but it also gives local governments more of an incentive to provide property tax reductions,” said Sen. McConchie. “It allows taxpayers to see when a school district or another taxing entity reduces their taxes for that year. For example, if a school district has a surplus of funds and doesn’t need to collect the full amount of taxes for that year, that school district can decide to reduce taxes. Under this proposal, taxpayers would clearly see which units of government are returning their hard earned money.”
Sen. McConchie’s proposal would require every property tax bill to list the total dollar amount that would have been due if no decrease was given, the dollar amount of any "abatement" being given back to the taxpayer, and then the total reduced tax bill that is actually due.
McConchie noted that when a taxing body does not collect the full amount of property taxes it is legally able to collect, the uncollected portion is “abated” back to the taxpayer. However, under current law, a taxing district can decrease the property tax amount that is owed, but it is not required to show that reduction on a taxpayer’s bill. Currently, when taxpayers look at their tax bill, they have no idea whether a local unit of government has declined to take all the money it could. This bill would change that.
Senate Bill 1072 now heads to the House for a vote.