Governor Bruce Rauner is promoting a property tax freeze as part of his “Turnaround Agenda” for Illinois. A property tax freeze is being floated in Springfield, Illinois as a bargaining chip for a budget that could include an income tax hike. The Governor has asserted repeatedly he will not accept an income tax increase without some items of his “Turnaround Agenda” being enacted, including a property tax freeze. Here’s what you should know.
What the Proposed Tax Freeze Is
Numerous bills floating around in Springfield incorporate a “property tax freeze.” These bills, if enacted, would put a permanent or temporary cap on what taxing districts can collect in their jurisdiction from property owners generally, not individually.
For example, if a school district in their most recent fiscal year levied $10,000,000 dollars from taxpayers to fund its operations, that amount of money is “frozen” for future years’ levies as well. Current law allows for inflationary increases in their levy.
What the Tax Freeze Is Not
The property tax freeze will not freeze the amount of your property tax bill. More importantly, your property tax assessment will not freeze either. Your Illinois property tax bill could still rise. If your Illinois property appreciates faster than other properties in the taxing district, you will be picking up a larger share of that taxing districts’ “frozen levy” thus paying more in property taxes than you did previously.
Additionally, if voters approve an increase in the levy via a referendum, then the taxing district can increase the amount they collect, which tab will be picked up by the taxpayers.
You Should Still Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment
The property tax freeze laws do not affect your assessment. Your assessment is based on the Tax Assessor’s value opinion for your property. If the Assessor is wrong, you could be paying more than you should in property taxes.
By aggressively appealing your assessment, you will help ensure you pay no more in property taxes than the law requires. Therefore, do not let a potential property tax freeze put your assessment appeal on ice.
Contact Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit today to discuss your Association, residential, or commercial property tax appeal. KSN Tax Attorney Timothy Jacobs can be reached at 847-777-7270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: KSN attorney Timothy Jacobs also discusses the proposed property tax freeze on the KSN Podcast. You can listen to the episode (“Tax Freeze Only a Thaw”, 10 mins.) here.
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