No Illinois property tax reform under $300 refund plan | Granite City News







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Illinois taxpayers who own real estate are to receive up to $300 from the state. But there are no reforms to lower state property taxes, which are the second highest in the nation.

The one-time payment of up to $300 for eligible taxpayers is part of the budget package passed this week. There is no timeline yet on when the state comptroller checks would be issued.

The tax package says every individual taxpayer who owns property that files with the Illinois Department of Revenue before Oct. 17 is eligible. The department should develop a process for requesting reimbursement. Aggregate discounts cannot total more than $520 million. More funds could be certified as needed, the measure said.

After the start of the fiscal year on July 1, the law states that the IDOR will certify to the Comptroller the names of eligible taxpayers and the amounts of refunds. The controller will then issue the checks.

“The amount of a refund…shall not be included in the taxpayer’s income or resources for purposes of determining eligibility or level of benefits in any means-tested benefit program administered by a government entity, unless federal law requires it,” the law says. “Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, rebates may not be set off by the Monitor against any liability owed either to the State or to any unit of local government. »

While the rebate will give taxpayers some of their money back, it doesn’t address the factors that determine Illinois’ property taxes, which are second highest only to New Jersey.

Governor JB Pritzker has acknowledged that more needs to be done with Illinois’ high property taxes.

“We’re going to keep working on that,” Pritzker said Tuesday after the budget was signed. “I think there are a lot of proposals that have been made that we should work on.”

A sustained complaint from town halls and school districts is about unfunded state mandates. Illinois resident Mark Weyermuller told the Illinois State Board of Education on Wednesday that the state is on the wrong track with K-12 schools, which account for a significant portion of school bills. property tax.

“The governor has signed a bill that gives teachers significantly more sick leave, which will cost local school districts millions of dollars,” Weyermuller said during a public comment period. “I didn’t even know how they could do something like that. Essentially increasing the cost of education.

Pritzker signed a measure earlier this month, which grants paid administrative leave for COVID-related issues to school staff, but only if they are vaccinated.

Another important factor is the local cost of state-required public safety pension benefits. Larry Luster, who has lobbied lawmakers on behalf of the city of Springfield, told Springfield City Council on Tuesday that he was working with the Illinois Municipal League on the issue.

“We haven’t had as much success as we would like, but we haven’t put ourselves in a position where we owe more either,” Luster said. “So we broke even with that.”

Republicans have argued for government consolidations and pension reform to reduce property taxes.

Pritzker said the management of police and fire pension funds was consolidated several years ago.

“We’ve already seen tens of millions of dollars in relief from this in fire pensions and we expect we’ll see this with police pensions over the next two years,” Pritzker said.

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