House Republicans call for property tax relief, offer Solutions

This week at the Illinois Capitol, State Representative Tom Weber was joined by fellow Representatives Joe Sosnowski and Martin McLaughlin to call on the State to act on property tax relief. Despite many years of claiming to support property tax relief, the majority party in Springfield has only allowed minimal action on relief proposals. The solutions offered by Weber and his colleagues would place hard caps on property tax increases that have been driving families and small businesses out of the state for years.

“Men and women across Illinois have worked hard and done everything right to provide a home for their families,” said Weber. “Unfortunately, for too many people, the dream of homeownership has turned into a nightmare of unmanageable property tax bills that are threatening their ability to keep their homes.

“As I represent a district on the border of Wisconsin, I can tell you how frustrating it is when constituents, especially seniors who have lived in Illinois for decades, tell me they have no choice but to consider leaving Illinois because they can’t afford the taxes on their home anymore. The limitations in current state law that are supposed to prevent drastic year-on-year increases in property taxes are not working, and that’s why I’m proposing legislation to put hard caps in place to prevent these excessive tax increases.”

While the State of Illinois has the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) to prevent local taxing bodies from increasing their annual property tax levies by more than 5% or CPI, whichever is less, nothing prevents taxes on individual properties from increasing well above 5% in a given year. To address this problem, Weber has filed two pieces of legislation, House Bills 4354 and 4716, to put caps in law to prevent individual property tax bills and assessments from going above 5% or 3%, respectively.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that increasing property taxes are pushing hardworking people to the brink, forcing many to consider selling their homes to seek refuge in cheaper, and sometimes questionable areas,” Weber continued. “We must create a more stable and predictable tax environment that allows individuals and families to plan for their financial future without the fear of losing their homes due to unmanageable tax bills.”

Rep. Sosnowski has filed legislation, House Bill 3390, which would cap the annual increase of residential property tax bills at 3%.