Spring Legislative Update

June 19, 2024

Spring Legislative Update

Memorial Day has come and gone, and so has the Spring session of the Illinois General Assembly. This is the second year of the 103rd General Assembly, which was seated in January 2023 and will continue into the so-called “lame duck” session next January. This General Assembly has 59 Senators (40 Democratic, 19 Republican) and 118 Representatives (78 Democratic, 39 Republican). Some highlights from this session:

  • NO CHANGE TO SENIOR FREEZE: The General Assembly DID NOT make any changes to the eligibility requirements for the Low-Income Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption. The CAOA successfully opposed making changes to this exemption that would take place after we printed and mailed applications for a given year.
  • ENFORCEMENT OF TAXABLE LEASEHOLDS: SB 317, which provides for enforcement of taxable leaseholds, has been approved by both chambers and awaits the Governor’s signature; after signing, this bill will be effective for the 2024 taxable year. This bill was a CAOA initiative.
  • STRUCTURAL CHANGES TO STANDARD HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION FOR VETERANS WITH DISABILITIES: HB 612 has been approved by both chambers and awaits the Governor’s signature. Upon enactment, it will:
    • Change the SHEVD beginning with 2023 (payable 2024) so that the $250k cap on eligibility is changed to a $250 maximum exemption;
    • Change the SHEVD beginning with 2023 (payable 2024) to remove the requirement of an honorable discharge; and
    • Add veterans of WWII to the eligibility list (irrespective of disability status) beginning with 2024 (payable 2025). 

Once this is signed by the Governor (gubernatorial action must take place no later than August 22), we will have a short window to issue certificates of error for the 2023 tax bills. The CAOA will work with IDOR on disseminating more information on this process. The CAOA worked actively with the sponsor to ensure we had a bill that clearly matched the sponsor’s expectations.

  • OTHER PROVISIONS: HB 4951 is a large bill that addresses various topic related to revenue that has been approved by both chambers and awaits the Governor’s signature; it includes the following property tax provisions:
    • P. 1: Creates a statewide task force to address inequities in county-official compensation; two members of the task force must come from “a statewide organization that represents chief county assessment officers.”
    • P. 127: Beginning in 2026, property tax bills must include a boldfaced list of homestead exemptions, plus CCAO contact information for further inquiries.
    • P. 1083: Cook County will no longer be required to have annual reapplications for the Senior Exemption. Downstate counties that currently require annual reapplication and want to eliminate it will have to conduct an annual “review” of the senior exemptions. The scope of the review is not specified, so it is up to the CCAO to make that determination.
    • P. 1091: Clarifies that at the end of the historic freeze, if a property’s actual value is below the “ramp up” value, it cannot be assessed higher than the actual value.
    • P. 1105: Clarifies that settlement agreements can be made for petroleum refineries in counties with fewer than 1,000,000 inhabitants.

The CAOA actively worked with sponsors on these provisions, eliminating provisions that were unfunded mandates.

Barring a special session, the legislature will not convene again until after the November elections.

Mark D. Armstrong, CIAO-M, is the Kane County Supervisor of Assessments and the Acting Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the County Assessment Officers Association of Illinois.  He can be reached at ArmstrongMark@KaneCountyIL.gov.

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