Heyl Royster

Senate Approves Bill that would Freeze Local Property Taxes for All Taxing Districts

august 6, 2015

The Senate approved SB 318 (Cullerton, D-Chicago) late Tuesday by a narrow vote of 37 to 1 (36 votes were required for passage) with 18 members voting present. This legislation proposes substantial changes for funding of ALL taxing districts, including both home rule and non-home rule communities, as well as school districts. The proposed legislation would do several things: 

  1. Establish a two-year local property tax freeze for ALL taxing districts outside of Cook County in 2016-2017 (Cook County would be subject to the freeze in 2017-2018).
  2. End the state's current general aid formula for schools by June 1, 2017. It would be replaced by a new formula that would be determined by a bipartisan commission tasked with determining a more equitable formula.
  3. Assist the Chicago Public School System by assuming responsibility for approximately $200 million in pension payments.

SB 318 was assigned to the Executive Committee in the House. The Executive Committee has already scheduled a hearing on the bill for August 12, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. This bill, if passed into law, will have a major impact on how taxing bodies prepare their tax levy ordinance for 2016, which must be filed with the County Clerk before the last Tuesday in December.

Heyl Royster will continue to monitor this critical issue for local governmental entities and report on new developments.

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