State bill would cut property tax hikes to 0% in bad times

by Greg Hinz

A northwest suburban legislator has introduced a bill that a lot of property owners are going to like in this time of depressed home values.

But the question is, can it pass?

Under new legislation proposed by state Rep. Jack Franks, taxes could not go up at all — not a penny — in any year in which the gross value of property in a taxing district decreases. The only exception is if voters approve a hike by referendum.

“Home values have plummeted in recent years, but the tax burden on those properties continues to rise,” said Mr. Franks, a McHenry County Democrat. “It is unconscionable that property taxes have increased as more and more homeowners are under water with their mortgages.”

Under current law, taxes can go up by the rate of consumer inflation or 5%, whichever is lower.

Mr. Franks has several co-sponsors, most of them Republicans. I suspect House leadership won’t like the bill.

But in these times, the bill could get quite a head of steam. I can hear the cheers.

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