State

State Rep. Jack Franks' property tax relief bill passes Illinois House

Illinois state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo
Illinois state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo

Property tax relief for Illinois homeowners who live in non-home rule communities is a step closer to reality.

State Rep. Jack Franks' bill to freeze property taxes in non-home rule communities passed the Illinois House on Thursday by a veto-proof vote of 71-31. Five House members voted "present," and 11 did not vote.

The bill now goes to the state Senate, where Franks, D-Marengo, gives it a "50-50" chance of passage.

"This is as far as we've ever gotten," Franks said.

The legislation, if signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner, reverses the effect on the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, or PTELL, which allows taxing districts in non-home rule communities to receive an inflationary increase in property taxes, plus an additional amount for new construction.

"This legislation stops the PTELL automatic increases every year. It takes it away," Franks said. "The system is broken. It means government doesn't have to be efficient. When our citizens have less, our government gets more. And that's not fair."

Franks cited the $41 million surplus at McHenry County's Valley Hi Nursing Home as an example of the broken property tax system. He also cited high property taxes as the main reason so many individuals and families are leaving Illinois for other states.

"I think it's the biggest issue in McHenry County, because property taxes are so high," he said.

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