Mussman property tax proposal described as hiding true costs
Maurice Scholten fears that a property tax bill that passed the House is going to end up making matters worse for many lllinois homeowners.
House Bill 156, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg), is touted as a way of providing property tax relief to local homeowners by increasing the homeowner exemption by as much as 25 percent, or up to $8,000.
But Scholten, legislative director of the Taxpayers Federation, argues that the numbers alone don’t tell the whole story.
“Any tax reduction received by a homeowner receiving an exemption will result in someone else paying more in property taxes to make up the difference,” he wrote in an opinion piece on the group's website. “Expanded exemptions shrink the tax base, forcing an increase to the tax rate in order to generate the same amount of money. The increased tax rate actually causes some homeowners to pay more in taxes even though they receive the new exemption.”
Critics also point out nothing in the bill stops local governments from collecting the same amounts they always have, meaning suburban homeowners might be left paying higher taxes, even as the proposed exemptions are put into place.
“With the same amounts due in property taxes, some homes will benefit and some will not, depending on the value of the homes,” Scholten told the North Cook News.
Commercial properties and homeowners with properties valued at more than $300,000 are expected to be billed more.
Based on 2015 property tax data, Scholten estimates that suburban coffers will lose roughly 3 percent of their taxation base with the proposed exemptions in place, leaving a owner of a $200,000 property with a property tax bill of $29 less and one with a $300,000 property paying $63 more than a year ago.
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