SB41, the Cook County Homestead Exemption Bill, was approved by the House and now moves to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk for consideration.
IAR had worked with the sponsors of this bill for more than two years to make sure it passed muster for the association’s 41,000 members. To learn more about the bill, and how it allows Cook County to go after scofflaws, see the earlier Capitol Report item.
According to that item:
“We believe that this amendment treats the unknowing property taxpayer, who simply failed to pro-actively determine and notify the Assessor of their ineligibility, in a much fairer way. The amendment also enhances the information provided to property taxpayers to ensure that the property owner claims only those exemptions for which they are qualified.”
This is a notable example of the power of IAR’s membership. Bill sponsors had tried at least three times in the last year to get the bill passed. Each effort failed in no small part to IAR members answering Calls to Action and making it clear that the bill would hurt some property owners who weren’t trying to defraud the system, but may not have understood they were getting an improper exemption.
Late in the session, sponsors worked with IAR to significantly alter the bill so that both sides could support it.
The Illinois General Assembly is racing to meet a month-end deadline, so some lawmakers were working on the Memorial Day holiday.