Bill Text: IL HB0833 | 2019-2020 | 101st General Assembly | Chaptered


Bill Title: Amends the Property Tax Code. Provides that a person who has been granted a senior citizens homestead exemption need not reapply for the exemption. Effective immediately.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 40-0)

Status: (Passed) 2019-08-23 - Public Act . . . . . . . . . 101-0453 [HB0833 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2019-HB0833-Chaptered.html



Public Act 101-0453
HB0833 EnrolledLRB101 05359 HLH 50373 b
AN ACT concerning revenue.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
Section 5. The Property Tax Code is amended by changing
Sections 9-275 and 15-170 as follows:
(35 ILCS 200/9-275)
Sec. 9-275. Erroneous homestead exemptions.
(a) For purposes of this Section:
"Erroneous homestead exemption" means a homestead
exemption that was granted for real property in a taxable year
if the property was not eligible for that exemption in that
taxable year. If the taxpayer receives an erroneous homestead
exemption under a single Section of this Code for the same
property in multiple years, that exemption is considered a
single erroneous homestead exemption for purposes of this
Section. However, if the taxpayer receives erroneous homestead
exemptions under multiple Sections of this Code for the same
property, or if the taxpayer receives erroneous homestead
exemptions under the same Section of this Code for multiple
properties, then each of those exemptions is considered a
separate erroneous homestead exemption for purposes of this
Section.
"Homestead exemption" means an exemption under Section
15-165 (veterans with disabilities), 15-167 (returning
veterans), 15-168 (persons with disabilities), 15-169
(standard homestead for veterans with disabilities), 15-170
(senior citizens), 15-172 (senior citizens assessment freeze),
15-175 (general homestead), 15-176 (alternative general
homestead), or 15-177 (long-time occupant).
"Erroneous exemption principal amount" means the total
difference between the property taxes actually billed to a
property index number and the amount of property taxes that
would have been billed but for the erroneous exemption or
exemptions.
"Taxpayer" means the property owner or leasehold owner that
erroneously received a homestead exemption upon property.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in counties
with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants, the chief county assessment
officer shall include the following information with each
assessment notice sent in a general assessment year: (1) a list
of each homestead exemption available under Article 15 of this
Code and a description of the eligibility criteria for that
exemption, including the number of assessment years of
automatic renewal remaining on a current senior citizens
homestead exemption if such an exemption has been applied to
the property; (2) a list of each homestead exemption applied to
the property in the current assessment year; (3) information
regarding penalties and interest that may be incurred under
this Section if the taxpayer received an erroneous homestead
exemption in a previous taxable year; and (4) notice of the
60-day grace period available under this subsection. If, within
60 days after receiving his or her assessment notice, the
taxpayer notifies the chief county assessment officer that he
or she received an erroneous homestead exemption in a previous
taxable year, and if the taxpayer pays the erroneous exemption
principal amount, plus interest as provided in subsection (f),
then the taxpayer shall not be liable for the penalties
provided in subsection (f) with respect to that exemption.
(c) In counties with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants, when
the chief county assessment officer determines that one or more
erroneous homestead exemptions was applied to the property, the
erroneous exemption principal amount, together with all
applicable interest and penalties as provided in subsections
(f) and (j), shall constitute a lien in the name of the People
of Cook County on the property receiving the erroneous
homestead exemption. Upon becoming aware of the existence of
one or more erroneous homestead exemptions, the chief county
assessment officer shall cause to be served, by both regular
mail and certified mail, a notice of discovery as set forth in
subsection (c-5). The chief county assessment officer in a
county with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants may cause a lien to
be recorded against property that (1) is located in the county
and (2) received one or more erroneous homestead exemptions if,
upon determination of the chief county assessment officer, the
taxpayer received: (A) one or 2 erroneous homestead exemptions
for real property, including at least one erroneous homestead
exemption granted for the property against which the lien is
sought, during any of the 3 collection years immediately prior
to the current collection year in which the notice of discovery
is served; or (B) 3 or more erroneous homestead exemptions for
real property, including at least one erroneous homestead
exemption granted for the property against which the lien is
sought, during any of the 6 collection years immediately prior
to the current collection year in which the notice of discovery
is served. Prior to recording the lien against the property,
the chief county assessment officer shall cause to be served,
by both regular mail and certified mail, return receipt
requested, on the person to whom the most recent tax bill was
mailed and the owner of record, a notice of intent to record a
lien against the property. The chief county assessment officer
shall cause the notice of intent to record a lien to be served
within 3 years from the date on which the notice of discovery
was served.
(c-5) The notice of discovery described in subsection (c)
shall: (1) identify, by property index number, the property for
which the chief county assessment officer has knowledge
indicating the existence of an erroneous homestead exemption;
(2) set forth the taxpayer's liability for principal, interest,
penalties, and administrative costs including, but not limited
to, recording fees described in subsection (f); (3) inform the
taxpayer that he or she will be served with a notice of intent
to record a lien within 3 years from the date of service of the
notice of discovery; (4) inform the taxpayer that he or she may
pay the outstanding amount, plus interest, penalties, and
administrative costs at any time prior to being served with the
notice of intent to record a lien or within 30 days after the
notice of intent to record a lien is served; and (5) inform the
taxpayer that, if the taxpayer provided notice to the chief
county assessment officer as provided in subsection (d-1) of
Section 15-175 of this Code, upon submission by the taxpayer of
evidence of timely notice and receipt thereof by the chief
county assessment officer, the chief county assessment officer
will withdraw the notice of discovery and reissue a notice of
discovery in compliance with this Section in which the taxpayer
is not liable for interest and penalties for the current tax
year in which the notice was received.
For the purposes of this subsection (c-5):
"Collection year" means the year in which the first and
second installment of the current tax year is billed.
"Current tax year" means the year prior to the collection
year.
(d) The notice of intent to record a lien described in
subsection (c) shall: (1) identify, by property index number,
the property against which the lien is being sought; (2)
identify each specific homestead exemption that was
erroneously granted and the year or years in which each
exemption was granted; (3) set forth the erroneous exemption
principal amount due and the interest amount and any penalty
and administrative costs due; (4) inform the taxpayer that he
or she may request a hearing within 30 days after service and
may appeal the hearing officer's ruling to the circuit court;
(5) inform the taxpayer that he or she may pay the erroneous
exemption principal amount, plus interest and penalties,
within 30 days after service; and (6) inform the taxpayer that,
if the lien is recorded against the property, the amount of the
lien will be adjusted to include the applicable recording fee
and that fees for recording a release of the lien shall be
incurred by the taxpayer. A lien shall not be filed pursuant to
this Section if the taxpayer pays the erroneous exemption
principal amount, plus penalties and interest, within 30 days
of service of the notice of intent to record a lien.
(e) The notice of intent to record a lien shall also
include a form that the taxpayer may return to the chief county
assessment officer to request a hearing. The taxpayer may
request a hearing by returning the form within 30 days after
service. The hearing shall be held within 90 days after the
taxpayer is served. The chief county assessment officer shall
promulgate rules of service and procedure for the hearing. The
chief county assessment officer must generally follow rules of
evidence and practices that prevail in the county circuit
courts, but, because of the nature of these proceedings, the
chief county assessment officer is not bound by those rules in
all particulars. The chief county assessment officer shall
appoint a hearing officer to oversee the hearing. The taxpayer
shall be allowed to present evidence to the hearing officer at
the hearing. After taking into consideration all the relevant
testimony and evidence, the hearing officer shall make an
administrative decision on whether the taxpayer was
erroneously granted a homestead exemption for the taxable year
in question. The taxpayer may appeal the hearing officer's
ruling to the circuit court of the county where the property is
located as a final administrative decision under the
Administrative Review Law.
(f) A lien against the property imposed under this Section
shall be filed with the county recorder of deeds, but may not
be filed sooner than 60 days after the notice of intent to
record a lien was delivered to the taxpayer if the taxpayer
does not request a hearing, or until the conclusion of the
hearing and all appeals if the taxpayer does request a hearing.
If a lien is filed pursuant to this Section and the taxpayer
received one or 2 erroneous homestead exemptions during any of
the 3 collection years immediately prior to the current
collection year in which the notice of discovery is served,
then the erroneous exemption principal amount, plus 10%
interest per annum or portion thereof from the date the
erroneous exemption principal amount would have become due if
properly included in the tax bill, shall be charged against the
property by the chief county assessment officer. However, if a
lien is filed pursuant to this Section and the taxpayer
received 3 or more erroneous homestead exemptions during any of
the 6 collection years immediately prior to the current
collection year in which the notice of discovery is served, the
erroneous exemption principal amount, plus a penalty of 50% of
the total amount of the erroneous exemption principal amount
for that property and 10% interest per annum or portion thereof
from the date the erroneous exemption principal amount would
have become due if properly included in the tax bill, shall be
charged against the property by the chief county assessment
officer. If a lien is filed pursuant to this Section, the
taxpayer shall not be liable for interest that accrues between
the date the notice of discovery is served and the date the
lien is filed. Before recording the lien with the county
recorder of deeds, the chief county assessment officer shall
adjust the amount of the lien to add administrative costs,
including but not limited to the applicable recording fee, to
the total lien amount.
(g) If a person received an erroneous homestead exemption
under Section 15-170 and: (1) the person was the spouse, child,
grandchild, brother, sister, niece, or nephew of the previous
taxpayer; and (2) the person received the property by bequest
or inheritance; then the person is not liable for the penalties
imposed under this Section for any year or years during which
the chief county assessment officer did not require an annual
application for the exemption or, in a county with 3,000,000 or
more inhabitants, an application for renewal of a multi-year
exemption pursuant to subsection (i) of Section 15-170, as the
case may be. However, that person is responsible for any
interest owed under subsection (f).
(h) If the erroneous homestead exemption was granted as a
result of a clerical error or omission on the part of the chief
county assessment officer, and if the taxpayer has paid the tax
bills as received for the year in which the error occurred,
then the interest and penalties authorized by this Section with
respect to that homestead exemption shall not be chargeable to
the taxpayer. However, nothing in this Section shall prevent
the collection of the erroneous exemption principal amount due
and owing.
(i) A lien under this Section is not valid as to (1) any
bona fide purchaser for value without notice of the erroneous
homestead exemption whose rights in and to the underlying
parcel arose after the erroneous homestead exemption was
granted but before the filing of the notice of lien; or (2) any
mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other lienor whose rights in
and to the underlying parcel arose before the filing of the
notice of lien. A title insurance policy for the property that
is issued by a title company licensed to do business in the
State showing that the property is free and clear of any liens
imposed under this Section shall be prima facie evidence that
the taxpayer is without notice of the erroneous homestead
exemption. Nothing in this Section shall be deemed to impair
the rights of subsequent creditors and subsequent purchasers
under Section 30 of the Conveyances Act.
(j) When a lien is filed against the property pursuant to
this Section, the chief county assessment officer shall mail a
copy of the lien to the person to whom the most recent tax bill
was mailed and to the owner of record, and the outstanding
liability created by such a lien is due and payable within 30
days after the mailing of the lien by the chief county
assessment officer. This liability is deemed delinquent and
shall bear interest beginning on the day after the due date at
a rate of 1.5% per month or portion thereof. Payment shall be
made to the county treasurer. Upon receipt of the full amount
due, as determined by the chief county assessment officer, the
county treasurer shall distribute the amount paid as provided
in subsection (k). Upon presentment by the taxpayer to the
chief county assessment officer of proof of payment of the
total liability, the chief county assessment officer shall
provide in reasonable form a release of the lien. The release
of the lien provided shall clearly inform the taxpayer that it
is the responsibility of the taxpayer to record the lien
release form with the county recorder of deeds and to pay any
applicable recording fees.
(k) The county treasurer shall pay collected erroneous
exemption principal amounts, pro rata, to the taxing districts,
or their legal successors, that levied upon the subject
property in the taxable year or years for which the erroneous
homestead exemptions were granted, except as set forth in this
Section. The county treasurer shall deposit collected
penalties and interest into a special fund established by the
county treasurer to offset the costs of administration of the
provisions of this Section by the chief county assessment
officer's office, as appropriated by the county board. If the
costs of administration of this Section exceed the amount of
interest and penalties collected in the special fund, the chief
county assessor shall be reimbursed by each taxing district or
their legal successors for those costs. Such costs shall be
paid out of the funds collected by the county treasurer on
behalf of each taxing district pursuant to this Section.
(l) The chief county assessment officer in a county with
3,000,000 or more inhabitants shall establish an amnesty period
for all taxpayers owing any tax due to an erroneous homestead
exemption granted in a tax year prior to the 2013 tax year. The
amnesty period shall begin on the effective date of this
amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly and shall run
through December 31, 2013. If, during the amnesty period, the
taxpayer pays the entire arrearage of taxes due for tax years
prior to 2013, the county clerk shall abate and not seek to
collect any interest or penalties that may be applicable and
shall not seek civil or criminal prosecution for any taxpayer
for tax years prior to 2013. Failure to pay all such taxes due
during the amnesty period established under this Section shall
invalidate the amnesty period for that taxpayer.
The chief county assessment officer in a county with
3,000,000 or more inhabitants shall (i) mail notice of the
amnesty period with the tax bills for the second installment of
taxes for the 2012 assessment year and (ii) as soon as possible
after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th
General Assembly, publish notice of the amnesty period in a
newspaper of general circulation in the county. Notices shall
include information on the amnesty period, its purpose, and the
method by which to make payment.
Taxpayers who are a party to any criminal investigation or
to any civil or criminal litigation that is pending in any
circuit court or appellate court, or in the Supreme Court of
this State, for nonpayment, delinquency, or fraud in relation
to any property tax imposed by any taxing district located in
the State on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the
98th General Assembly may not take advantage of the amnesty
period.
A taxpayer who has claimed 3 or more homestead exemptions
in error shall not be eligible for the amnesty period
established under this subsection.
(m) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for taxable
years 2020 through 2024, in counties with 3,000,000 or more
inhabitants, the chief county assessment officer shall, if he
or she learns that a taxpayer who has been granted a senior
citizens homestead exemption has died during the period to
which the exemption applies, send a notice to the address on
record for the owner of record of the property notifying the
owner that the exemption will be terminated unless, within 90
days after the notice is sent, the chief county assessment
officer is provided with a basis to continue the exemption. The
notice shall be sent by first-class mail, in an envelope that
bears on its front, in boldface red lettering that is at least
one inch in size, the words "Notice of Exemption Termination";
however, if the taxpayer elects to receive the notice by email
and provides an email address, then the notice shall be sent by
email.
(Source: P.A. 98-93, eff. 7-16-13; 98-756, eff. 7-16-14;
98-811, eff. 1-1-15; 98-1143, eff. 1-1-15; 99-143, eff.
7-27-15; 99-851, eff. 8-19-16.)
(35 ILCS 200/15-170)
Sec. 15-170. Senior citizens homestead exemption.
(a) An annual homestead exemption limited, except as
described here with relation to cooperatives or life care
facilities, to a maximum reduction set forth below from the
property's value, as equalized or assessed by the Department,
is granted for property that is occupied as a residence by a
person 65 years of age or older who is liable for paying real
estate taxes on the property and is an owner of record of the
property or has a legal or equitable interest therein as
evidenced by a written instrument, except for a leasehold
interest, other than a leasehold interest of land on which a
single family residence is located, which is occupied as a
residence by a person 65 years or older who has an ownership
interest therein, legal, equitable or as a lessee, and on which
he or she is liable for the payment of property taxes. Before
taxable year 2004, the maximum reduction shall be $2,500 in
counties with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants and $2,000 in all
other counties. For taxable years 2004 through 2005, the
maximum reduction shall be $3,000 in all counties. For taxable
years 2006 and 2007, the maximum reduction shall be $3,500. For
taxable years 2008 through 2011, the maximum reduction is
$4,000 in all counties. For taxable year 2012, the maximum
reduction is $5,000 in counties with 3,000,000 or more
inhabitants and $4,000 in all other counties. For taxable years
2013 through 2016, the maximum reduction is $5,000 in all
counties. For taxable years 2017 and thereafter, the maximum
reduction is $8,000 in counties with 3,000,000 or more
inhabitants and $5,000 in all other counties.
(b) For land improved with an apartment building owned and
operated as a cooperative, the maximum reduction from the value
of the property, as equalized by the Department, shall be
multiplied by the number of apartments or units occupied by a
person 65 years of age or older who is liable, by contract with
the owner or owners of record, for paying property taxes on the
property and is an owner of record of a legal or equitable
interest in the cooperative apartment building, other than a
leasehold interest. For land improved with a life care
facility, the maximum reduction from the value of the property,
as equalized by the Department, shall be multiplied by the
number of apartments or units occupied by persons 65 years of
age or older, irrespective of any legal, equitable, or
leasehold interest in the facility, who are liable, under a
contract with the owner or owners of record of the facility,
for paying property taxes on the property. In a cooperative or
a life care facility where a homestead exemption has been
granted, the cooperative association or the management firm of
the cooperative or facility shall credit the savings resulting
from that exemption only to the apportioned tax liability of
the owner or resident who qualified for the exemption. Any
person who willfully refuses to so credit the savings shall be
guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. Under this Section and
Sections 15-175, 15-176, and 15-177, "life care facility" means
a facility, as defined in Section 2 of the Life Care Facilities
Act, with which the applicant for the homestead exemption has a
life care contract as defined in that Act.
(c) When a homestead exemption has been granted under this
Section and the person qualifying subsequently becomes a
resident of a facility licensed under the Assisted Living and
Shared Housing Act, the Nursing Home Care Act, the Specialized
Mental Health Rehabilitation Act of 2013, the ID/DD Community
Care Act, or the MC/DD Act, the exemption shall continue so
long as the residence continues to be occupied by the
qualifying person's spouse if the spouse is 65 years of age or
older, or if the residence remains unoccupied but is still
owned by the person qualified for the homestead exemption.
(d) A person who will be 65 years of age during the current
assessment year shall be eligible to apply for the homestead
exemption during that assessment year. Application shall be
made during the application period in effect for the county of
his residence.
(e) Beginning with assessment year 2003, for taxes payable
in 2004, property that is first occupied as a residence after
January 1 of any assessment year by a person who is eligible
for the senior citizens homestead exemption under this Section
must be granted a pro-rata exemption for the assessment year.
The amount of the pro-rata exemption is the exemption allowed
in the county under this Section divided by 365 and multiplied
by the number of days during the assessment year the property
is occupied as a residence by a person eligible for the
exemption under this Section. The chief county assessment
officer must adopt reasonable procedures to establish
eligibility for this pro-rata exemption.
(f) The assessor or chief county assessment officer may
determine the eligibility of a life care facility to receive
the benefits provided by this Section, by affidavit,
application, visual inspection, questionnaire or other
reasonable methods in order to insure that the tax savings
resulting from the exemption are credited by the management
firm to the apportioned tax liability of each qualifying
resident. The assessor may request reasonable proof that the
management firm has so credited the exemption.
(g) The chief county assessment officer of each county with
less than 3,000,000 inhabitants shall provide to each person
allowed a homestead exemption under this Section a form to
designate any other person to receive a duplicate of any notice
of delinquency in the payment of taxes assessed and levied
under this Code on the property of the person receiving the
exemption. The duplicate notice shall be in addition to the
notice required to be provided to the person receiving the
exemption, and shall be given in the manner required by this
Code. The person filing the request for the duplicate notice
shall pay a fee of $5 to cover administrative costs to the
supervisor of assessments, who shall then file the executed
designation with the county collector. Notwithstanding any
other provision of this Code to the contrary, the filing of
such an executed designation requires the county collector to
provide duplicate notices as indicated by the designation. A
designation may be rescinded by the person who executed such
designation at any time, in the manner and form required by the
chief county assessment officer.
(h) The assessor or chief county assessment officer may
determine the eligibility of residential property to receive
the homestead exemption provided by this Section by
application, visual inspection, questionnaire or other
reasonable methods. The determination shall be made in
accordance with guidelines established by the Department.
(i) In counties with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants, for
taxable years beginning in taxable year 2010 through 2019, and
beginning again in taxable year 2025, each taxpayer who has
been granted an exemption under this Section must reapply on an
annual basis.
If a reapplication is required, then the The chief county
assessment officer shall mail the application to the taxpayer
at least 60 days prior to the last day of the application
period for the county.
For taxable years 2020 through 2024, in counties with
3,000,000 or more inhabitants, a taxpayer who has been granted
an exemption under this Section need not reapply. However, if
the property ceases to be qualified for the exemption under
this Section in any year for which a reapplication is not
required under this Section, then the owner of record of the
property shall notify the chief county assessment officer that
the property is no longer qualified. In addition, for taxable
years 2020 through 2024, the chief county assessment officer of
a county with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants shall enter into an
intergovernmental agreement with the county clerk of that
county and the Department of Public Health, as well as any
other appropriate governmental agency, to obtain information
that documents the death of a taxpayer who has been granted an
exemption under this Section. Notwithstanding any other
provision of law, the county clerk and the Department of Public
Health shall provide that information to the chief county
assessment officer. The Department of Public Health shall
supply this information no less frequently than every calendar
quarter. Information concerning the death of a taxpayer may be
shared with the county treasurer. The chief county assessment
officer shall also enter into a data exchange agreement with
the Social Security Administration or its agent to obtain
access to the information regarding deaths in possession of the
Social Security Administration. The chief county assessment
officer shall, subject to the notice requirements under
subsection (m) of Section 9-275, terminate the exemption under
this Section if the information obtained indicates that the
property is no longer qualified for the exemption. In counties
with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants, the assessor and the county
recorder of deeds shall establish policies and practices for
the regular exchange of information for the purpose of alerting
the assessor whenever the transfer of ownership of any property
receiving an exemption under this Section has occurred. When
such a transfer occurs, the assessor shall mail a notice to the
new owner of the property (i) informing the new owner that the
exemption will remain in place through the year of the
transfer, after which it will be canceled, and (ii) providing
information pertaining to the rules for reapplying for the
exemption if the owner qualifies. In counties with 3,000,000 or
more inhabitants, the chief county assessment official shall
conduct audits of all exemptions granted under this Section no
later than December 31, 2022 and no later than December 31,
2024. The audit shall be designed to ascertain whether any
senior homestead exemptions have been granted erroneously. If
it is determined that a senior homestead exemption has been
erroneously applied to a property, the chief county assessment
officer shall make use of the appropriate provisions of Section
9-275 in relation to the property that received the erroneous
homestead exemption.
(j) In counties with less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, the
county board may by resolution provide that if a person has
been granted a homestead exemption under this Section, the
person qualifying need not reapply for the exemption.
In counties with less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, if the
assessor or chief county assessment officer requires annual
application for verification of eligibility for an exemption
once granted under this Section, the application shall be
mailed to the taxpayer.
(l) The assessor or chief county assessment officer shall
notify each person who qualifies for an exemption under this
Section that the person may also qualify for deferral of real
estate taxes under the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral
Act. The notice shall set forth the qualifications needed for
deferral of real estate taxes, the address and telephone number
of county collector, and a statement that applications for
deferral of real estate taxes may be obtained from the county
collector.
(m) Notwithstanding Sections 6 and 8 of the State Mandates
Act, no reimbursement by the State is required for the
implementation of any mandate created by this Section.
(Source: P.A. 99-180, eff. 7-29-15; 100-401, eff. 8-25-17.)
Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.
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