New legislation filed this week would allow residents in Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) counties to lower their property tax bills via referendum, an ability that is currently only given to residents in non-PTELL counties.
PTELL was designed as a system to set caps on how much property taxes can increase each year. However, since the system was first instituted in 1990, property taxes have actually grown faster in PTELL counties, despite the caps.
PTELL limits local governments to only increasing their tax revenue by 5 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower, per year. Voters in PTELL counties have the option of raising their rates via referendum but are not currently allowed to lower them in the same way.
Senate Bill 2670, filed by State Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods), establishes the petition and voting requirements that would be required to place a referendum to lower property taxes on the ballot in PTELL counties.
The legislation is currently assigned to the Senate Revenue Committee.