Rep. Stephens Urges Property Tax Relief

Chicago… In response to the enormous economic burdens residents are facing due to Covid-19 State Representative Brad Stephens (R–Chicago) is urging property tax relief.

Stephens urged Governor Pritzker to fully fund local governments by restoring funding to the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF), and in addition sent a letter to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle urging property tax relief for homeowners by delaying property tax payments.

“The 20th District includes communities that heavily rely on industries that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the restaurant industry, entertainment industry, and the airport and tourism industry,” said Rep. Stephens. “Unfortunately, this has left many residents in financial limbo until the economy can safely reopen. Struggling homeowners would benefit from delaying property tax payments, and in these uncertain times the State must fully fund our local governments to prevent further property tax increase.”

Every county and municipality currently receives some LGDF funding, but in order to balance the budget funding was cut. These same cities are seeing revenues decline due to smaller sales tax and property revenues because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing stay at home orders. Funding local governments through LGDF distributions also plays a vital role in keeping local property tax burdens low. Without additional LGDF funding, many communities across Illinois will be forced to either drastically cut essential services or explore increasing fees or property tax hikes.

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas presented a plan to give property owners more time to pay their tax bills extending the property tax payments from the original due date of August 1 until October 1, for both residential homeowners and businesses. There are approximately 1.7 million property owners in Cook County who would benefit from the payment flexibility proposed in this plan.

“These actions will provide necessary temporary relief for property owners, provide stability for local governments, and help hold the line on property taxes for struggling families,” emphasized Stephens.

To view the letter on LGDF click here, and to view the letter on Cook County’s property tax program click here.