Batinick Introduces Property Tax Relief Legislation for Last Week of Veto Session

SPRINGFIELD – This month, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) introduced legislation to provide property tax relief for Illinoisans. House Bill 5834 would begin the Education Property Tax Relief Fund for Fiscal Year 2024 to annually award property tax relief grants to Illinois school districts and provide needed property tax relief for Illinois families.

“Illinois’ sky-high property taxes are some of the most regressive taxes we have,” said Rep. Batinick. “They inhibit growth, burden taxpayers, and contribute to population loss in our great state. My legislation will provide relief for hardworking taxpayers struggling during this period of inflation and provide relief for Illinois school districts. As we enter our last week of veto session in Springfield, I urge my colleagues in the House to debate this legislation and work together to deliver this relief. It would be a shame to let this opportunity to help our constituents pass us by.”

HB 5834 would also direct the Illinois State Board of Education to administer an annual program for awarding property tax relief grants to school districts. In exchange for participating school districts, their annual special purpose tax extensions cannot exceed the “adjusted maximum property tax extension,” which is the property tax extension a district can legally levy for a taxable year minus the grant amount received in the fiscal year that ended during that taxable year. This legislation would also establish the Education Property Tax Relief Fund in the State treasury and money will be awarded proportionately to schools on a “per pupil average daily attendance basis.”

Rep. Batinick has been a long-time advocate for lower property taxes in Illinois in the House of Representatives and introduced ideas in the past year to achieve this goal. In September, Rep. Batinick introduced a policy plan to take advantage of Illinois having moved past the peak of pension payments in terms of percentage of the state budget by dedicating future savings to property tax relief. It would accomplish this by utilizing advantages the state has—time, inflation, pension buyouts—and locking in 25% of the budget for pension payments in property tax relief. As the portion of the budget dedicated to pensions decreases, the portion dedicated to property tax relief will increase.

Rep. Batinick’s property tax plan would result in an eventual 50% reduction in property taxes in some of the hardest-hit areas of the state. According to the Tax Foundation, Illinois was ranked the second highest state in the nation in terms of property tax rates at 2.05% in 2020. A September 2022 report by The Civic Federation identified that in tax year 2020, property tax extensions for all Illinois taxing districts were $33.8 billion, of which 61.5% was for school districts.