Relevant Laws: Property Tax Extension Limitation Law of the State of Illinois

January 26, 2015 by Enzo Incandela, Associate | James M. Snyder, Partner
Adherence to federal and state laws is a required component of any bond issuance for the borrowing to be binding and legally valid. Below is a sampling of current laws governing the borrowing activities of school districts.

Property Tax Extension Limitation Law of the State of Illinois. The Limitation Law limits the annual growth in the amount of property taxes to be extended for certain Illinois non-home rule units of government. In general, the annual growth permitted under the Limitation Law is the lesser of 5% or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index during the calendar year proceeding the levy year. Taxes can also be increased due to new construction, referendum approval of tax rate increases, mergers and consolidations. The Limitation Law currently applies to Cook County, the collar counties, and counties that have specifically approved the Limitation Law by referendum. Under the legislation, the county board of any such county can initiate a binding tax cap referendum at any regularly scheduled election other than the consolidated primary, which is the February election in odd-numbered years. If the referendum is successful, then the Limitation Law will become applicable to those non-home rule taxing bodies having all of their equalized assessed valuation in the county beginning January 1 of the year following the date of the referendum. School districts subject to the Limitation Law are able to issue limited bonds in lieu of general obligation bonds authorized by applicable law payable from a separate tax levy unlimited as to rate but limited by amount pursuant to the Limitation Law. Limited bonds are payable from the school district’s debt service extension base (generally nonreferendum bond levy (excluding alternate bonds) for year to which Limitation Law first applied). The Limitation Law does not restrict referendum approved general obligation bonds and alternate bonds.

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