Budget Cycle and Tax Bills
As the stay at home order lingers on, nothing stops real estate tax bills. The bills are being mailed the first week of May. The problem is the amount of taxes levied cannot be changed or reduced.
The cycle of computing real estate taxes begins in November of the prior year (2019) when taxing bodies develop their budget and determine the amount of money needed from property taxes to provide services. This amount is called the levy request. The levy request for tax dollars is submitted to the County Clerk in December. After determining the allowable funding under Illinois law, the amount of the extension is computed. The extension of property taxes is normally finalized by April. Finally, tax bills are printed in May with the installments due in June and September.
Given this timetable the real estate tax cycle is behind the current crisis environment. These circumstances cannot have been predicted and at this point changes to the current budgets and real estate taxes cannot be made.
The impacts of funding and spending to the various taxing bodies is different for each jurisdiction. I can only speak to the actions being taken at the Township level. We are reducing our expenditures this year which will create “reserves”. Next year we will adjust our budgets downward and spend down our reserves. This will result in decrease amounts required from the property taxes payable in 2021 and future years.
Lake County Clerk – Tax Extension Process