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Public Act 095-0633


 

Public Act 0633 95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY



 


 
Public Act 095-0633
 
SB0017 Enrolled LRB095 07253 BDD 27388 b

    AN ACT concerning revenue.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Property Tax Code is amended by adding
Divisions 16 and 17 to Article 10 as follows:
 
    (35 ILCS 200/Art. 10 Div. 16 heading new)
DIVISION 16. CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP LAW

 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-400 new)
    Sec. 10-400. Short title; findings and policy.
    (a) This Division may be cited as the Conservation
Stewardship Law.
    (b) The General Assembly finds that it is in the best
interest of this State to maintain, preserve, conserve, and
manage unimproved land to assure the protection of these
limited and unique environmental resources for the economic and
social well-being of the State and its citizens.
    The General Assembly further finds that, to maximize
voluntary taxpayer participation in conservation programs,
conservation should be recognized as a legitimate land use and
taxpayers should have a full range of incentive programs from
which to choose.
    Therefore, the General Assembly declares that it is in the
public interest to prevent the forced conversion of unimproved
land to more intensive uses as a result of economic pressures
caused by the property tax system at values incompatible with
their preservation and management as unimproved land, and that
a program should be designed to permit the continued
availability of this land for these purposes.
    The General Assembly further declares that the following
provisions are intended to allow for the conservation,
management, and assessment of unimproved land generally
suitable for the perpetual growth and preservation of such land
in this State.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-405 new)
    Sec. 10-405. Definitions. As used in this Division:
    "Unimproved land" means woodlands, prairie, wetlands, or
other vacant and undeveloped land that is not used for any
residential or commercial purpose that materially disturbs the
land.
    "Conservation management plan" means a plan approved by the
Department of Natural Resources that specifies conservation
and management practices, including uses that will be conducted
to preserve and restore unimproved land.
    "Managed land" means unimproved land of 5 contiguous acres
or more that is subject to a conservation management plan.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-410 new)
    Sec. 10-410. Conservation management plan; rules. The
Department of Natural Resources shall adopt rules specifying
the form and content of a conservation management plan
sufficient for managed land to be valued under this Division.
The rules adopted under this Section must require a description
of the managed land and must specify the conservation and
management practices that are appropriate to preserve and
maintain unimproved land in this State and any other
conservation practices.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-415 new)
    Sec. 10-415. Plan submission and review; approval.
    (a) A taxpayer requesting special valuation of unimproved
land under this Division must first submit a conservation
management plan for that land to the Department of Natural
Resources for review. The Department of Natural Resources shall
review each submitted plan for compliance with the standards
and criteria set forth in its rules.
    (b) Upon approval, the Department of Natural Resources
shall issue to the taxpayer a written declaration that the land
is subject to a conservation management plan approved by the
Department of Natural Resources.
    (c) The Department of Natural Resources shall reapprove the
plan every 10 years and revise it when necessary or
appropriate.
    (d) If a plan is not approved, then the Department of
Natural Resources shall state the reasons for the denial and
provide the taxpayer an opportunity to amend the plan to
conform to the requirements of this Division. If the
application is denied a second time, the taxpayer may appeal
the decision to an independent 3-member panel to be established
within the Department of Natural Resources.
    (e) The submission of an application for a conservation
management plan under this Section or of a forestry management
plan under Section 10-150 shall be treated as compliance with
the requirements of that plan until the Department of Natural
Resources can review the application. The Department of Natural
Resources shall certify, to the Department, these applications
as being approved plans for the purpose of this Division.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-420 new)
    Sec. 10-420. Special valuation of managed land;
exceptions.
    (a) In all counties, except for Cook County, beginning with
assessments made in 2008 and thereafter, managed land for which
an application has been approved under Section 10-415 that
contains 5 or more contiguous acres is valued at 5% of its fair
cash value.
    (b) The special valuation under this Section does not apply
to (i) any land that has been assessed as farmland under
Sections 10-110 through 10-145, (ii) land valued under Section
10-152 or 10-153, (iii) land valued as open space under Section
10-155, (iv) land certified under Section 10-167, or (v) any
property dedicated as a nature preserve or a nature preserve
buffer under the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act and
assessed in accordance with subsection (e) of Section 9-145.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-425 new)
    Sec. 10-425. Certification.
    (a) The Department of Natural Resources shall certify to
the Department a list of applications approved under Section
10-415. This list must contain the following information for
each approved application:
        (1) the name and address of the taxpayer;
        (2) the county in which the land is located;
        (3) the size and each property index number or legal
    description of the land that was approved; and
        (4) copies of the taxpayer's approved conservation
    management plan.
    (b) Within 30 days after the receipt of this information,
the Department shall notify in writing the chief county
assessment officer of each parcel of land covered by an
approved conservation management plan and application. The
chief county assessment officer shall determine the valuation
of the land as otherwise permitted by law and as required under
Section 10-420 of this Division, and shall list them
separately.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-430 new)
    Sec. 10-430. Withdrawal from special valuation.
    (a) If any of the following events occur, then the
Department of Natural Resources shall withdraw all or a portion
of the land from special valuation:
        (1) the Department of Natural Resources determines,
    based on field inspections or from any other reasonable
    evidence, that the land no longer meets the criteria under
    this Division; or
        (2) the failure of the taxpayer to respond to a request
    from the Department of Natural Resources or the chief
    county assessment officer of each county in which the
    property is located for data regarding the use of the land
    or other similar information pertinent to the continued
    special valuation of the land.
    (b) A determination by the Department of Natural Resources
to withdraw land from the special valuation under this Act is
effective on the following January 1 of the assessment year in
which the withdrawal occurred.
    (c) The Department of Natural Resources shall notify the
chief county assessment officer and the Department in writing
of any land withdrawn from special valuation. Upon withdrawal,
additional taxes must be calculated as provided in Section
10-445.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-435 new)
    Sec. 10-435. Recapture.
    (a) If, in any taxable year that the taxpayer receives a
special valuation under Section 10-470, the taxpayer does not
comply with the conservation management plan, then the taxpayer
shall, by the following September 1, pay to the county
treasurer the difference between: (i) the taxes paid for that
year and; (ii) what the taxes for that year would have been
based on a valuation otherwise permitted by law.
    (b) If the amount under subsection (a) is not paid by the
following September 1, then that amount is considered to be
delinquent property taxes.
    (c) If a taxpayer who currently owns land in (i) a forestry
management plan under Section 10-150 or (ii) land registered or
encumbered by conservation rights under Section 10-166 that
would qualify for the tax assessment under this Division, then
the taxpayer may apply for reassessment under this Division and
shall not be penalized for doing so.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-440 new)
    Sec. 10-440. Sale or transfer of unimproved land. The sale
or transfer of unimproved land does not affect the valuation of
the land, unless there is a change in the use of the land or the
acreage requirement is no longer met. Any tract of land
containing less than 5 acres after a sale or transfer may be
reclassified by the chief county assessment officer and valued
as otherwise permitted by law. The taxpayer and the Department
of Natural Resources may revise a conservation management plan
whenever there is a change in the ownership of the affected
land.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-445 new)
    Sec. 10-445. Rules. The Department of Natural Resources
shall adopt rules to implement and administer this Act.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/Art. 10 Div. 17 heading new)
DIVISION 17. WOODED ACREAGE ASSESSMENT TRANSITION LAW

 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-500 new)
    Sec. 10-500. Short title. This Division may be cited as the
Wooded Acreage Assessment Transition Law.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-505 new)
    Sec. 10-505. Wooded acreage defined. For the purposes of
this Division 17, "wooded acreage" means any parcel of
unimproved real property that:
        (1) can be defined as "wooded acreage" by the United
    States Department of Labor Bureau of Land Management;
        (2) is at least 5 contiguous acres;
        (3) does not qualify as cropland, permanent pasture,
    other farmland, or wasteland under Section 10-125 of this
    Code;
        (4) is not managed under a forestry management plan and
    considered to be other farmland under Section 10-150 of
    this Code;
        (5) does not qualify for another preferential
    assessment under this Code; and
        (6) is owned by the taxpayer on October 1, 2007.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-510 new)
    Sec. 10-510. Assessment of wooded acreage.
    (a) If wooded acreage was classified as farmland during the
2006 assessment year, then the property shall be assessed by
multiplying the current fair cash value of the property by the
transition percentage. The chief county assessment officer
shall determine the transition percentage for the property by
dividing (i) the property's 2006 equalized assessed value as
farmland by (ii) the 2006 fair cash value of the property.
    (b) The wooded acreage shall continue to be assessed under
the provisions of this Section through any assessment year in
which the property is transferred or no longer qualifies as
wooded acreage under Section 10-505, and the property must be
assessed as otherwise permitted by law beginning the following
assessment year.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-515 new)
    Sec. 10-515. Notice requirement. If the owner of property
subject to this Division is a corporation, partnership, limited
liability company, trust, or other similar entity, then it
shall report to the chief county assessment officer any change
in ownership interest or beneficial interest. If, after October
1, 2007, the ownership interests or beneficial interests in
such an entity change by more than 50% from those interests as
they existed on October 1, 2007, then the property no longer
qualifies to receive the preferential assessment treatment of
the wooded acreage under this Division, and the property must
be assessed as otherwise permitted by law beginning the
following assessment year.
 
    (35 ILCS 200/10-520 new)
    Sec. 10-520. Cook County exempt. This Division 17 does not
apply to any property located within Cook County.
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 10/01/2007