Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJRCA0030
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Full Text of HJRCA0030  100th General Assembly



State of Illinois
2017 and 2018


Introduced , by Rep. Thomas Morrison


ILCON Art. IX, Sec. 12 new

    Proposes to amend the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution. Creates the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. Provides that the State, units of local government, and school districts must have referendum approval to: (1) enact a new tax, tax rate increase, valuation for assessment ratio increase for a property class, extend an expiring tax, or enact certain tax policy changes; or (2) incur certain obligations without adequate cash reserves. Contains provisions concerning emergency taxes. Contains provisions setting spending limits for the State, units of local government, and school districts. Effective upon being declared adopted.

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HC0030LRB100 03911 HLH 13916 e


5CONCURRING HEREIN, that there shall be submitted to the
6electors of the State for adoption or rejection at the general
7election next occurring at least 6 months after the adoption of
8this resolution a proposition to amend the Illinois
9Constitution by adding Section 12 to Article IX as follows:

12    (ILCON Art. IX, Sec. 12 new)
14    (a) This Section shall be construed to reasonably restrain
15the growth of government. All provisions are self-executing and
16severable and supersede conflicting provisions of State and
17local law. Other limits on revenue, spending, and debt incurred
18by districts may be weakened only by future voter approval.
19Individual or class action enforcement suits may be filed and
20shall have the highest civil priority of resolution. Successful
21plaintiffs are allowed costs and reasonable attorney fees, but
22a district shall not be allowed those costs and fees unless the
23suit against it is ruled frivolous. Revenue collected, kept, or



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1spent illegally since 4 full fiscal years before a suit is
2filed shall be refunded with 10% annual simple interest from
3the initial conduct. Subject to judicial review, districts may
4use any reasonable method for refunds under this Section,
5including temporary tax credits or rate reductions. Refunds
6need not be proportional when prior payments are impractical to
7identify or return. When annual district revenue is less than
8annual payments on general obligation bonds, pensions, and
9final court judgments against the district, subsections (b) and
10(d) shall be suspended to provide for the deficiency.
11    (b) Beginning on January 1 of the first calendar year after
12this Section takes effect, districts must have voter approval
13in advance to:
14        (1) except as provided in subsection (a) or subsection
15    (c), enact any new tax or tax rate increase, extend an
16    expiring tax, or implement a tax policy change directly
17    causing a net tax revenue gain to any district; and
18        (2) except for refinancing indebtedness of the
19    district at a lower interest rate or adding new employees
20    to existing district pension plans, issue bonds or other
21    evidences of indebtedness that mature after the last day of
22    the fiscal year in which they are issued without adequate
23    present cash reserves pledged irrevocably and held for
24    payments in all future fiscal years.
25    (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b), a
26district may impose emergency taxes, subject to the following



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2        (1) in the case of emergency taxes imposed by the
3    State, a 2/3 majority of the members of each house of the
4    General Assembly must declare the emergency and impose the
5    tax by separate recorded roll call votes;
6        (2) in the case of emergency taxes imposed by a unit of
7    local government or school district, a 2/3 majority of the
8    governing body of the unit of local government or school
9    district must declare the emergency and impose the tax by
10    separate recorded roll call votes;
11        (3) emergency tax revenue shall be spent only after
12    emergency reserves are depleted and shall be refunded
13    within 180 days after the emergency ends if not spent on
14    the emergency;
15        (4) a tax not approved on the next election date 60
16    days or more after the declaration shall end with that
17    election month; and
18        (5) emergency property taxes are prohibited.
19    (d) Each district shall reserve 3% or more of its fiscal
20year spending, excluding bonded debt service, to be used for
21declared emergencies only. Unused reserves may be applied to
22the next year's reserve.
23    (e) The maximum annual percentage change in State fiscal
24year spending equals inflation plus the percentage change in
25State population in the prior calendar year, adjusted for
26revenue changes approved by voters after the effective date of



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1this Section. Population shall be determined by annual federal
2census estimates, and such number shall be adjusted every
3decade to match the federal census.
4    The maximum annual percentage change in each local
5district's fiscal year spending equals inflation in the prior
6calendar year plus annual local growth, adjusted for revenue
7changes approved by voters after the effective date of this
8Section and reductions otherwise required under this Section.
9    The maximum annual percentage change in each district's
10property tax revenue equals inflation in the prior calendar
11year plus annual local growth, adjusted for property tax
12revenue changes approved by voters after the effective date of
13this Section and reductions otherwise required under this
15    If revenue from sources not excluded from fiscal year
16spending exceeds these limits in dollars for that fiscal year,
17the excess shall be refunded in the next fiscal year unless
18voters approve a revenue change as an offset. Initial district
19bases are current fiscal year spending and property taxes
20collected in the first year after this Section takes effect.
21Future creation of district bonded debt shall increase, and
22retiring or refinancing district bonded debt shall lower,
23fiscal year spending and property tax revenue by the annual
24debt service so funded. Debt service changes, reductions,
25refunds, and voter-approved revenue changes are dollar amounts
26that are exceptions to, and not part of, any district base.



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1Voter-approved revenue changes do not require a tax rate
3    (f) Referenda under this Section shall be decided at a
4general or consolidated election.
5    At least 30 days before an election at which a referendum
6under this Section will appear on the ballot, districts shall
7mail at the least cost, and as a package where multiple
8districts with referenda overlap, a notice addressed to "All
9Registered Voters" at each address of one or more active
10registered electors. The notice must contain the following
13    DEBT)."
14    In addition to the title, the notice shall include only the
15following information:
16        (1) the election date, hours, ballot title, text, and
17    local election office address and telephone number;
18        (2) for proposed district tax or indebtedness
19    increases, the estimated or actual total of district fiscal
20    year spending for the current year and each of the past 4
21    years, and the overall percentage and dollar change;
22        (3) for the first full fiscal year of each proposed
23    district tax increase, district estimates of the maximum
24    dollar amount of each increase and of district fiscal year
25    spending without the increase;
26        (4) for proposed district indebtedness, its principal



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1    amount and maximum annual and total district repayment
2    cost, and the principal balance of total current district
3    indebtedness and its maximum annual and remaining total
4    district repayment cost; and
5        (5) two summaries, up to 500 words each, one for and
6    one against the proposal, of written comments filed with
7    the election officer by 45 days before the election; no
8    summary shall mention names of persons or private groups,
9    nor any endorsements of or resolutions against the
10    proposal; petition representatives following these rules
11    shall write this summary for their petition; the election
12    officer shall maintain and accurately summarize all other
13    relevant written comments.
14    Except by later voter approval, if a tax increase or fiscal
15year spending exceeds any estimate in item (3) of this
16subsection for the same fiscal year, the tax increase is
17thereafter reduced up to 100% in proportion to the combined
18dollar excess, and the combined excess revenue refunded in the
19next fiscal year.
20    (g) As used in this Section:
21        "District" means the State, any non-home rule unit of
22    local government, and any school district.
23        "Emergency" excludes economic conditions, revenue
24    shortfalls, or district salary or fringe benefit
25    increases.
26        "Fiscal year spending" means all district expenditures



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1    and reserve increases except, as to both, those for refunds
2    made in the current or next fiscal year or those from
3    gifts, federal funds, collections for another government,
4    pension contributions by employees and pension fund
5    earnings, reserve transfers or expenditures, damage
6    awards, or property sales.
7        "Inflation" means the percentage change in the
8    Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers as issued by
9    the United States Department of Labor.
10        "Local growth" for a non-school district means a net
11    percentage change in actual value of all real property in a
12    district from construction of taxable real property
13    improvements, minus destruction of similar improvements,
14    and additions to, minus deletions from, taxable real
15    property. For a school district, it means the percentage
16    change in its student enrollment.
18    This Constitutional Amendment takes effect upon being
19declared adopted in accordance with Section 7 of the Illinois
20Constitutional Amendment Act.