State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1                       SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS, The Longtime Owner-Occupant Property Tax  Relief
 3    Act  was  enacted  to  provide  relief to longtime homeowners
 4    faced  with  substantial  property   tax   increases   as   a
 5    consequence of the renovation of existing housing stock, loft
 6    conversions,  and  the  construction  of  new,  significantly
 7    higher-priced residences in their neighborhoods; and

 8        WHEREAS,  Almost  32,000  building permits were issued in
 9    the Chicago area  in  1997,  making  it  the  fourth  busiest
10    housing  market in the country, leading to increased property
11    tax assessments; and

12        WHEREAS, Families, who are  often  on  fixed  or  limited
13    incomes,   are  confronted  with  re-assessments  which  have
14    substantially increased their  property  tax  bills,  forcing
15    them to sell their homes; and

16        WHEREAS,  An example of the large property tax assessment
17    increases  have occurred in many neighborhoods can be seen in
18    the West Town area of the City of Chicago; and

19        WHEREAS, Almost 1,164 building  permits  were  issued  in
20    West  Town  in  1997,  nearly  double  in the number in 1993,
21    leading to the fifth highest tax assessment  increases  among
22    city  communities  during  the  1997  re-assessment, the last
23    re-assessment done in the City of Chicago; and

24        WHEREAS,  Many  West  Town  residents  saw  property  tax
25    assessment increases of  40  or  50  percent  and  there  are
26    examples of as much as a 123 percent increase; and

27        WHEREAS,   The  City  of  Chicago  launched  the  Chicago
28    Homeowner  Assistance  Program  (CHAP)  in  response  to  the
29    increase in property taxes caused  by  development,  allowing
30    certain   middle-  and  low-income  residents  to  receive  a
31    low-interest loan if  their  property  tax  assessments  rose
                            -2-           SDS/90Asjr0001/BSdo
 1    significantly; and

 2        WHEREAS,  While CHAP is a well-intentioned program, it is
 3    not  meeting  its  stated  goal  of  providing  relief   from
 4    increased  assessments  that  have  resulted  from  Chicago's
 5    housing  boom  and as a result, only 346 of the 33,000 people
 6    eligible for CHAP applied in 1998; and

 7        WHEREAS,   Tax   Increment   Financing   districts   have
 8    contributed to rapid increases in property values  in  nearby
 9    communities  and  there  have been twenty-four such districts
10    approved in the City of Chicago in the last two and  one-half
11    years,  which  is  equivalent  to  the number approved in the
12    previous  ten  years,  with  twelve  more   districts   being
13    considered; and

14        WHEREAS,  The  established  programs  are  not  providing
15    adequate  property tax relief to these citizens and, as such,
16    the Cook County  Board,  under  the  Longtime  Owner-Occupant
17    Property  Tax  Relief  Act,  has  the authority to help these
18    longtime residents remain in their homes despite  the  rising
19    property taxes; therefore be it

22    REPRESENTATIVES  CONCURRING  HEREIN,  That  we  urge the Cook
23    County  Board  exercise  its  authority  under  the  Longtime
24    Owner-Occupant Property Tax Relief Act and grant an exemption
25    and/or  deferral  to  reduce  the  property  tax  burden  for
26    longtime homeowners in areas affected by  dramatic  increases
27    in assessments due to development; and be it further

28        RESOLVED,  That  suitable  copies  of  this resolution be
29    transmitted to the Cook  County  Assessor's  Office  and  the
30    members of the Cook County Board.

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