Statement on Proposed Lake Co. Property Tax Payment Deferral

Fleming offers alternative

PRESS RELEASE | Full Statement

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Gurnee, Illinois – At May 7th’s meeting of the Lake County Board’s Financial and Administrative Committee, Lauren Fleming, candidate for Lake County Board, offered an alternative ordinance and made the following statement:

“The proposed ordinance for deferring a portion of property tax payments could have many unintended consequences that cost taxpayers money and inflicts undue hardship on property tax owners and the County.

This ordinance is burdensome, complicated and ineffective at solving the problem. Providing relief to those who need it during this time of crisis won’t be accomplished by increasing the number of payments and deadline dates when people haven’t even gone back to work yet.

How can [property owners] expect to gather the required documentation in less than three weeks by June 1st, when they can’t even leave their homes? How will owners “demonstrate hardship”? [There is no] avenue for an appeal or due process for those who’ve been denied. Is it not discriminatory to only offer relief to individuals and not small businesses or others who also pay property taxes?

It appears the Committee has not done its due diligence on this issue.

I have spoken with officials in Lake and other counties, including state’s attorneys, County treasurers, and County Board members. In accordance with the Illinois Property Tax Code, I offer the following as a property tax payment relief plan for the Committee’s consideration:

  1. Late penalties for Lake County property taxes shall be waived on the first installment due in June for the 90 days thereafter.
  2. No application is required; all property owners, residential and businesses, are eligible (pursuant to the disaster relief clause in the Property Tax Code 35 ILCS 200/21-40(c)(2).)
  3. All property taxes would be paid in full by the second installment due in September in order for the penalty to be waived.
  4. If taxes are not fully paid by the second installment due date, penalties would become retroactive to June and would be due and payable in full.

The Governor’s stay-at-home order is still in place until June 1st. This 90-day late fee waiver would allow for people to get back to work, get a few paychecks, put food on the table, and have time to figure out how to pay their taxes.

This would also allow for County staff to continue their normal course of work as deadlines remain the same, and taxing bodies would see their distributions in a predictable manner with no adverse effects.

I encourage the Lake County Board Finance Committee to consider the substance of this resolution, along with its spirit and intent, and remember we’re all in this together.”

Lauren Fleming, 35, is the Republican candidate for Lake County Board District 13, a small business owner and a community volunteer. Find out more at www.LaurenforLake.com.

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