Cassidy Fights Property Tax Fraud With New Legislation
“Tax cheats who claim multiple homestead exemptions on more than one property cost Cook County taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars each year,” Cassidy said. “When someone breaks the rules, the rest of the community suffers, and this bill would give government the tools they need to go after tax cheats and make sure everyone pays their fair share.”
House Bill 4148, introduced in January, will provide each county the ability to recoup lost funds from individuals who fraudulently claim multiple property tax exemptions. Under the proposal, counties would be able to impose property tax liens against a property owner found to be in violation of fraudulently taking an exemption.
When asked by the Edgeville Buzz if this bill could actually potentially lower property taxes, as opposed to being simply another source of revenue for State, Cassidy responded: ”This does not change the overall levy (the total amount of property taxes the county needs to collect), so when people take exemptions to which they are not entitled, they simply pass those costs onto their neighbors who are already paying their fare share. Cook County literally has thousands of property owners in their files who are taking multiple homeowner exemptions. This is not one person inadvertently keeping the exemption when they buy a new home but rather investors taking homestead exemptions on 9 or 10 income properties and claiming them as their homes. Compounded over years, this is costing their neighbors hundreds of thousands of dollars. The ability to go back and correct these exemptions will allow additional collections and ultimately allow everyone who abides by the laws to pay less.”
The legislation passed the House of Representatives on March 22nd with 60 votes and is now under consideration in the Senate.