Property Tax Incentives

The Revenue Act 35 ILCS 200/18-170, as amended provides that any taxing district may order the county clerk to abate (that is, to give up) any portion of its taxes on real property, or on any particular class thereof, located within a zone and upon which new improvements have been constructed or upon which existing improvements have been renovated or rehabilitated.

No. The abatement applies only to taxes on the increase in assessed value attributable to the new construction, renovation, or rehabilitation. Taxes based on the assessed value of land and existing improvements continue to be extended and collected.

Yes. By law, every time property is improved, it is reassessed.

Cook County offers special property tax incentives for property anywhere in the county. However, property in enterprise zones receives special consideration under the Class 6b – Industrial Program. Industrial property in Cook County is generally assessed at 25 percent of market value in the absence of any incentives. For information about the special incentives for improvements to enterprise zone property, contact the Development Incentives Department of the Office of the Cook County Assessor at 312/603-7529.

All other counties assess all property at 33 percent of market value. Cook is the only county that classifies property at different assessment rates.

For tax abatement, contact local zone administrators to find out if abatements are available in their zone. Most of the property tax abatements and the Cook County program require taxpayers to apply or give some formal notice before beginning construction. Contact the local zone administrator, and, if applicable, Cook County as early as possible to assure that eligibility is not denied due to tardy notice.

They don’t. The multiplier or equalization factor is the application of a percentage increase or decrease, generated by the Illinois Department of Revenue, in order to adjust assessment levels in various counties to the same percentage of full value. Multipliers are not effected by the enterprise zone property tax abatement provision or by county assessment reductions.

Yes, however in most cases the effect will be marginal. Tax rates depend on the levy (amount of tax revenue the local government is raising) and the size of the tax base (total equalized assessed valuation of the district less homestead exemptions, plus the value of any State assessed property). Under normal circumstances, the tax rate for a district is calculated by dividing the district’s tax levy by its tax base. The greater the tax base, the lower the rate needed to generate the amount of the levy. Under the Enterprise Zone Program, the value of abated property is subtracted from the tax base prior to the calculation of the tax rate. In most cases, the tax base is large enough and the enterprise zone abatements are low enough that the overall effect is negligible.

The enterprise zone provision is broader and more flexible. The enterprise zone property tax abatement: -may be offered on all classes of real property, including commercial, residential and industrial (18-165 abatements are limited to commercial and industrial improvements). -may be offered for any number of years, up to the termination date of zone certification (18-165 abatements cannot exceed 10 years). -may be offered by a taxing district in amount (the abatement offered under l8-165 limits the aggregated amounts of an abatement offered by all taxing districts to $3,000,000).

Tax increment financing is a financing technique that cities may use to pay for public improvements such as land assemblage, building demolition, utilities, streets, and sidewalks. Property owners in the project area do pay their full share of taxes. Taxes generated by the increase in assessed valuation — the tax increment — go into a special allocation fund used to pay the bonds which financed the public improvement costs. This financing method is not a tool to speculatively prepare for development — tax increment financing requires an advance commitment by a developer to a project. Property tax abatement is, however, a tool that is used for development. It is not a financing technique. The Revenue Act provides that any taxing district, upon a majority vote of its governing authority, may order the county clerk to abate any portion of its taxes on improvements made to real property located in a zone. The increase in assessed valuation due to new construction, rehabilitation or renovation is not taxed for the term of the abatement as set by local ordinance. A TIF district may be included in the legal description of the zone and consequently be eligible to receive other tax incentives and benefits, but the property tax abatement provision must exclude the TIF district from the area eligible for abatement.

No. Eligibility criteria and abatement formulas are established by local ordinance and vary with the zone. Contact the zone administrator to determine the amount of abatement offered, the number of years of abatement, and the classes of real property eligible for abatement.