State Senator Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles) and State Representative Terra Costa Howard (D-Lombard) hope local homeowners will see some property tax relief as a result of their legislation, which was signed into law on Friday, August 2. Senate Bill 1041 seeks to collect the hundreds of thousands of property tax dollars that have not been paid by business tenants at the DuPage Airport Authority.
Currently, the DuPage Airport Authority rents out portions of its property to private businesses, which are responsible for paying property taxes on the land; however, several of these tenants have intentionally neglected to pay their property tax bills because of a loophole in current law that fails to penalize them.
Prior to SB 1041, there was no mechanism in the law that compelled these businesses to pay. The new law now requires that if a lessee is delinquent in paying property taxes, the county treasurer must promptly notify the taxing district which owns the property. Furthermore, the State's Attorney is authorized to pursue all available options in an effort to collect any delinquent property taxes as well as any interest, penalties, and fines a court may order.
“It’s unfortunate that homeowners in my district have been on the hook to pay the nearly $800,000 of delinquent property taxes,” said Sen. DeWitte. “This new law seeks to right that wrong by requiring tenants at the airport to pay what they rightfully owe. I want to thank Rep. Costa Howard for her leadership on this bill in the House.”
“Closing the loophole in state statute was just common sense,” said Costa Howard. “Homeowners can’t get away with simply refusing to pay their property tax bills. I was proud to join forces with Senator DeWitte to make sure these scofflaw businesses will face real consequences for ignoring their tax bills and shifting the burden onto the rest of us.”