Illinois Senate Bill 1555 (2009)

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Illinois Senate Bill 1555, sponsored by Jack D. Franks and Pamela Althoff, would have altered the way that taxes were imposed in Special Service Areas throughout Illinois.[1]

Current state law allowed municipalities to create special service areas, or SSAs. SSAs can generate funding to build infrastructure projects that are intended to benefit a geographical area that is less than borders of a municipality. This can include sewer projects, street repairs and so on.

Property owners located within an SSAs pay more on their property taxes for a set period (usually 20 years) until bonds issued to pay for the project are repaid. Residents can stop a town or county from imposing an SSA by collecting signatures on a petition from 51% of the area's property owners of record and 51% of the registered voters within the SSA.

Franks objected to this. His legislation would have required the municipality that wanted to impose the tax to hold a vote before they imposed the tax, rather than putting the burden of collecting signatures on those who opposed the tax. According to Frank, SB 1555 "would require the people who are trying to raise taxes on the citizens to prove that 51 percent of the people want their taxes raised."[1]

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