SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To close a loophole in state law that has been exploited by tenants of the DuPage Airport Authority, allowing them to skip out on nearly $770,000 in overdue property tax payments, state Rep. Karina Villa, D-West Chicago, recently passed a new initiative to hold airport authority tenants accountable.
“While tenants of the DuPage County Airport Authority have skipped out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in property tax payments, their unpaid bills have been passed on to area residents, raising property taxes on DuPage County homeowners,” said Villa. “The property tax payments from these tenants should be going toward funding our schools and infrastructure investments, but local homeowners are being forced to pick up the tab.”
Currently, there is no way to penalize businesses that operate on government property for nonpayment of property taxes because the property cannot be seized for noncompliance. Villa’s Senate Bill 1041 would allow the DuPage County State’s Attorney to seek civil action to recover the cost of delinquent taxes, interest, penalties and costs owed by a lessee to a taxing district. The measure, backed by the Illinois Municipal League and DuPage County, recently passed out of the Illinois House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, and has been sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk to be signed into law.
“Closing this loophole is commonsense, and it will help ease the enormous property tax burden felt by local homeowners,” continued Villa. “I urge the governor to sign this legislation into law. Homeowners cannot refuse to pay their bills, and these businesses should be held to the same standard.”