Taxpayers United Files Petition With Ill. Supreme Court in Oak Park Dist. 97 Case

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On June 5, 2012, plaintiffs Taxpayers United of America (TUA) and Noel Kuriakos filed a “Petition for Leave to Appeal” with the Illinois Supreme Court regarding its lawsuit against Oak Park Dist. 97, which places the petition in the Court’s hamper of cases, whereby the Court will decide whether or not to hear the plaintiffs’ petition.

If the Court decides to accept the Petition for Leave to Appeal, it will then decide whether or not to hear plaintiffs’ appeal regarding the lawsuit.

The question presented to the Supreme Court is whether the state legislature intended to allow school districts to understate the amount of proposed real estate tax increases by three times when they put referenda on the ballot seeking voter approval of those increases.

In the Oak Park case, District 97 claimed in its property tax increase referendum that their proposed real estate tax increase would be just $37.40 on a home with a fair market value at the time of the April 5, 2011 election of $100,000. The true increase was in fact $126.04.

The difference between those two figures was due to the state equalization factor, which was 3.3701 for the tax period in question. Oak Park District 97 claimed it did not have to use the state equalization factor, which was how it was able to understate the real estate tax increase by over three times the actual amount.

Now it is up to the Illinois Supreme Court to decide whether it will accept this case for its decision on the matter.

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