Commercial Legislative Report, 2014



Here is a summary of the major bills that were introduced in the 2014 Session of the llinois General Assembly that affect commercial real estate.  

Senate Bill 3259 creates a property tax abatement for property that (i) is used exclusively for commercial or industrial purposes and (ii) has been rebuilt following a tornado occurring in taxable year 2013 or any taxable year thereafter.  IAR supported this bill and the Governor signed it into law on July 7th.  It goes into effect immediately. 

House Bill 5646 amends the Property Tax Code to provide that counties and municipalities may provide for an abatement of the taxes imposed by the county or municipality on property upon which a commercial or industrial facility has been newly constructed or improved.  Provides that the governing body of the county or municipality shall determine the period of time during which the abatement will apply, which shall not exceed: (i) 10 years if the facility is a LEEDS certified facility or a facility that will be used to provide direct medical services; or (ii) 5 years in the case of all other qualified facilities.  IAR supported this bill but it is being held in Committee.

Sprinkler Legislation and the Office of the State Fire Marshal

On Friday, May 30th the State Fire Marshal issued a statement in response to the controversial action from last summer whereby he sought to impose a statewide mandate for fire sprinklers by administrative rule.  In the statement, he said “As long as I am Fire Marshal, I intend to work with local government officials, public safety officials, and all stakeholders to pass any new sprinkler laws through the General Assembly.”  This statement is the essence of House Bill 4609, introduced by Representative Sara Feigenholtz.  That measure stipulated that the Office of the State Fire Marshal may NOT adopt rules imposing a statewide mandate or changes to existing or future statewide mandate requiring the installation of fire sprinkler systems in specific types of buildings.  As a result of the Fire Marshal’s affirmative statement, HB 4609 was not advanced.

Bills Related to Home Rule

IAR is strongly OPPOSED to three legislative initiatives that seek to grant home rule status to non-home rule municipalities by simply passing a State law contrary to the provisions of the Illinois State Constitution which clearly spells out the rights of the citizens to determine by REFERENDUM if their local government should possess home rule powers.   House Bill 5329 (Pritchard), Senate Bill 3111 (Holmes)stipulate a “pilot program” in Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties and are both posted for hearings next week.  House Bill 3758 would grant all non-home rule municipalities home rule powers.   All of these bills were held in Committee.

July 9, 2014