Appeal from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. Thomas
W. Vinson, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE BARRY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Plaintiff taxpayers appeal from an order granting defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissing the complaint in this action for damages arising out of an increase in real property assessments of all industrial and commercial property by the Will County Board of Review.
According to the allegations of the third amended complaint filed about April 4, 1979, in this cause, which complaint is the basis for the defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings, the Department of Local Government Affairs of the State of Illinois assigned a tentative multiplier of 1.13 to Will County for the tax year 1978. This multiplier was determined by the Department to be the factor necessary to equalize the Will County assessments at the statutorily required level of 33 1/3% of fair cash value.
The pertinent language of the complaint is as follows:
"(18) Commencing approximately in the spring of 1979, and subsequent to receipt of notice from the LGA of a 1978 tentative multiplier of 1.13, the defendant members of the Board of Review conspired and engaged in a concert of action to unlawfully increase the assessed valuation of industrial and commercial real estate and personal property, for the purpose and with the intent of eliminating the imposition of a state multiplier of 13% on residential, farm and other real estate owned by preferred taxpayers.
(19) As part of and in furtherance of said conspiracy and concert of action, defendants engaged in the following course of conduct:
(a) In August 1979, without any classification of real property ordinance of the County Board of Will County and in violation of Section 20a of the Revenue Act, Ill. Rev. Stat. (1979) Ch. 120, sec. 501a, the Board of Review applied a uniform formula and/or percentage factor, across the board, to all industrial and commercial real property in Will County, for the purpose of increasing the assessment on said real property and thereby attempting to eliminate the effect of the 1.13 multiplier tentatively imposed by the LGA as to all other types of property owners.
(b) In August 1979, the Board of Review increased assessments ten percent (10%), across the board, on all taxable personal property in Will County, for the purpose of alleviating the effect of the 1.13 multiplier tentatively imposed by the LGA as to all other types of property owners.
(c) On or about September 24, 1979, the members of the Board of Review caused to be issued to each owner of commercial and/or industrial real property and each owner of taxable personal property in Will County a `Notice of the Revised Assessment for 1978.' Said notices informed each such taxpayer of the increase in assessments imposed by the Board of Review.
(20) The defendant Board of Review and its members arbitrarily and discriminatorily, and with neither legal classifications, guidelines, nor approval by the County Board of Will County, increased the 1978 assessments only as to commercial and industrial real estate and personal property owned by plaintiffs and members of the plaintiff class, contrary to state law and in violation of the constitutional rights of plaintiffs and the plaintiff class to due process and equal protection under the laws as provided in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:
(a) Without imposing increased assessments on any other taxable real estate in Will County;
(b) With the purpose and intent of imposing an unlawful financial burden on plaintiffs and members of the plaintiff class, so that other taxpayers would experience no tax increase * * *;
(c) Without rational basis nor lawful reason for the selection of plaintiffs or plaintiff class members as those who would bear said financial burden;
(d) Without any rational relationship between said increased assessment and the actual assessed value of the property of ...