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12/15/88 the People Ex Rel. Roger v. Fred Heitzig Et Al.

December 15, 1988

OFFICIO COLLECTOR OF TAXES OF JERSEY COUNTY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

FRED HEITZIG ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

THE PEOPLE ex rel. ROGER GOETTEN, County Treasurer and Ex

531 N.E.2d 1126, 177 Ill. App. 3d 89, 126 Ill. Dec. 499 1988.IL.1815

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jersey County; the Hon. Claude J. Davis, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LUND delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN, J., concurs. PRESIDING JUSTICE McCULLOUGH, specially Concurring.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LUND

Defendants all sought refund of real estate taxes paid under protest for the 1981 taxes, payable in 1982. All of the real estate involved is located in Jersey County. After the filing of tax objections and a hearing on the People's application for judgment, the circuit court of Jersey County entered judgment against all of the defendants, refusing to order any refunds. This appeal followed.

Defendants' objections relate to the constitutionality of Public Act 82-121 (1981 Ill. Laws 853), which was adopted by the 82nd General Assembly, being passed on June 29, 1981, approved and becoming effective on August 11, 1981. See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 120, par. 501e.

Public Act 82-121 provided a method of evaluating farmland based upon a complex formula, which included weighing soil productivity, gross income, production costs, and net income from land. The change from the prior fair cash value criteria was deemed necessary because of sale prices of farmland no longer maintaining a reasonable relationship to the net return.

It was recognized that the major overhaul of farmland assessment would necessitate substantial time, and a temporary treatment was provided by the following provisions of Public Act 82-121:

"For 1981 assessments only, the Department shall certify to each Board of Review or Board of Appeals a factor to be multiplied times the 1980 actual equalized assessed valuation of each parcel of farmland in the county. That factor shall be the quotient of the proposed county average equalized assessed value per acre for the county weighted as prescribed in (3) above in this Section divided by the 1980 actual average equalized assessed valuation per acre of farmland in that county.

Any increase or decrease in the 1981 average per acre equalized assessed value of any farm, whether it consists of one or more than one tax parcel, shall not exceed $30 per acre. For 1982, 1983 and 1984 any increase in the per acre average equalized assessed value of any farm shall not exceed $30 per acre, plus any increase in the equalized assessed value per acre over the equalized assessed value per acre for the preceding year, as computed under (1) above in this Section.

Except as provided in this Section, the assessed valuation of farmland assessed pursuant to this Section shall not be subject to equalization by means of State equalization factors or State multipliers. Equalization factors applied by a chief county assessing official or a Board of Review pursuant to Sections 46a and 108 of this Act shall be applied to assessments of farmland only to achieve assessments as hereinabove required.

For the purposes of this Section, the Department may withhold non-farm multipliers to any county to assure proper implementation of this ...


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