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01/19/96 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS EX REL. JOSEPH V.

January 19, 1996

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS EX REL. JOSEPH V. BONEFESTE, COUNTY TREASURER AND EX OFFICIO COUNTY COLLECTOR OF TAXES FOR SANGAMON COUNTY, ILLINOIS, APPLICANT-APPELLEE,
v.
B.D.H. RENTALS, BASCO, INC., BLACKSTONE GROUP V, D. J. CASPER, JOHN R. CHAPIN, WM. J. CONROY, CORDOVA JT. VENTURE, DAYS INN, ETHERTON APTS., FASSCO, GERALD GARFIELD, FARRELL GAY, CARL GIGANTI, PAUL GIGANTI, ELIZABETH GILLESPIE, HUNTCO, INC., B. D. HUNTER, HURWITZ ENT., K. L. KIRCHNER, W. LAKE APTS., LGG REALTY, LAWRENCE SQUARE, LELAND BLDG., LINCOLN TOWER CENTER, M & R INVESTMENT, NORMAN MACK, MICHAEL NORTHWESTERN LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, PARAGON STEAKHOUSE, NOVENCO, INC., ANTHONY PIRRERA, PIRRERA BLDG. RENTAL, REALTY RESTORATION MANAGEMENT, S & G VENTURE, ELMORE SNYDER, SOUTHWEST DEV., SPEEDWAY PARTNERSHIP, SPRINGFIELD MOBILE HOME COM., STERN BLDG. ACCT., MERVIS STERN, STRUM REAL ESTATE, SIDNEY STRUM, SPRINGFIELD W. APTS., EARL THOMAS, VINEGAR HILL MALL, W. CARPENTER ACCT., SUNDOWNER, SCOTTY'S SELF-SERVE, AND ARNOLD STERN, OBJECTORS-APPELLANTS, AND SPRINGFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT 186, INTERVENOR-APPELLEE, (90TX11(13)) AND PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS EX REL. JOSEPH V. BONEFESTE, COUNTY TREASURER AND EX OFFICIO COUNTY COLLECTOR OF TAXES FOR SANGAMON COUNTY, ILLINOIS, APPLICANT-APPELLEE, V. B.D.H. RENTALS, BASCO, INC., JOHN R. CHAPIN, WM. J. CONROY, CORDOVA JOINT VENTURE, DAYS INN, FASSCO, GERALD GARFIELD, BLACKSTONE GROUP, CARL GIGANTI, PAUL GIGANTI, HURWITZ ENTERPRISES, FERREL GAY, ADAM GIGANTI, ELIZABETH GILLESPIE, LELAND BUILDING, LINCOLN TOWER CENTER, M & R INVESTMENT CO., NORMAN R. MACK, MICHAEL-NORTHWESTERN LTD. PARTNERSHIP, NOVENCO INC., ANTHONY PIRRERA, SCOTTY'S SELF-SERVICE STORAGE, ELMORE W. SNYDER, SOUTHWEST DEVELOPMENT, SPRINGFIELD MOBILE HOME COMMUNITY, S & G VENTURE, SPRINGFIELD WEST APARTMENTS, SIDNEY STRUM, SIDNEY STRUM REAL ESTATE, E. EARL THOMAS, WEST LAKE APTS., WABASH ASSOC., LAWRENCE ASSOCIATES, DONALD J. CASPER, LGG REALTY, REALTY RESTORATION, SPEEDWAY PTNRSHP, ARNOLD STERN, STERN BLDG. ACCOUNT, AND STAN STERN, OBJECTORS-APPELLANTS, AND SPRINGFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT 186, INTERVENOR-APPELLEE, (91TX9(14)) AND PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS EX REL. JOSEPH V. BONEFESTE, COUNTY TREASURER AND EX OFFICIO COUNTY COLLECTOR OF TAXES FOR SANGAMON COUNTY, ILLINOIS, APPLICANT-APPELLEE, V. BASCO, INC., BLACKSTONE GROUP, DONALD J. CASPER, JOHN R. CHAPIN, WM. J. CONROY, CORDONVA JOINT VENTURE, DAYS INN, FASSCO, GERALD GARFIELD, FARREL GAY, ADAM GIGANTI, CARL GIGANTI, PAUL GIGANTI, ELIZABETH GILLESPIE, STEVEN HASSEBROCK, HURWITZ ENTERPRISES, HUNTCO FARMS, K. L. KIRCHNER, LELAND BUILDING, LGG REALTY, LINCOLN TOWER CENTER, M & R INVESTMENT CO., NORMAN R. MACK, MICHAEL-NORTHWESTERN LTD. PARTNERSHIP, NOVENCO INC., ANTHONY PIRRERA, REALTY RESTORATION, SCOTTY'S SELF-SERVICE STORAGE, ELMORE W. SNYDER, SOUTHWEST DEVELOPMENT, SPRINGFIELD MOBILE HOME COMMUNITY, S & G VENTURE, SPRINGFIELD WEST APARTMENTS, SIDNEY STRUM, SIDNEY STRUM REAL ESTATE, E. EARL THOMAS, WEST LAKE APTS., WABASH ASSOC., LAWRENCE ASSOCIATES, SPEEDWAY PARTNERSHIP, ARNOLD STERN, STERN BUILDING ACCOUNT, AND STAN STERN, OBJECTORS-APPELLANTS, AND SPRINGFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT 186, INTERVENOR-APPELLEE, (92TX4(14)) AND PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS EX REL. JOSEPH V. BONEFESTE, COUNTY TREASURER AND EX OFFICIO COLLECTOR OF TAXES FOR SANGAMON COUNTY, ILLINOIS, APPLICANT-APPELLEE, V. SAMUEL ALTMAN, BASCO, INC., BLACKSTONE GROUP, D. J. CASPER, JOHN CHAPIN, WM. CONROY, CORDOVA JOINT VENTURE, DAYS INN, FASSCO, GERALD GARFIELD, GAY BROS., FERREL GAY, TODD GAY, ADAM GIGANTI, CARL GIGANTI, C. & J. RENTALS, PAUL GIGANTI, ELIZABETH GILLESPIE, RICHARD GRUMMON, STEVE HASSEBROCK, HUNTCO FARMS, INC., HURWITZ ENT., K. L. KIRCHNER, LGG REALTY & INV. CO., LAWRENCE SQUARE CONDO ASSN., LELAND BLDG., LINCOLN TOWER CENTER, M & R INVESTMENT CO., NORMAN MACK, MICHAEL-NORTHWESTERN LTD. PTSHP., MONTVALE PLAZA, ROXANNE MYERS, HOWDEN NOVENCO, OWL DEV., ANTHONY J. PIRRERA, PIRRERA BLDG. RENTAL CO., REALTY RESTORATION MANAGEMENT, INC., REALTY RESTORATION, LTD., REISCH BLDG., S & G VENTURE, SCOTTY'S SELF-SERVICE STORAGE, WM. SNYDER, ELMORE SNYDER, SOUTHWEST DEV., SPEEDWAY PARTNERSHIP, SPFD. MOBILE HOME COM., SPFD. WEST APTS., STERN BLDG. ACCT., ARNOLD STERN, STERN'S CARRIAGE HOUSE, FRANKLIN STERN, MERVIS STERN, STANLEY STERN, SIDNEY STRUM REAL ESTATE, SIDNEY STRUM, WEST LAKE APTS., 1500 WABASH ASSOC., EARL THOMAS, AND WM. J. TREAT, OBJECTORS-APPELLANTS, AND SPRINGFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT 186, INTERVENOR-APPELLEE, (93TX0017(13)).



Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County. Nos. 90TX11(13), 91TX9(14), 92TX4(14), 93TX0017(13). Honorable Jeanne E. Scott, Judge Presiding.

Counsel Corrected January 23, 1996. Released for Publication February 22, 1996.

Honorable James A. Knecht, J., Honorable Robert W. Cook, P.j., Honorable Frederick S. Green, J., Concurring, Justice Knecht delivered the opinion of the court: Cook, P.j., and Green, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Knecht

The Honorable Justice KNECHT delivered the opinion of the court:

Appellants, a group of tax objectors (objectors) in Sangamon County, appeal the trial court's grant of summary judgment for applicants, the treasurer for Sangamon County and intervenor Springfield School District No. 186 (District). We affirm.

In 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993, objectors paid their real estate taxes levied on behalf of the District under protest and filed objections with the circuit court. The objections remained pending until January 1994, when the District intervened. Both parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment for the District on all issues. Objectors appeal. The facts relevant to each issue will be provided during the discussion.

I. LEGAL VALIDITY OF BOARD OF REVIEW ACTION TAKEN IN NONAUTHORIZED EXTENDED SESSION

Objectors first assert the multipliers applied to their property assessments for the years 1990 and 1992 were invalid because the County Board of Sangamon County (County Board) was not in valid session at the time it adopted these final multipliers. Section 107 of the Revenue Act of 1939 (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 120, par. 588) declares a board a review shall adjourn not later than December 31, unless the county board authorizes it to remain in session beyond that date. Here, objectors contend "In 1990, the [Board of Review of Sangamon County (Board)] adjourned on or before December 31, 1990, without a Resolution but ultimately did pass a Resolution on February 4, 1991[,] extending the adjournment date"; and in 1992, the Board adjourned officially on February 8, 1993, without the County Board having passed a resolution authorizing an extended adjournment date. Objectors argue the Board's increases in assessments for these years, made during unauthorized extended sessions, were without legal effect.

This argument is without merit. In People ex rel. Ball v. Anderson (1961), 21 Ill. 2d 396, 172 N.E.2d 760, the supreme court rejected the argument of a group of tax objectors who argued the actions by a county board of review were invalid because it had remained in session beyond the statutorily authorized time limit. The court upheld the action of the board of review on two grounds: (1) the County Board approved of the additional time by its actions and additional extensions of time were obtained from the Department of Revenue; and (2) the adjournment dates for a board of review are directory only. Actions by a board of review after the statutory adjournment date are still the valid acts of a legally constituted and functioning board. ( Anderson, 21 Ill. 2d at 401-02, 172 N.E.2d at 763.) The 1990 and 1992 assessments were legal as they were adopted by a validly constituted board of review.

II. NOTICE OF PROPERTY ASSESSMENT MULTIPLIER

Objectors next argue the notice regarding the multiplier for both 1990 and 1992 was deficient. In 1991, the Board on April 26 published notice of a proposed multiplier of 1.042, which would apply to the 1990 tax assessment of all nonfarm property in Capital Township and set a public hearing on the proposed multiplier on May 1. The hearing occurred and the Board adjourned that same day. On May 17, the Board received the final multiplier from the Illinois Department of Revenue (Department) which was equal to the proposed multiplier. Notice of the final assessment was mailed to taxpayers on or about May 17.

On November 30, 1992, the Board published notice in a newspaper of a proposed multiplier of 1.0399, which would apply to the 1992 tax assessment of all nonfarm property in Capital Township with a hearing scheduled for December 8. The hearing occurred and the Board adjourned on February 8, 1993. On February 26, the Board received the final multiplier from the Department which was equal to the proposed multiplier. Notice of the final assessment was mailed to taxpayers on February 27.

Objectors argue the notices of the increases in assessments for 1990 and 1992 were deficient because notice of the multipliers was by publication in a newspaper rather than personal notice. The Act has different notice requirements depending on whether the assessment will be increased for an individual taxpayer or a class of taxpayers. During the years in question, section 107 of the Act authorized a board of review to "revise the entire assessment of any taxpayer " (emphasis added) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 120, par. 588) after giving the taxpayer individual notice and an opportunity to be heard. Similarly, section 108(4) of the Act allowed a board of review to "adjust the assessment of any individual or corporation " (emphasis added) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 120, par. 589(4)) after giving that person or corporation individual notice and an opportunity to be heard. However, subsection (5) of section 108 declared the board of review may "increase or reduce the entire assessment of real property, or of any class included therein" (emphasis added) after it has published notice of the change "in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county," and "given the owners of the property affected *** an opportunity to be heard within 20 days after the date of such publication." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 120, par. 589(5).) Section 108(5) of the Act declared notice by publication sufficient when an increase in assessment will apply to an entire class of taxpayers. Individual notice is not required. Here, the proposed increase was to apply to all nonfarm property, an entire class of taxpayers, and the notice by publication was sufficient.

Objectors also argue the language of section 108(5) of the Act requires the Board to provide a 20-day period between notice of the hearing and the hearing, citing People ex rel. Lovelace v. Heldebrandt (1984), 128 Ill. App. 3d 359, 470 N.E.2d 1109, 83 Ill. Dec. 689. Heldebrandt misconstrued the plain language of section 108(5) of the Act, which required a board of review to promptly allow a class of taxpayers a hearing within 20 days of the notice of the increased assessment. Twenty days is the uppermost time limit a board of review may allow to transpire between giving notice of and conducting a hearing. Here, in both instances in ...


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