ISACo News and Views for April 22, 2024

4/22/2024 Nekya Hall

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes a 2024 legislative session schedule update, shares an update on crime free housing legislation, shares information about a second filed lawsuit concerning tax sales, highlights the Illinois Department of Revenues' (IDOR) April Newsletter, highlights the Off-Highway Vehicle Recreational Trails Program, reports on the March unemployment rates for the state, highlights an Open Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Webinar Opportunity, shares what ISACo staff is reading to stay informed, announces upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, highlights ISACo corporate partner Comcast and invites counties to join ISACo.

2024 Legislative Session Update 

The Illinois Senate adjourned on April 18 and the House adjourned on April 19. The General Assembly is scheduled to be out of session during the week of April 22-26 and will reconvene on April 30. The House and Senate have a total of four session weeks remaining and are scheduled to adjourn the spring session on May 24. Additional potential session days are on the calendar for May 25-31 for the event the extra days are needed to finalize the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2025 State Budget.  

Crime Free Housing Legislation Update

On Tuesday, April 16, the House Housing Committee approved legislation to prohibit local governments from retaining or enacting crime free housing ordinances. The bill, HB 5432 (Rep. Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview) is similar to SB 3680 (Sen. Villa, D-West Chicago), and would preempt county and municipal authority to choose to have crime free housing and nuisance abatement ordinances. Both bills were approved by committees in their respective chambers and are poised for passage to the other chamber.

ISACo opposes both bills because they would remove decision making authority from county boards. Each county board should retain the ability to decide for themselves whether a crime free housing ordinance is appropriate for their county. ISACo is not averse to making changes to the law that leave the authority of locally-elected officials intact. 

The Illinois Crime Free Housing Association has published a fact sheet outlining reasons to oppose the legislation. 

Second Lawsuit Filed Concerning Tax Sales

Crain's Chicago Business published an article about a second lawsuit intended to “abolish the long-standing practice of Illinois counties selling properties over their unpaid taxes in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that declared the practice unconstitutional.”

Both a lawsuit filed in northern Illinois last November and this case brought in southern Illinois seeks class action status for plaintiffs and property owners whose properties have been sold for taxes.

From the article:

A new lawsuit aims to abolish the long-standing practice of Illinois counties selling properties over their unpaid taxes in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that declared the practice unconstitutional. At stake is potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in home equity that property owners lost when Illinois counties sold their homes or commercial property for back taxes. A study by the Pacific Legal Foundation estimated that in the years 2014 to 2021, property owners in 11 Illinois counties sacrificed about $300 million in equity when their properties were sold for tax debt. Several Illinois counties are asking a court to rule that the Tyler case doesn't apply here because in a tax-debt sale, the county doesn't profit. It only gets back the taxes it's owed.

The cases are an outgrowth of Tyler v. Hennepin County, which was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in 2023. The case, in which SCOTUS ruled in favor of the plaintiff, concerned the government seizure of property for unpaid taxes when the value of the property seized is greater than the tax debt.

In November 2023, Illinois homeowners filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against their respective counties. Several Illinois counties filed a lawsuit requesting that the homeowners' lawsuit be dismissed. The basis for the request for dismissal is that Illinois counties only receive the unpaid taxes and not surplus home value when property is seized. Furthermore, the tax sale law in Illinois differs from Minnesota law because Illinois provides property owners 10 years to pursue their surplus home value whereas Minnesota law only allows a 20-day period to recoup the excess property value.

ISACo will continue to monitor developments from these lawsuits.

IDOR Quarterly Newsletter for April

The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) Local Tax Allocation Division published its April 2024 Quarterly Newsletter (available via this link). Included within the newsletter is information about IDOR’s 2024 Local Government Workshop, speaking requests for IDOR staff about topics relevant to state and local taxes administered by IDOR, key upcoming dates for local governments and the opportunity to sign up to receive IDOR emails and text messages.

IDOR’s annual Local Government Workshop will be held virtually on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. More information can be found on IDOR’s website (available via this link).

Off-Highway Vehicle Recreational Trails Program 

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is accepting applications (available via this link) for the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Trails program. The purpose of the program is to provide financial aid to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations to help develop, operate, maintain and acquire land for OHV parks, trails and trailside facilities that are open and accessible to the public. A total of $1 million is available statewide for the program. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, May 17, 2024. Individuals with questions may contact IDNR by email at or by phone at (217) 782-7481.

Illinois March Unemployment Rates

On April 18, 2024, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.8 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased +12,700 in March, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The February revised unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, unchanged from the preliminary February unemployment rate. The February monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +23,100 to +26,700 jobs. The March unemployment rate and payroll jobs estimate reflect activity for the week including the 12th.

The press release is available via this link. 

Open Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Webinar Opportunity

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host a grant submission webinar for the Open Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) matching grant program at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 15.

OSLAD provides funding assistance to local government agencies for the acquisition and development of land for public parks and open space. The program is administered by IDNR. Projects vary from small neighborhood parks to large community parks and nature areas.

The webinar will help potential grant applicants familiarize themselves with the OSLAD program and understand the components needed to complete a grant submission.

The press release is available via this link. 

What We're Reading

Supreme Court Case Could Shape Illinois Political Corruption Probes (Governing) 

Education Leaders Seek Added State Funding to Help Districts Accommodate Influx of Migrants (Capitol News Illinois)

How to Protect Water Systems Against Cyber Attack (Governing)

Why Working With the Wrong Tax Escrow Payment Processor Can Wreak Havoc on Government Operations (American City and County)

Upcoming NACo Webinars

NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunities. ISACo is a proud partner with NACo and encourages counties to participate in NACo membership and activities. 

Financial Aide Awareness Month: Help Your County Employees Understand and Access Student Debt Forgiveness

(Wednesday, April 24, 2024, 11:30am-12:30pm CST)

As a county leader you have likely seen an uptick in questions/interest around student debt forgiveness programs coming in from your employees. While there is heavy media attention around student debt relief programs it is still very confusing for NY county employees to determine if they qualify and how they access these relief programs. Please join us for an overview of the main federal debt relief programs available, who qualifies, and information on a student debt relief support tool that every county in NY should consider promoting as an employee benefit.

Click on this link to register for the webinar. 

Modernizing County Finance With Digital Disbursements

(Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST)

Join NACo for their upcoming webinar, Modernizing County Finance with Digital Disbursements, to discover how incorporating digital payments can increase constituents’ satisfaction and improve government efficiency. This session will provide an in-depth overview of the successful pilot project by Knox County, Ill., the National Association of Counties (NACo), and Visa, sharing how they delivered fast and secure payments to county election judges and jurors.

Click on this link to register for the webinar. 

Global Connections for Your Local Economy Virtual Training #3: “Nailing It” at the 2024 SelectUSA Investment Summit

(Wednesday, May 1, 2024, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST)

Ever wonder why multinational companies invest billions in some counties, but pass by others? Or what makes the difference between a successful business interaction which results in hundreds or thousands of new jobs, and one that falls flat? If you’re ready to take your county’s economic development to the next level, join the International Economic Development Task Force throughout this Spring for a special virtual training series on how to bring jobs and capital to your community through foreign investment. In this third training, learn how you can apply the strategies discussed so far and make real-time connections with global businesses at the 2024 SelectUSA Investment Summit (Jun. 23-26) near Washington, D.C.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.  

Connecting Services for Improved Outcomes: Riverside County’s Integrated Services Delivery

(Wednesday, May 8, 2024, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

The presentation will provide an overview of Riverside County’s current Integrated Services Delivery (ISD) initiative to connect health, human, and public safety services to orchestrate our efforts and resources around a constituent-first approach, focusing on delivering the best possible outcomes for our most vulnerable populations. Hear how this endeavor includes the use of artificial intelligence.

Click on this link to register for the webinar. 


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With more than 6,000 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region ( serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.

​Click here to learn more about Comcast.

Become an ISACo Member!

Is your county a member of ISACo? If not, why not?

ISACo is a statewide association whose mission is to empower county officials to provide excellent service to their residents.

ISACo member counties are comprised of forward-thinking public servants who recognize that the challenges confronting county governments require new and innovative ideas, collaborative solutions and collective advocacy at the state and federal levels of government.

Members of the association will benefit from education and training opportunities, peer-to-peer networking, shared resources and robust representation before policymakers at various levels of government. ISACo creates and connects county officials to these opportunities and successfully equips them to make counties ideal places to live, work and play.

If your county is interested in discussing membership in ISACo, please contact Member Services and Communications Manager Tiffani Homer at (217) 679-3368 or ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.