Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB1794
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Full Text of SB1794  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning local government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Local Government Taxpayers' Bill of Rights
5Act is amended by changing Section 30 as follows:
6    (50 ILCS 45/30)
7    Sec. 30. Statute of limitations. Units of local government
8have an obligation to review tax returns in a timely manner and
9issue any determination of tax due as promptly as possible so
10that taxpayers may make timely corrections of future returns
11and minimize any interest charges applied to tax
12underpayments. Each unit of local government must provide
13appropriate statutes of limitation for the determination and
14assessment of taxes covered by this Act, provided, however,
15that a statute of limitations may not exceed the following:
16        (1) No notice of determination of tax due or
17    assessment may be issued more than 5 4 years after the end
18    of the calendar year for which the return for the period
19    was filed or the end of the calendar year in which the
20    return for the period was due, whichever occurs later. An
21    audit or review that is timely performed under Section 35
22    of this Act or Section 8-11-2.5 of the Illinois Municipal
23    Code shall toll the applicable 5-year period for a period



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1    of not more than 1 year.
2        (2) If any tax return was not filed or if during any
3    4-year period for which a notice of tax determination or
4    assessment may be issued by the unit of local government
5    the tax paid or remitted was less than 75% of the tax due
6    for that period, the statute of limitations shall be no
7    more than 6 years after the end of the calendar year in
8    which the return for the period was due or the end of the
9    calendar year in which the return for the period was
10    filed, whichever occurs later. In the event that a unit of
11    local government fails to provide a statute of
12    limitations, the maximum statutory period provided in this
13    Section applies.
14    (3) The changes to this Section made by this amendatory
15Act of the 102nd General Assembly do not revive any
16determination and assessment of tax due where the statute of
17limitations has expired as of the effective date of this
18amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, but the changes
19do extend the statute of limitations for the determination and
20assessment of taxes where the statute of limitation has not
21expired as of the effective date of this amendatory Act of the
22102nd General Assembly.
23    This Section does not place any limitation on a unit of
24local government if a fraudulent tax return is filed.
25(Source: P.A. 91-920, eff. 1-1-01.)



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1    Section 10. The Illinois Municipal Code is amended by
2changing Section 8-11-2.5 as follows:
3    (65 ILCS 5/8-11-2.5)
4    Sec. 8-11-2.5. Municipal tax review; requests for
6    (a) If a municipality has imposed a tax under Section
78-11-2, then the municipality, which may act through its
8designated auditor or agent, may conduct an audit of tax
9receipts collected from the public utility that is subject to
10the tax or that collects the tax from purchasers on behalf of
11the municipality to determine whether the amount of tax that
12was paid by the public utility was accurate.
13    (b) Not more than once every 2 years, a municipality that
14has imposed a tax under Section 8-11-2 of this Act may, subject
15to the limitations and protections stated in Section 16-122 of
16the Public Utilities Act and in the Local Government
17Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Act, make a written request via
18e-mail to an e-mail address provided by the utility for any
19information from a utility in the format maintained by the
20public utility in the ordinary course of its business that the
21municipality reasonably requires in order to perform an audit
22under subsection (a). The information that may be requested by
23the municipality includes, without limitation:
24        (1) in an electronic format used by the public utility
25    in the ordinary course of its business, the



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1    premises-specific and other information database used by
2    the public utility to determine the amount of tax due to
3    the municipality, for a time period that includes the year
4    in which the request is made and not more than 6 years
5    immediately preceding that year, as appropriate for the
6    period being audited, and which shall include for each
7    customer premises in the municipality: (i) the premises
8    address and zip code; (ii) the classification of the
9    premises as designated by the public utility, such as
10    residential, commercial, or industrial; (iii) monthly
11    usage information sufficient to calculate taxes due, in
12    therms, kilowatts, minutes, or other such other unit of
13    measurement used to calculate the taxes; (iv) the taxes
14    actually assessed, collected, and remitted to the
15    municipality; (v) the first date of service for the
16    premises, if that date occurred within the period being
17    audited; and (vi) any tax exemption claimed for the
18    premises and any additional information that supports a
19    specific tax exemption, if the municipality requests that
20    information, including the customer name and other
21    relevant data; however, a public utility that is an
22    electric utility may not provide other customer-specific
23    information to the municipality; provided, however, that,
24    if the municipality has requested customer-specific
25    billing, usage, and load shape data from a public utility
26    that is an electric utility and has not provided the



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1    electric utility with the verifiable authorization
2    required by Section 16-122 of the Public Utilities Act,
3    then the electric utility shall remove from the database
4    all customer-specific billing, usage, and load shape data
5    before providing it to the municipality; and
6        (2) the premises address for customer accounts that
7    the public utility's records indicate are: (i) in a
8    bordering municipality, township, or unincorporated area
9    (other than the City of Chicago), provided that the
10    municipality provides the public utility a list of such
11    bordering jurisdictions; or (ii) in any zip code with
12    boundaries that include or are adjacent to the requesting
13    municipality provided that the municipality provides the
14    public utility a list of those zip codes; this item (ii)
15    applies to requests made on or after September 1, 2022. If
16    any such customer is determined by the municipality and
17    the utility to be located within the requesting
18    municipality, then the public utility shall provide the
19    additional information provided in paragraph (1) of this
20    subsection (b). in a format used by the public utility in
21    the ordinary course of its business, summary data, as
22    needed by the municipality, to determine the unit
23    consumption of utility services by providing the gross
24    therms, kilowatts, minutes, or other units of measurement
25    being taxed within the municipal jurisdiction and the
26    gross revenues collected and the associated taxes



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1    assessed.
2    Following the municipality's receipt of the information
3provided by the public utility pursuant to paragraphs (1) or
4(2) of this subsection (b), if a question or issue arises that
5can only be addressed by accessing customer-specific or
6additional information not described in this Section, then the
7utility shall attempt to resolve the question or issue without
8disclosing any customer-specific information. If this process
9does not resolve the question or issue, then either the
10municipality or public utility can further pursue the matter
11before the Department of Revenue, which has the discretion to
12receive or share customer-specific information with the
13municipality as appropriate subject to confidentiality
15    (c) Each public utility must provide the information
16requested under subsection (b) within 45 days after the date
17of the request. :
18        (1) 60 days after the date of the request if the
19    population of the requesting municipality is 500,000 or
20    less; or
21        (2) 90 days after the date of the request if the
22    population of the requesting municipality exceeds 500,000.
23    The time in which a public utility must provide the
24information requested under subsection (b) may be extended by
25an agreement between the municipality and the public utility.
26If a public utility receives, during a single month,



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1information requests from more than 2 municipalities, or the
2aggregate population of the requesting municipalities is
3100,000 customers or more, the public utility is entitled to
4an additional 30 days to respond to those requests.
5    (d) If an audit by the municipality or its agents finds an
6error by the public utility in the amount of taxes paid by the
7public utility, then the municipality must notify the public
8utility of the error. Any such notice must be issued pursuant
9to Section 30 of the Local Government Taxpayers' Bill of
10Rights Act or a lesser period of time from the date the tax was
11due that may be specified in the municipal ordinance imposing
12the tax. Upon such a notice, any audit shall be conducted
13pursuant to Section 35 of the Local Government Taxpayers' Bill
14of Rights Act subject to the timelines set forth in this
15subsection (d). The public utility must submit a written
16response within 60 days after the date the notice was
17postmarked stating that it has corrected the error or stating
18the reason that the error is inapplicable or inaccurate. The
19municipality then has 60 days after the receipt of the public
20utility's response to review and contest the conclusion of the
21public utility. If the parties are unable to agree on the
22disposition of the audit findings within 120 days after the
23notification of the error to the public utility, then either
24party may submit the matter for appeal as outlined in Section
2540 of the Local Government Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Act. If
26the appeals process does not produce a satisfactory result,



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1then either party may pursue the alleged error in a court of
2competent jurisdiction.
3    (e) The public utility shall be liable to the municipality
4for unpaid taxes, including taxes that the public utility
5failed to properly bill to the customer subject to subsection
6paragraph (2) of subsection (e-10) of this Section. This
7subsection (e) does not limit a utility's right to an
8offsetting credit it would otherwise be entitled to, including
9that authorized by subsection (c) of Section 8-11-2 of the
10Code. To the extent that a public utility's errors in past tax
11collections and payments relate to premises located in an area
12of the municipality that was annexed on or after the effective
13date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly,
14however, the public utility shall only be liable for such
15errors beginning 60 days after the date that the municipality
16provided the public utility notice of the annexation, provided
17that the public utility provides municipalities with an email
18address to send annexation notices. A copy of the annexation
19ordinance and the map filed with the County Clerk sent to the
20email address provided by the public utility shall be deemed
21sufficient notice, but other forms of notice may also be
22sufficient No public utility is liable for any error in past
23collections and payments that was unknown by it prior to the
24audit process unless (i) the error was due to negligence by the
25public utility in the collection or processing of required
26data and (ii) the municipality had not failed to respond in



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1writing on an accurate and timely basis to any written request
2of the public utility to review and correct information used
3by the public utility to collect the municipality's tax if a
4diligent review of such information by the municipality
5reasonably could have been expected to discover such error.
6If, however, an error in past collections or payments resulted
7in a customer, who should not have owed a tax to any
8municipality, having paid a tax to a municipality, then the
9customer may, to the extent allowed by Section 9-252 of the
10Public Utilities Act, recover the tax from the public utility,
11and any amount so paid by the public utility may be deducted by
12that public utility from any taxes then or thereafter owed by
13the public utility to that municipality.
14    (e-5) Upon mutual agreement, a utility and municipality
15may use a web portal in lieu of email to receive notice of
16annexations and boundary changes. After December 31, 2025 for
17a gas public utility that serves more than 2,000,000 customers
18in Illinois and after December 31, 2022 for all other public
19utilities that serve more than 1,000,000 retail customers in
20Illinois, the public utilities shall provide a secure web
21portal for municipalities to use, and, thereafter, the web
22portals shall be used by all municipalities to notify the
23public utilities of annexations. The web portal must provide
24the municipality with an electronic record of all
25communications and attached documents that the municipality
26has submitted through the portal.



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1    (e-10) (1) No later than August 1, 2023, the Department of
2Revenue shall develop and publish a written process to be used
3by each public utility and each municipality that imposes a
4tax under Section 8-11-2 of the Code, which may act through its
5designated auditor or agent, under which:
6            (A) by December 31, 2024, and on a regular
7        schedule thereafter to occur approximately every 5
8        years, each public utility shall work collaboratively
9        with each municipality to develop and file with the
10        Department of Revenue, a master list of all premises
11        addresses in the municipality (including premises
12        addresses with inactive accounts) that are subject to
13        such tax and all accounts in the municipality that are
14        exempt from such tax, provided that the final date for
15        the first master list shall be extended, at the
16        utility's request, to no later than December 31, 2026;
17            (B) information is provided to the municipality to
18        facilitate development of the master list including
19        information described in paragraph (1) of subsection
20        (b) of this Section regarding all accounts (including
21        premises addresses with inactive accounts) that the
22        public utility's records show are in the municipality
23        and the premises addresses in (i) any bordering
24        municipality, (ii) any bordering township, or (iii)
25        any zip code that is in any part in the municipality or
26        that borders the municipality;



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1            (C) any dispute between the public utility and the
2        municipality related to the master list will be
3        resolved;
4            (D) on a semi-annual basis following the
5        development of the master list, each public utility
6        shall provide to each municipality certain information
7        that the municipality can use to nominate changes to
8        the master list, including, but not limited to: (i) a
9        list of any tax-related changes, such as the addition
10        or removal of an exemption, or to the taxing
11        jurisdiction, to any account on the master list; and
12        (ii) new premises addresses within the municipality,
13        any bordering municipality, in any bordering township,
14        or in any zip code that is in any part in the
15        municipality or that borders the municipality;
16            (E) accounts nominated by the municipality to be
17        added or deleted from the master list may be submitted
18        to the public utility and related disputes will be
19        resolved;
20            (F) changes may be made to the master list; and
21            (G) the utility may file a master list based
22        solely on its records if the municipality fails to
23        participate and such a municipality may request to
24        restart the process prior to the end of the five-year
25        cycle.
26        (2) No public utility is liable for any error in tax



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1    collections or payments due more than 60 days after the
2    date that the first master list for the relevant
3    municipality is filed with the Department of Revenue
4    unless such error in tax collection or payment:
5            (A) was related to a premises address on the
6        master list at the time of the error;
7            (B) was related to an area of the municipality
8        annexed on or after the effective date of this
9        amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, notice
10        of which was properly provided to the public utility
11        pursuant to the procedures set forth in subsection
12        (e); or
13            (C) resulted from the public utility's failure to
14        comply with the process established in this subsection
15        (e-10).
16        (3) If the public utility uses a portal as set forth in
17    subsection (e-5), all lists, changes affecting tax
18    collection and remission, proposed corrections, and
19    reports shall be provided through such portal.
20    (e-15) If a customer paid a tax to a municipality that the
21customer did not owe or was in excess of the tax the customer
22owed, then the customer may, to the extent allowed by Section
239-252 of the Public Utilities Act, recover the tax or over
24payment from the public utility, and any amount so paid by the
25public utility may be deducted by that public utility from any
26taxes then or thereafter owed by the public utility to that



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2    (e-20) (1) The Department of Revenue shall have the
3authority to resolve a claim by a municipality that a public
4utility materially failed to comply with the requirements of
5subsections (b) or (c) of this Section or the process
6developed under subsection (e-10) of this Section. If the
7Department of Revenue finds, after notice and hearing, that a
8public utility (i) caused a material delay in providing
9information properly requested under such subsections or (ii)
10omitted a material portion of information properly requested,
11then the Department shall assess a penalty on the utility of up
12to $50,000 per audit, or up to $10,000 per audit for a utility
13that served less than 100,000 retail customers on the date of
14the audit notice, or, if the claim relates to subsection
15(e-10), up to $50,000 per 5-year master list cycle or up to
16$10,000 per cycle for a utility that served less than 100,000
17retail customers on the date such master list was filed with
18the Department, which penalty shall be paid by the public
19utility to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
20Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund.
21Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, a penalty assessed
22pursuant to this subsection shall be the exclusive remedy for
23the conduct that is the subject of the claim. A penalty
24assessed under this subsection shall bar and prohibit pursuit
25of any other penalty, fine, or recovery related to the conduct
26for which the penalty was assessed.



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1    (2) No penalty shall be assessed by the Department
2pursuant to this subsection if the Department finds that a
3delay or omission was immaterial or de minimis.
4    (3) Any penalties or fines paid by a public utility
5pursuant to this subsection shall not be recoverable through
6the utility's rates.
7    (4) If a municipality and public utility have a
8disagreement regarding the scope or conduct of an audit
9undertaken pursuant to this Section, they shall work together
10in good faith to attempt to resolve the dispute. If, after a
11period of no less than 14 days, the municipality and public
12utility are not able to reach an agreement regarding the
13dispute, either entity, or both entities jointly, may submit a
14request to the Illinois Department of Revenue seeking
15resolution of the dispute, and the Department shall have the
16authority to resolve the issue, and shall resolve such dispute
17within 60 days. Each such request must include a statement
18showing that consultation and reasonable attempts to resolve
19the dispute have failed.
20    The time period established pursuant to this Section for
21complying with requests for information under this Section
22shall be suspended during the dispute resolution processes set
23forth in this paragraph (4) of subsection (e-20), but only for
24the issue or issues that are the subject of the dispute.
25Information requests that are undisputed shall continue to be
26subject to the time periods for compliance set forth in this



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2    (f) All account specific and premises-specific information
3provided by a public utility under this Section may be used
4only for the purpose of an audit of taxes conducted under this
5Section and the enforcement of any related tax claim. All such
6information must be held in strict confidence by the
7municipality and its agents and may not be disclosed to the
8public under the Freedom of Information Act or under any other
9similar statutes allowing for or requiring public disclosure.
10    (g) The provisions of this Section shall not be construed
11as diminishing or replacing any civil remedy available to a
12municipality, taxpayer, or tax collector.
13    (h) This Section does not apply to any municipality having
14a population greater than 1,000,000.
15    (i) The changes to subsection (e) and paragraph (2) of
16subsection (e-10) of this Section made by this amendatory Act
17of the 102nd General Assembly apply to taxes due on or after
18August 1, 2022. The remaining changes to this Section made by
19this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly apply on or
20after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd
21General Assembly.
22    (j) As used in this Section:
23    "Customer-specific information" means the name, phone
24number, email address, and banking information of a customer.
25"Customer-specific information" includes the load-shape data
26associated with a customer account. "Customer-specific



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1information" does not include the tax-exempt status of the
2premises and the name of tax exempt customers.
3    "Premises-specific information" means any information,
4including billing and usage data, associated with a premises
5address that is not customer-specific information.
6    "Premises address" includes the jurisdiction to which the
7address is currently coded by the public utility for municipal
8tax purposes.
9(Source: P.A. 96-1422, eff. 8-3-10.)
10    Section 15. The Public Utilities Act is amended by
11changing Section 16-122 as follows:
12    (220 ILCS 5/16-122)
13    Sec. 16-122. Customer information.
14    (a) Upon the request of a retail customer, or a person who
15presents verifiable authorization and is acting as the
16customer's agent, and payment of a reasonable fee, electric
17utilities shall provide to the customer or its authorized
18agent the customer's billing and usage data.
19    (b) Upon request from any alternative retail electric
20supplier and payment of a reasonable fee, an electric utility
21serving retail customers in its service area shall make
22available generic information concerning the usage, load shape
23curve or other general characteristics of customers by rate
24classification. Provided however, no customer specific



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1billing, usage or load shape data shall be provided under this
2subsection unless authorization to provide such information is
3provided by the customer pursuant to subsection (a) of this
5    (c) Upon request from a unit of local government and
6payment of a reasonable fee, an electric utility shall make
7available information concerning the usage, load shape curves,
8and other characteristics of customers by customer
9classification and location within the boundaries of the unit
10of local government, however, no customer specific billing,
11usage, or load shape data shall be provided under this
12subsection unless authorization to provide that information is
13provided by the customer. This subsection (c) does not
14prohibit an electric utility from providing a unit of local
15government or its designated auditor the materials delineated
16in Section 8-11-2.5 of the Illinois Municipal Code for the
17purposes of an audit under that Section.
18    (d) All such customer information shall be made available
19in a timely fashion in an electronic format, if available.
20(Source: P.A. 92-585, eff. 6-26-02.)
21    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
22becoming law.