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


Sen. Laura M. Murphy

Filed: 5/10/2021





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 1794 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
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) For utility taxes, no No notice of determination



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1    of tax due or assessment may be issued more than 7 4 years
2    after the end of the calendar year for which the return for
3    the period was filed or the end of the calendar year in
4    which the return for the period was due, whichever occurs
5    later. An audit or review that is timely performed under
6    Section 35 of this Act or Section 8-11-2.5 of the Illinois
7    Municipal Code shall toll this 7-year period.
8        (1.5) Except for utility taxes under paragraph (1), no
9    notice of determination of tax due or assessment may be
10    issued more than 4 years after the end of the calendar year
11    for which the return for the period was filed or the end of
12    the calendar year in which the return for the period was
13    due, whichever occurs later.
14        (2) Except for utility taxes under paragraph (1), if
15    If any tax return was not filed or if during any 4-year
16    period for which a notice of tax determination or
17    assessment may be issued by the unit of local government
18    the tax paid or remitted was less than 75% of the tax due
19    for that period, the statute of limitations shall be no
20    more than 6 years after the end of the calendar year in
21    which the return for the period was due or the end of the
22    calendar year in which the return for the period was
23    filed, whichever occurs later. In the event that a unit of
24    local government fails to provide a statute of
25    limitations, the maximum statutory period provided in this
26    Section applies.



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1        (3) The changes to this Section made by this
2    amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly do not revive
3    any determination and assessment of tax due where the
4    statute of limitations has expired, but do extend the
5    current statute of limitations for the determination and
6    assessment of taxes that have not yet expired.
7    This Section does not place any limitation on a unit of
8local government if a fraudulent tax return is filed.
9(Source: P.A. 91-920, eff. 1-1-01.)
10    Section 10. The Illinois Municipal Code is amended by
11changing Section 8-11-2.5 as follows:
12    (65 ILCS 5/8-11-2.5)
13    Sec. 8-11-2.5. Municipal tax review; requests for
15    (a) If a municipality has imposed a tax under Section
168-11-2, then the municipality may conduct an audit of tax
17receipts collected from the public utility that is subject to
18the tax or that collects the tax from purchasers on behalf of
19the municipality to determine whether the amount of tax that
20was paid by the public utility was accurate.
21    (b) Not more than once annually every 2 years, a
22municipality that has imposed a tax under this Act may,
23subject to the limitations and protections stated in Section
2416-122 of the Public Utilities Act and in the Local Government



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1Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Act, make a written request via
2e-mail to an e-mail address provided by the utility for any
3information from a utility in the format maintained by the
4public utility in the ordinary course of its business that the
5municipality reasonably requires in order to perform an audit
6under subsection (a). The information that may be requested by
7the municipality includes, without limitation:
8        (1) in an electronic format used by the public utility
9    in the ordinary course of its business, the
10    premises-specific and other information database used by
11    the public utility to determine the amount of tax due to
12    the municipality; provided, however, that a public utility
13    that is an electric utility may not provide
14    customer-specific information , if the municipality has
15    requested customer-specific billing, usage, and load shape
16    data from a public utility that is an electric utility and
17    has not provided the electric utility with the verifiable
18    authorization required by Section 16-122 of the Public
19    Utilities Act, then the electric utility shall remove from
20    the database all customer-specific billing, usage, and
21    load shape data before providing it to the municipality;
22    and
23        (2) information related to each premises address that
24    the public utility's records indicate:
25            (A) is located in the municipality;
26            (B) is located in an adjacent unincorporated



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1        municipality identified by the requesting
2        municipality; or
3            (C) is located in one of a list of zip codes
4        provided by the requesting municipality that include
5        areas within the requesting municipality's boundaries;
6        and
7        (3) for each address identified in paragraph (2):
8            (A) the premises address and zip code;
9            (B) classification of the premises as designated
10        by the public utility (e.g., residential, commercial,
11        industrial);
12            (C) first date of service; and
13            (D) for each month of service in the current year
14        (up to one month prior to the date of the request by
15        the municipality) and for the previous 10 calendar
16        years:
17                (i) the amount of the utility service used,
18            measured in gross therms, kilowatts, minutes, or
19            other units of measurement;
20                (ii) total taxable charges;
21                (iii) the total tax collected and remitted;
22                (iv) the municipal jurisdiction for tax
23            collection and remittance; and
24                (v) whether the customer is exempt from
25            municipal tax. in a format used by the public
26            utility in the ordinary course of its business,



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1            summary data, as needed by the municipality, to
2            determine the unit consumption of utility services
3            by providing the gross therms, kilowatts, minutes,
4            or other units of measurement being taxed within
5            the municipal jurisdiction and the gross revenues
6            collected and the associated taxes assessed.
7    (c) Each public utility must provide the information
8requested under subsection (b) within 90 days after the date
9of the request. :
10        (1) 60 days after the date of the request if the
11    population of the requesting municipality is 500,000 or
12    less; or
13        (2) 90 days after the date of the request if the
14    population of the requesting municipality exceeds 500,000.
15    The time in which a public utility must provide the
16information requested under subsection (b) may be extended by
17an agreement between the municipality and the public utility.
18If the public utility fails to respond to the request for
19information with complete information within the timeline
20established by this Section, the public utility shall be
21liable to the municipality for a penalty of $1,000 for each day
22it fails to produce the requested information. Those penalties
23shall be assessed by the municipality, but may be reduced or
24vacated by the municipality or a court of competent
25jurisdiction upon demonstration by the public utility, by
26clear and convincing evidence, that the public utility's



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1failure to provide the requested information within the
2timeline established by this Section resulted from excusable
3neglect. If a public utility receives, during a single month,
4information requests from more than 2 municipalities, or the
5aggregate population of the requesting municipalities is
6100,000 customers or more, the public utility is entitled to
7an additional 30 days to respond to those requests.
8    (d) If an audit by the municipality or its agents finds an
9error by the public utility in the amount of taxes paid by the
10public utility, then the municipality must notify the public
11utility of the error. Any such notice must be issued pursuant
12to Section 30 of the Local Government Taxpayers' Bill of
13Rights Act or a lesser period of time from the date the tax was
14due that may be specified in the municipal ordinance imposing
15the tax. Upon such a notice, any audit shall be conducted
16pursuant to Section 35 of the Local Government Taxpayers' Bill
17of Rights Act subject to the timelines set forth in this
18subsection (d). The public utility must submit a written
19response within 60 days after the date the notice was
20postmarked stating that it has corrected the error or stating
21the reason that the error is inapplicable or inaccurate. The
22municipality then has 60 days after the receipt of the public
23utility's response to review and contest the conclusion of the
24public utility. If the parties are unable to agree on the
25disposition of the audit findings within 120 days after the
26notification of the error to the public utility, then either



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1party may submit the matter for appeal as outlined in Section
240 of the Local Government Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Act. If
3the appeals process does not produce a satisfactory result,
4then either party may pursue the alleged error in a court of
5competent jurisdiction. If the municipality prevails and
6receives at least 50% of the relief requested in court, the
7public utility is liable for the attorney's fees and costs of
8the municipality.
9    (d-5) If a public utility is liable for any error or errors
10in past tax payments cumulatively in excess of $5,000 that
11were unknown prior to an audit from the municipality, the
12public utility shall reimburse the municipality for the cost
13of the audit in addition to any interest and penalties
15    (e) (Blank). No public utility is liable for any error in
16past collections and payments that was unknown by it prior to
17the audit process unless (i) the error was due to negligence by
18the public utility in the collection or processing of required
19data and (ii) the municipality had not failed to respond in
20writing on an accurate and timely basis to any written request
21of the public utility to review and correct information used
22by the public utility to collect the municipality's tax if a
23diligent review of such information by the municipality
24reasonably could have been expected to discover such error.
25If, however, an error in past collections or payments resulted
26in a customer, who should not have owed a tax to any



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1municipality, having paid a tax to a municipality, then the
2customer may, to the extent allowed by Section 9-252 of the
3Public Utilities Act, recover the tax from the public utility,
4and any amount so paid by the public utility may be deducted by
5that public utility from any taxes then or thereafter owed by
6the public utility to that municipality.
7    (e-5) The public utility shall be liable to the
8municipality for all unpaid taxes due during the statutory
9period set forth in Section 30 of the Local Government
10Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Act, including taxes that the public
11utility failed to properly bill to the customer. To the extent
12that a public utility's errors in past tax collections and
13payments relate to premises located in an area of the
14municipality that was annexed on or after the effective date
15of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, however,
16the public utility shall only be liable for such errors
17beginning 60 days after the date that the municipality
18provided the public utility notice of the annexation, provided
19that the public utility provides municipalities with an e-mail
20address to send annexation notices and the municipality
21notified the utility within 60 days after the annexation. A
22copy of the annexation ordinance and the map provided to the
23recorder of the county under this Act sent to the e-mail
24address provided by the public utility shall be deemed
25sufficient notice, but other forms of notice may also be



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1    (f) All premises-specific account specific information
2provided by a public utility under this Section may be used
3only for the purpose of an audit of taxes conducted under this
4Section and the enforcement of any related tax claim. All such
5information must be held in strict confidence by the
6municipality and its agents and may not be disclosed to the
7public under the Freedom of Information Act or under any other
8similar statutes allowing for or requiring public disclosure.
9    (g) The provisions of this Section shall not be construed
10as diminishing or replacing any civil remedy available to a
11municipality, taxpayer, or tax collector.
12    (g-5) As used in this Section:
13    "Customer-specific information" means the name, phone
14number, email address, and banking information of a customer,
15but specifically excludes the customer's tax exempt status.
16    "Premises-specific information" means any information,
17including billing, usage, and load shape data, associated with
18a premises address but not with customer-specific information.
19    (h) This Section does not apply to any municipality having
20a population greater than 1,000,000.
21(Source: P.A. 96-1422, eff. 8-3-10.)
22    Section 15. The Public Utilities Act is amended by adding
23Section 9-224.1 as follows:
24    (220 ILCS 5/9-224.1 new)



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1    Sec. 9-224.1. Audit compliance; municipal fines. For the
2purpose of determining any rate or charge, the Commission
3shall not consider the following costs as an expense of any
4public utility company, including any allocation of those
5costs to the public utility from an affiliate or corporate
6parent: (i) costs associated with an audit conducted under
7Section 8-11-2.5 of the Illinois Municipal Code; (ii) any
8court costs, attorney's fees, or other fees incurred under
9subsection (d) of Section 8-11-2.5 of the Illinois Municipal
10Code; (iii) unpaid utility taxes owed to a municipality
11(provided that the person delivering electricity shall be
12allowed credit for such tax related to deliveries of
13electricity the charges for which are written off as
14uncollectible); or (iv) any penalties or interest imposed by a
15municipality under Section 8-11-2.5 of the Illinois Municipal