PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD
For the Two Years Ended June 30, 2010
Summary of Findings:
Total this audit: 1
Total last audit: 2
Repeated from last audit: 1
Release Date: May 12, 2011
State of Illinois, Office of the Auditor General
WILLIAM G. HOLLAND, AUDITOR GENERAL
To obtain a copy of the Report contact:
Office of the Auditor General, Iles Park Plaza, 740 E. Ash Street, Springfield, IL 62703
(217) 782-6046 or TTY (888) 261-2887
This Report Digest and Full Report are also available on the worldwide web at www.auditor.illinois.gov
• The Board did not allow for the speedy hearing of all appeals.
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
NEED TO IMPROVE UPON THE TIMELINESS FOR HEARING APPEALS
The Property Tax Appeal Board (Board) did not allow for the speedy hearing of all appeals.
The Board’s mission is to provide an informal public forum for the speedy hearings of contested appeals, resolve appeals in a timely fashion by impartial decisions based upon equity and the weight of the evidence as set forth in the Board’s findings, to establish clear, concise, accurate, and timely communications with the public, and to maintain a workforce that demonstrates the highest standards of integrity, efficiency, and performance.
We tested 25 case files and noted the following:
• Six of 25 (24%) cases were closed during the examination period; however it took between 218 and 660 days for the Board to process the appeals.
• Eighteen of 25 (72%) cases were pending as of June 30, 2010. These cases had been received by the Board between 97 to 748 days earlier. Nine (36%) of the cases have been pending for greater than one year.
Total appeals pending at year end were:
• June 30, 2008 – 52,278
• June 30, 2009 – 44,966
• June 30, 2010 – 55,845
Based upon the number of cases pending and the amount processed during fiscal year 2010, it would require more than two years for the Board to process the current pending cases as of June 30, 2010.
Board management stated that in FY 2002, the Board had 53 full-time staff with a caseload of 18,836. Senate Bill 620 was introduced in 2003 to reduce the Board’s jurisdiction in Cook County to 6 units or less. The Bill was not passed; however, the Board’s budget and staffing levels were reduced by over 50%. In FY 2010, the Board received 31,554 appeals with only 18 full-time staff. (Finding 1, pages 9-10) This finding was first reported in 2004.
We recommended that the Board continue its efforts to obtain the resources necessary to adequately address its responsibilities for the timely processing of all appeals.
Board management accepted our recommendation and stated that they will continue to seek additional resources to provide for timely processing and hearings. In FY 2012, the proposed PTAB budget provides for the addition of 11 full-time staff that includes 4 clerical and 7 hearing officers. The addition of staff will assist in addressing the current backlog of appeals and provide for more timely hearings. (For previous Board response, see Digest Footnote #1.)
WILLIAM G. HOLLAND
SPECIAL ASSISTANT AUDITORS
DeRaimo Motto & Associates were our special assistant auditors for this State Compliance Examination.
#1 – Need to improve Upon Timeliness for Hearing Appeals – Previous Board Response
The Board will continue to look for ways to improve procedures to timely process all property tax appeals. Additionally, the Board is recommending the implementation of filing fees in an effort to acquire additional resources.