Friday, July 27, 2012

$100 penalty on $55 late payment

Let's hear a round of applause for a decision made in 2003 by the legislators of the Great State of Illinois. NOT!!!

Did they even seriously consider this bill in 2003? Did they understand it? Did they even read it? Or was it tucked way inside another bill that was being passed because of "negotiation"? I am so glad that I am not a State legislator!

There is a little-known tax called the Mobile Home Local Services Tax. It doesn't affect very many people in Illinois and certainly not very many in McHenry County.

The tax rate per square foot decreases as the mobile home ages, eventually reaching $0.075/sq. ft. Recently, I was informed that a mobile home resident in Crystal Lake had not paid her $55.44 bill due last October. What did it cost her to square up with the County Treasurer?

$155.44! On top of the $55.44 bill, she had to pay $100 in late fees (penalty). Late fees are calculated, by Statute, at $25/month to a maximum of $100.

They used to be lower. Until 2003, the late fee was 1.5%/month. Then our legislators, in their infinite wisdom, jacked up the penalty to $25/month.

The County Treasurer has little choice in assessing the penalty, because it is set by Statute (35 ILCS 515/), which reads in Section 9 that "...the taxpayer shall be required to pay a penalty of $25 per month, or any portion thereof, not to exceed $100."

I haven't lived in a mobile home since college days in eastern Iowa in the early 1960s. It was economical then, and I suspect it might still be so. I did call my landlord one day when a tornado was forecasted. I asked what to do if the home "took off".

His answer was, "You know those jalousie windows? If it takes off, you run around and adjust them for level flight!"

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