IFFA AWARDSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham was named Legislator of the Year by the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (IFFA) on Wednesday for his advocacy on behalf of firefighters and other first responders in the Illinois State Senate.

“I’m honored to be chosen for this award I want to thank the IFFA for its continued advocacy on behalf of Illinois firefighters,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “I look forward to continuing to work with the IFFA and first responders throughout the state to promote the interests of Illinois firefighters.”

Cunningham has worked on behalf of first responders in Springfield since he first joined the General Assembly in 2011. Last session, he introduced legislation to protect Chicago firefighters’ pensions by allowing them to transfer credit from their previous service to their current pensions.

“Illinois’ firefighters are heroes who put their own lives on the line on a daily basis to keep us safe,” Cunningham said. “State government needs to look out for these brave men and women the way they look out for us.”

Category: Press Releases

04272017CM1587SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham that would make it easier for seniors to receive a tax break passed Illinois State Senate Thursday.

Senate Bill 1257 would eliminate the need for residents aged 65 or older to reapply annually to receive the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, a property tax exemption designed to assist senior citizens financially.

Currently, every county in Illinois other than Cook may allow seniors to receive the exemption without reapplying.

“The requirement to reapply annually for this tax break is an unnecessary hurdle that makes it more difficult for seniors to get tax relief,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This bill will make government more efficient and exempt seniors from repeating a sometimes frustrating and confusing application process.”

The measure also requires the Cook County Accessor’s Office, the Cook County Clerk and the Recorder of Deeds Office to communicate when a home receiving an exemption is sold to ensure the tax break is not awarded to residents who do not qualify.

Senate Bill 1257 passed 51-0. It will now go before the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

04062017AM1031Chicago – Every year, hundreds of properties in Cook County are lost by homeowners to so-called "tax scavengers," who buy houses at auction when the owner fails to pay property taxes. Oftentimes, homeowners are caught off guard, having missed their property tax bill in the mail or because they failed to keep up with confusing paperwork.

“Property owners can find themselves in crisis situations because they’re unaware their property taxes went unpaid,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “Senior citizens are more likely to face this issue because their mortgages are more likely to be paid off, so a bank is no longer ensuring the taxes are being paid through an escrow account."

In Senator Cunningham’s district alone, there are 1,530 property owners who are past due on their property taxes, according to records maintained by the Cook County Treasurer’s Office. Of those, 84 are senior citizens.

“Cook County residents who don’t know their status should check with the Cook County Treasurer’s Office,” said Cunningham. “This is an easy problem to avoid with a quick phone call or by spending some time on the treasurer's website.”

The County Treasurer can be reached at 312-443-5100 or at cookcountytreasurer.com. To check your property's tax payment status enter your Property Index Number (PIN) or property address here here.

Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago.

Category: Press Releases

02212018CM0597SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham that would make it easier for seniors to receive a tax break passed the Senate Revenue Committee in a bipartisan vote Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1257 would eliminate the need for Cook County residents aged 65 or older to reapply annually to receive the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, a property tax exemption designed to assist senior citizens financially.

Currently, every county in Illinois other than Cook may allow seniors to receive the exemption without reapplying.

“The requirement to reapply annually for this tax break places an undue burden on our senior citizens,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “Eliminating this requirement will not only assist our seniors by streamlining the process, but also eliminate an unnecessary use of resources that could be directed elsewhere.”

The measure also requires the Cook County Accessor’s Office and the Recorder of Deeds Office to communicate when a home receiving an exemption is sold to ensure the tax break is not awarded to residents who do not qualify.

Senate Bill 1257 will now go before the entire Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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