EXECUTIVE ORDER 2018-01
EXECUTIVE ORDER TO ELIMINATE IMPERMISSIBLE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
AT THE PROPERTY TAX APPEALS BOARD
WHEREAS, the people of Illinois have the right and expectation that the business of their government will be conducted in an honest and ethical manner; and
WHEREAS, State officials and employees protect the public trust, and must be impartial in the performance of their duties; and
WHEREAS, the public loses their faith in government when they see State officials personally profit from the very constituencies they are meant to serve; and
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois Code of Personal Conduct (the “Code”), which applies to all State officials and employees under the Governor, requires that government be conducted in a transparent, ethical, accountable, and motivated manner; and
WHEREAS, the Code states that State officials and employees “may not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with their official State duties and responsibilities”; and
WHEREAS, the Code states that State officials and employees “must take appropriate action to identify, disclose, and avoid potential conflicts of interest in the performance of their official duties”; and
WHEREAS, conflicts of interest clearly arise where legislators and regulators receive financial benefits by charging Illinois citizens and businesses through a morass of red tape those same officials created by passing complicated rules and establishing confusing and bureaucratic processes; and
WHEREAS, for decades, Illinois government has undermined the fiscal health of its citizens by passing crippling taxes and enacting policies that make the State’s property tax system one of the most complicated and burdensome in the nation; and
WHEREAS, the disastrous outcomes of Illinois’ current property tax system are eroding the State’s ability to sustain the fundamental markers of our health as a state, including economic growth, business and job development, stable homeownership, and the preservation of home values; and
WHEREAS, recent investigations of Cook County by the University of Chicago and Chicago Tribune have also demonstrated property value assessments and appeals are systemically inequitable, yielding disproportionately high property tax burdens on low-income residents; and
WHEREAS, because this is profoundly unfair property tax system, and because of serious public concerns about the fairness of the tax assessment process, avoiding even the appearance of conflicts of interest in the system is of fundamental importance;
THEREFORE, I, Bruce Rauner, Governor of Illinois, by virtue of my executive authority to establish and enforce ethical standards for the executive branch vested in me by Section 8 of Article V and Section 2 of Article XIII of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, do hereby order as follows:
- ELIMINATION OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AT THE PROPERTY TAX APPEALS BOARD
The Property Tax Appeals Board (the “Board”) is a State agency under the jurisdiction of the Governor. The Board hears appeals of property tax assessments made at the county-level throughout Illinois. The Board is empowered to restrict persons who appear before it as representatives of appealing parties. To ensure that the Board conducts its work in an ethical manner, and to ensure that parties before it do not present impermissible conflicts of interest, the Board shall allow no State legislator to participate in any way in any representation case on any matter before the Board. The Board shall also prohibit participation in such a representation case by a legislator where the legislator receives any fee or compensation, directly or indirectly, through any interest in a partnership, limited liability corporation, or other business entity. The Board is directed to amend its rules of practice and procedure to reflect this executive order.
Representation case means a “representation case” as defined by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 420/1-113.
- SAVINGS CLAUSE
This Executive Order does not contravene, and shall not be construed to contravene, any federal law, State statute, or collective bargaining agreement.
- PRIOR EXECUTIVE ORDERS
This Executive Order supersedes any contrary provision of any other prior Executive Order.
- SEVERABILITY CLAUSE
If any part of this Executive Order is found invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect. The provisions of this Executive Order are severable.
- EFFECTIVE DATE
This Executive Order shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.
Bruce Rauner, Governor
Issued by Governor: January 19, 2018
Filed with Secretary of State: January 19, 2018