Administrative Read Reference


Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL)

The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) [35 ILCS 200/18] is designed to limit the increases in property tax extension (total taxes billed) for non-home rule taxing districts. Although the law is commonly referred to as "tax caps," use of this phrase can be misleading. The PTELL does not "cap" either individual property tax bills or individual property assessments. Instead, the PTELL allows a taxing district to receive a limited inflationary increase in tax extensions on existing property plus an additional amount for new construction, newly annexed areas, and recovered TIF valuations.

The limit slows the growth of revenues to taxing districts when property values and assessments are increasing faster than the rate of inflation. As a whole, property owners have some protection from tax bills that increase only because the market value of their property is rising rapidly.

The "limiting rate" is calculated, for each taxing district, by the county clerk to implement PTELL. The sum of a district’s rates extended for those funds subject to the PTELL cannot exceed this limiting rate. After calculating preliminary rates for the funds, the county clerk will compare the sum of these rates to the limiting rate. If this sum exceeds the limiting rate, the county clerk will reduce each rate proportionally, unless instructed by a taxing district to reduce them in a different way.

Not all counties in Illinois have approved PTELL. If you would like additional information regarding PTELL, visit the Illinois Department of Revenue's website at