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February 21, 2024

Downers Grove- Is saving $386.75 worth losing $129,996.00 and possibly your pension?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On October 30, 2015

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –
The Village of Downers Grove Finance Director, Judy Buttny, (who currently earns $129,966 per year) and her husband, Louis, own several properties in the Village of Downers Grove. According to tax records, they are claiming the $6000 dollar residential exemption on TWO properties, and have done so for the past three years.

The law only permits such an exemption for the property that you reside in.

Two separate properties, 4828 Forest, and 4529 Saratoga.  The PTAX form shows they claimed the $6000 residential exemption for the 4529 Saratoga property and claimed it was to be their principal residence.   According to sources, they never lived there, but for the last three years they have been the beneficiaries of that $6000 exemption.
Where this takes an interesting turn is a mortgage deed they signed specifically acknowledging they are going to reside at the 4828 Forest property for a year was recorded with the DuPage recorder on December of 2012. (See date stamp and paragraph 6 of the mortgage paper)
Then three months after signing that above document, a trustee’s deead was recorded for the 4529 Saratoga property. That document (see Trustees Deed here), along with the PTAX form reflect this as their residence.  
Looking at the tax history for the residence in which they do not reside, last year’s tax bill should have reflected an additional $386.75 in taxes due.
Several questions we have for this public official, of which at time of this publication she has not responded to our email questions, are as follows.

  • Is $386.75 in property tax savings worth risking losing your $129,000.00 a year job?
  • Is defrauding the taxpayers to your gain and their loss an act that should impact your position as the Village Finance Director?
  • Are you aware certain criminal statutes may apply pertaining to providing false and misleading information on tax records?

This is not the first time and we are sure it wont be the last time we expose public officials who takes property tax exemptions not authorized by law.   A recent patronage hiring by the Governors office was exposed claiming the same type exemption in two different states.
One can only wonder how many others public officials in this state are doing the same thing. The question now is what will her employers do?  Will they ask for a criminal investigation for tax fraud?

To the good people of Downers Grove, demand integrity and honesty from your public officials and when they fail you, demand they be held accountable and responsible.



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  • John McKeon
    Posted at 14:59h, 30 October

    In IL you can give a limited homestead limited exemption to a renter on a single family deeded property, it has to be filed each year and notarized with the below statement in the lease. It is intended to pass the savings onto the renter.
    HOMESTEAD LIMITED EXEMPTION. Only applies to single Family rentals.
    “Lessee shall be liable for payment of real estate taxes with respect to the residence in accordance with the terms and conditions of 35 ILCS 200/15-175. The permanent real estate index number for the premises is Parcel Number XXXXXXXX and according to the most recent property tax bill, the current amount of real estate taxes associated with this premises is $X,XXX,XX per year. The parties agree that the monthly rent set forth above shall be increased or decreased pro rata (effective January 1 of each calendar year) to reflect any increase or decrease in real estate taxes. Lessee shall be deemed to be satisfying Lessee’s liability for the above mentioned real estate taxes with monthly rent payment as set forth above (on increase or decrease as set forth herein).”

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 15:54h, 30 October

      (f) “Homestead property” under this Section includes residential property that is occupied by its owner or owners as his or their principal dwelling place, or that is a leasehold interest on which a single family residence is situated, which is occupied as a residence by a person

        who has an ownership interest therein

      , legal or equitable or as a lessee, and on which the person is liable for the payment of property taxes.

  • Kirk Allen
    Posted at 19:01h, 30 October

    Received today.
    Mr. Allen,
    Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. I was unaware that this exemption was being applied to the 4529 Saratoga property. I have rectified this issue.
    Judy Buttny

    • Fed Up Citizen
      Posted at 22:24h, 30 October

      Hmmmm…..can’t wait to see how it was rectified….

  • DG Resident
    Posted at 06:22h, 31 October

    Ignorance of the law is not, and should not be a defense in a court of law especially for the FINANCE DIRECTOR OF A LARGE CITY. I think this issue should be brought in front of the city council at a public meeting and discussed. The question now becomes, if you don’t know what’s going on with your own finances do you really know what’s going on with the finances of Downers Grove ???? Was this truly a mistake or incompetence????
    My feeling is that regardless of whether it was incompetence or theft, she should be removed from office immediately simply to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

  • Angry Taxpayer
    Posted at 10:26h, 01 November

    Ms. Buttny,
    Since you chose to respond here I have several questions for you.
    1. You do you plan to re-imburse the taxpayers for the money you owe plus any late fees, correct?
    2. How could you be “unaware” of the expemptions you were claiming when it was printed on 3 different forms that were in your posession?
    3. If you were “unaware” of your own personal finances are you also “unaware” of some aspects of the village finances?
    As a resident of Downers Grove I would like to see you resign your position. If you are not competent enough to run your own personal finances then I dont feel that you are competent enough to run the finances of a large city. To that end, I am going to begin to circulate a petition which will be signed by DG residents and be presented to the city council requesting your resignation and if you refuse to resign then your firing.
    We don’t need people like you in Illinois politics. We have far too many crooked politicians and public employees in this state and we certainly don’t need or want anymore.