A tax is imposed on the priv­i­lege of trans­fer­ring title to real estate or ben­e­fi­cial inter­est in a land trust, as rep­re­sent­ed by the deed that is filed for recor­da­tion, at the rate of Twen­­ty-Five Cents ($0.25) for each Five Hun­dred Dol­lars ($500.00) of val­ue or frac­tion there­of stat­ed in the dec­la­ra­tion pro­vid­ed for in this Sec­tion.  If, how­ev­er, the real estate is trans­ferred sub­ject to a mort­gage, the amount of the mort­gage remain­ing out­stand­ing at the time of trans­fer shall not be includ­ed in the basis of com­put­ing the tax.

Such tax shall be col­lect­ed by the Recorder of Deeds through the sale of rev­enue stamps whose design, denom­i­na­tions and form shall be pre­scribed by the Recorder of Deeds.  The Recorder of Deeds may sell the rev­enue stamps at a rate of Twen­­ty-Five Cents ($0.25) per Five Hun­dred Dol­lars ($500.00) of val­ue or frac­tion there­of.  Except as pro­vid­ed in No. 4 of this Arti­cle, no deed or trust doc­u­ment shall be accept­ed for fil­ing by the Recorder of Deeds unless Coun­ty rev­enue stamps in the required amount have been pur­chased from the Recorder of Deeds.  Such rev­enue stamp shall be affixed to the deed or trust doc­u­ment by the Recorder of Deeds either before or after record­ing as request­ed by the grantee.  A per­son using or affix­ing a rev­enue stamp shall can­cel it and so deface it as to ren­der it unfit for reuse by mark­ing it with his ini­tials and the day, month and year when the affix­ing occurs.  Such mark­ings shall be made by writ­ing or stamp­ing in indeli­ble ink or by per­fo­rat­ing with a machine or punch.  How­ev­er, the rev­enue stamp shall not be so defaced as to pre­vent ready deter­mi­na­tion of its denom­i­na­tion and genuineness.

At such time as the tax levied by this Arti­cle is paid, there shall be filed with the Recorder of Deeds a ful­ly exe­cut­ed and com­plet­ed copy of the “Real Estate Trans­fer Dec­la­ra­tion” required by pro­vi­sions of 35 ILCS 305/3.