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.