Property tax freeze a first step in listening to Illinoisans, House candidate says
Darren Bailey wants to know when Illinois lawmakers will put taxpayers first.
“I understand local government officials opposing the idea of a property tax freeze,” Bailey told the East Central Reporter. “No government body wants to make do with less money. But shouldn't we think about the taxpayers for once? Illinois lost more residents last year than any other state.
"Taxes are a big reason why people are leaving Illinois. For the good of Illinois residents and for the long-term good of our local governments, we need to find ways to lower the tax burden in Illinois.”
Legislators have been asked to consider a property tax freeze. In its current, House-amended form, Senate Bill 851 would establish a two-year freeze for local governments in Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Will counties.
The measure would allow those counties to increase property taxes only with voter approval.
Other counties would be subject to a county board issuing a referendum asking whether a property tax freeze should be imposed for 2018 and 2019 or whether to mandate that all local governments within the county jurisdiction be subject to a property tax freeze over that same period and subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) for levy year 2020 and the foreseeable future.
Bailey, who is running against Rep. Dave Reis (R-Willow Hill) in the 109th District primary, said a legitimate question is why Illinois needs all of the units of governments it has.
“Illinois has nearly 7,000 units of local government,” he said. “The state cannot pay its bills. Our communities are strapped for cash. We can't afford all of these units of government. It is no wonder we have the second-highest property taxes in the nation.
"We need to reduce the number of units of local government, because if we don't, our taxes will continue to go up.”
As for SB851, it appears to be on the fast track.
Bryan Smith, the executive director of the Township Officials of Illinois, sent an alert to township officials letting them know that a House Revenue Committee hearing is scheduled for this week and that the bill could go before the full House and Senate by the end of the week.
Bailey said taxpayers should be concerned about what is happening because it’s their hard-money that’s being used.
“Everyone should have a voice in our government,” he said. “Township officials have every right to talk to their lawmakers and present their point of view. But taxpayers also deserve a voice in government. I am running to be their voice.”
In the end, Bailey said all the money earmarked for Springfield serves to rob and destabilize local communities across the state.
“Money spent on taxes is money that is not going into the local economy,” he said. “It means our local retail merchants have to make do with less, which limits their ability to hire new people, which ultimately leads to slow or nonexistent growth.
"Illinois, unlike surrounding states, has not recovered from the recession. Communities, especially ones on the border of other states, are losing jobs, losing residents, and no one is moving in to replace them.”
The 109th House District includes Wayne, Edwards and Wabash counties.