Playing Games on Property Tax Reform

State Rep. Jeanne Ives
May 3, 2017

Daily Herald: Why Your Tax Bill May Go Up If Homeowner’s Exemption Changes

This Daily Herald article gets this political pandering bill exactly right. Political gimmick. We need real property tax reform, not carve outs for special groups of people. This bill would allow wealthy veterans with homes worth $750,000 to receive tax breaks shifting the levy onto poorer middle class families and businesses. None of these breaks are "means tested" - a progressive "Holy Grail." Glad I voted NO - the only one to do so in the House. Other Republicans spoke against the bill, but voted for it - afraid of political mail pieces. This is entirely what is wrong in Springfield. Meanwhile the sponsors will pander in the next election that they passed a property tax reform bill, but the sponsor admitted on the House floor that the bill does not freeze taxes or ensure they will be lower.
My exchange with the sponsor during debate can be viewed here:


Here is what the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, a leading business group, said about the bill: "While residents will receive a break, this will shift their tax burden to commercial and industrial taxpayers resulting in a nearly 2 percent hike in property tax bills for employers." It is a shift in burden – not a freeze or hard cap in property taxes.
From the Carol Portman, President of Illinois Taxpayer Federation: “Essentially, it’s a shift of tax burden from one group onto another, and not necessarily a tax decrease, even for homeowners. The other exemptions will require additional tax rate increases, and the higher rates will hit all property owners, whether eligible for exemptions or not.”
Click HERE to read today’s article in the Daily Herald.
This is not the first time the Illinois House has passed property tax bills that don’t solve the problem of the first or second highest in the nation rating we have.  Last August I wrote the article below because everyone should understand the fake votes going on in Springfield.  They are meant for campaign mail pieces, not policy solutions.
Seventeen Times
By Rep Jeanne Ives
August 2016

Have you gotten mailers from your Democrat state representatives saying they voted to freeze your property taxes, yet? If you haven’t, you will. They took the vote up to seventeen times.

As a state legislator, I can assure you that no bill gets seventeen votes. It is extremely rare that a bill gets a second vote. So what’s going on here?

It’s a game that’s being played. House Democrats, led by Speaker Madigan, know that they are going to have to answer for the fact that your property taxes are skyrocketing. They need to have a vote or two to point to on a campaign mailer. These votes are part of a scam that’s being perpetrated on Illinois homeowners.

On these bill Republicans vote ‘Present,’ because they refuse to participate in Mike Madigan’s political theater. Then, Democrats in “safe districts” are strategically let off the vote to ensure that it doesn’t pass. The one time Republicans decided to vote in favor of one of the freeze bills, HB 696, to pass it out of the House, nothing happened. It wasn’t sent onto the Senate for a vote. House Democrats let it die intentionally.

It’s Madigan’s game and suburban Democrats played it time after time after 17th time.

Worse still, everyone is in on it. Lobbyists, administrators and other political insiders who depend on the Democrat legislators who advance their interests, encourage such votes to protect their kept-politicians in power. So, instead of working to pass a balanced budget, they took sham votes on bills that won’t do anything to lower property taxes. All so that Democrat legislators like Michelle Mussman, Deb Conroy, Carol Sente, Mike Smiddy, Sam Yingling and Kate Cloonen can fill your mailbox with glossy mailers touting the great things they are doing in your community.

It is a game that only works for Illinois’ political elites. It doesn’t work for homeowners. We pay the highest property taxes in the nation despite all these politicians who claim they are for lower taxes. We don’t have a balanced budget despite all these politicians who claim they want to compromise on the budget.

Families are being taxed out of their homes, our state is broke, and we have the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Do they think you will be so blinded by those glossy mailers that you won’t notice that? Worse. They count on it. It is the impetus for this whole charade.  

I have never been surprised that Speaker Madigan and his Democrats play political games. They are surely not the only political elites to do so. I’m just surprised that he chooses to make the games so obvious.

In Illinois, let’s tell the ruling class that games and lies so transparent render campaign mailers and rhetoric that not just useless, but ridiculous. 

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