Illinois House Republicans called on the Democratic majority Tuesday to hold fair hearings on measures to reduce property taxes in Illinois, which has the second-highest property taxes in the nation.
State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, said since the Property Tax Relief Task Force was created in the fall and wrapped up their work in late December without producing a final report, property taxes across the state continue to increase.
“Again increased bills while another Democrat lead blue-ribbon task force has failed to deliver,” Mazzochi said.
Republicans on Tuesday used a statehouse news conference to call the Illinois Property Tax Relief Task Force a “sham,” a “failure,” a “facade” and an effort to push for increased sales and income taxes rather than property tax relief. They say Democrats need to act.
Task force member, state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, responded.
“I don’t know what they want us to do differently and if they have any good ideas then we’ll support them but where are their ideas and when are we going to start seeing those,” Carroll said.
He said Democrats aren’t kicking the can down the road.
House Republicans say they’ve filed 23 bills, all of which are in the House Rules Committee they called a “graveyard” controlled by Democrats.
Task force member, state Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Humboldt Park, understood Republican’s frustrations.
“I can see there’s skepticism, there always is, but I do know that the pressure we feel strongly, at least this Democrat here, feels really strongly that we have to do something, and we have to do something now,” Ramirez said.
State Rep. Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, said people are leaving Illinois because of a lack of relief.
“And the reason people tell me they’re leaving my district is because property taxes are too high,” Ugaste said. “And when I talk to businesses who are considering moving across state lines that they’re looking to save money they tell me one of the main reasons is property taxes.”
Illinois has led the nation in outbound migration over the past decade.
Some of the House bills Republicans have filed are in the Democratic-controlled Rules Committee.
HB 5293 - Senior citizens homestead school levy exemption
HB 4143 - Mandate relief for schools
HB 5425 - Repeal PTELL use-it-or-lose-it
HB 5426 - Abate excess funds from property tax levy
HB 5427 - Toughen PTELL to 3.5% max
HB 5428 - Local property tax disclosure & supermajority requirements
HB 5429 - COGFA review of Florida, Tennessee and Texas property tax reforms
HB 5430 - Missouri-style senior income tax credit against property
HB 5431 - Enable voters in PTELL counties to roll back levies
HB 5432 - First-time homeowner tax exemption
HB 5435 - End automatic debt renewals & refinancing
HB 5437 - Senior freeze transferability
HB 5438 - Senior homestead exemption & freeze expansions
HB 5439 - Creates the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Task Force
HB 5440 - Sunset all mandates on taxing bodies
HB 4493 - Requires elementary and high school districts to form new unit districts, instead of having separate school districts for each
HB 4494 - Limits local units of government and their ability to continue bonds
HB 4495 - For redevelopment projects, “blighted areas” must have a household median income of 100% or less of the area median income, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HB 4496 - Allows voters to consolidate townships if other units of government can operate more efficiently
HB 4498 - Limits tax increment financing (TIF) to 15 years
HB 4762 - Prohibits taxing districts from holding more than 150% of the previous levy year’s property tax collections and requires excess amounts to be refunded to taxpayers
HB 4711 - Lowers threshold for military veteran service-connected disability homestead exemption
HB 5455 - The chief county assessment officer may consider erroneous homestead exemptions as omitted property