Butler, House Republicans Continue to Push for Property Tax Relief, Despite Democrat-Controlled Task Force Failure

Illinois House Republicans will continue to fight this spring for property tax relief families need and deserve, despite the latest Democrat-controlled task force’s failure to deliver.

Today at a Capitol press conference Representatives Dan Brady (R-Normal), Tim Butler (R-Springfield), Mike Murphy (R-Springfield) and Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) said the final task force report was another missed opportunity, but won’t be the final word.

“I was very hopeful when the property tax relief task force was created that this time Speaker Madigan and his caucus were sincere about easing the crushing property tax burden that is driving families from their homes, and from the state of Illinois. Unfortunately, rather than providing  relief, the Democrats’ so-called reforms focused on expanding the sales tax base to raise even more money without promising to reduce the property tax burden at all,” Rep. Brady said. “Nevertheless, House Republicans will continue pushing forward this spring with proposals to help reduce families’ property tax burden.”

“It’s no secret that crippling property taxes have been a major problem for years. More than any other burden, Illinois’ convoluted and broken property tax system has driven the high cost of living that has pushed families and businesses out of our state,” said Rep. Butler. “Rather than using this task force as a serious opportunity to offer substantive relief to taxpayers, the Democrats have actually used it to press for the further expansion of other taxes. I wish I could say I was surprised, but frankly, the Democrats approach to this task force has been a farce from the beginning.”

Property tax reform ideas House Republicans will work to pass this spring include:

  • Providing mandate relief to school districts to help them make their own spending choices and control their costs;
  • Expanding property tax relief for seniors; and
  • Allowing greater consolidation of units of local government so resources may be shared.

These ideas and others were presented to the task force and were summarily dismissed by Democrats in control.

“The Democrats are so determined to push a narrative that the state needs more revenue to fix the property tax problem instead of recognizing the most basic, but fundamentally important thing it should do – Get out of the way,” said Rep. Murphy. “Over the past several years, the state has sent down eight unfunded mandates per year to municipalities and six per year to our school districts. We can’t expect property taxes to drop when the General Assembly keeps mandating new and costly programs year, after year. It’s time for Illinois Democrats and the state to get out of the way and stop telling local governments how to spend their money.”

“The final report of the task force was issued without including several good ideas for property tax relief. It was circulated at the last minute with little time for input, review or discussion. A serious issue deserves serious consideration. No reform, no relief. We need to do better,” Rep. Bennett added.

“Illinois families deserve better than the disappointing outcome of this latest task force, and my Republican colleagues and I will keep pushing for real, substantial property tax reform until it is achieved,” Rep. Brady concluded.