Lowering Property Taxes

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

I am happy that I own my house. I do not have to worry about a mortgage or any bank loans and interest. However, every year I have to pay property taxes. I have seen my property taxes go up by 50 percent in an 11 year period. That is much too steep an increase, and all I can say is that I can certainly use property tax relief. So can several million other Illinois property owners. Current Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner campaigned on freezing or lowering the property taxes. It is a promise I will hold him to. Illinois property taxes are among the highest in the U.S. Midwest, and we can certainly use some relief now.

Apparently, the Democrats do not see it that way. From my perspective, they would be happy that Bruce Rauner was never elected in the first place. For the Democrats in the Springfield legislature, this was the will of the people, so get used to it! Maybe the Democrats have no problems with higher property taxes. They may be able to pay those taxes. But us mortals have in too many cases serious problems paying high and higher property taxes. Bruce Rauner may be pro-business, but there is method to his madness.

Higher property taxes mean that Illinois residents may have to think about leaving the state. And that is what so many have done—left the state. Illinois has had one of the biggest population exodus of just about any state in the country. Of course, higher property taxes is just one issue in regards to the loss of population in this state. Still, the issue was significant that voters put Rauner into office over an incumbent who stood a better chance of winning the previous election. Another problem is that businesses cannot be started up if they have to pay higher taxes in Illinois. They will relocate to states like Wisconsin and Indiana and Iowa where they have more incentives to start a business.

In my view, trying to bring homeowners property tax relief is NOT a Republican issue but an American and specifically Illinois issue. This state needs more businesses coming in and being started here. This state needs to assure homeowners that they do not have to up and leave to avoid paying higher property taxes. This state needs to create a stable base for jobs growth. If I support a property tax freeze or property tax reduction it is because I am a property owner and am worried every single year when I have to open that envelope from the county assessor’s office.

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