Promising an executive order to fix what he called the “unfair property tax system in the state of Illinois.” – Gov. Bruce Rauner called on legislators to block state lawmakers from receiving income from property tax appeals.
According to the Daily Herald report, on Thursday at an event at the South suburban Country Club Hills city hall, Rauner listened to Illinois residents who stressed how the high property taxes cause many to struggle to stay in their homes.
According to the news outlet, cutting property taxes is key to bringing people as well as businesses back to Illinois – Rauner says. Illinois’ population fell by 33,000+ residents in 2017 and is now the sixth-largest state in the country. Residents of the state blame property taxes as one of the major reasons they had to leave the state.
State lawmakers are allowed to represent individuals before the Illinois Property Tax Appeals Board, under current rules, according to the news outlet. The board oversees complaints about property tax assessments outside Cook County. Rauner said the policy discourages legislators from shifting the process and vowed to issue an executive order directing the appeals board to end the practice.
According to the Daily Herald, legislators are already not allowed to represent individuals before the Court of Claims and the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Rauner’s proposal would widen restrictions to include the Property Tax Appeals Board as well as local government bodies.
“Our system is broken because it’s full of conflicts of interest, corruption [and] abuse,” Rauner said. “Our system in Cook County is rigged against taxpayers and homeowners, and it’s discriminatory — it hurts families in the South suburbs disproportionately.”
According to the news outlet, Rauner said keeping lawmakers from acting as property tax lawyers is the first key step towards fixing property taxes in Illinois which some of the highest in the nation. Rauner also encourages other steps to be made to help reduce Illinois’ property taxes.
Rauner called on Joe Berrios, Cook County Assessor to resign – stating he has repeatedly overvalued homes and business in Cook County. He continued with saying homeowners are forced to hire attorneys who benefit from the number of property tax complaints – creating a vicious cycle of unfair tax increases. Rauner also notes he plans to introduce legislation that would make it a crime for members of Illinois’ General Assembly to make money from property tax appeals, according to the news outlet.
Rauner then promised again to introduce a bill that would allow residents to either freeze or lower property taxes through voter referendums, according to the news outlet.
“We have the third-highest property tax burden in the U.S., and more mortgages under water due to crushing taxes than in 48 other states,” Rauner said. “Illinois has too many terrific assets — a tremendous workforce, world-class educational institutions and an unparalleled transportation hub, to name a few — to allow high taxes to continue to drain our economy.”