Ives rejects property tax bill that offers only 'fake reform'
There's no such thing as property tax reform that doesn't address the underlying causes of high property taxes, Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) argued on Wednesday in voting against Senate Bill 484.
“We’ve got fake reform here,” Ives said. “We’ve got no control for the cost drivers, no control for local municipalities' costs for workers’ compensation, and no control for collective bargaining reform, prevailing wages reform and everything else. All the cost drivers that have an ever-increasing impact on property taxes are not taken care of in this bill. That’s why it’s fake reform.”
Democrats have called SB484 a compromise because it includes concessions to Republican demands, such as enacting a four-year property tax freeze instead of two, as was originally proposed. However, the bill excludes Chicago and counties and municipalities that use property tax revenue to pay off pension debt.
Many Republicans found the exclusions unacceptable.
Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) called the measure “property tax limitation” but agreed to support it so that a budget could be passed.
“If this is what it takes, whether or not this is the final bill -- and I hope that perhaps that it isn’t and negotiations continue – but if this is what it takes to help get us to a budget, then I think we really seriously need to look at voting 'yes' on the bill,” Harris said.
Ives refused to offer her support because the measure leaves out what she calls the biggest property tax driver: pensions.
“We’re not -- with this bill or have we in any other bills -- really solving the pension crisis that affects not only the state fund but the local level pension funds,” Ives said. “I’m talking about districts or municipalities who has 100 percent of the property taxes they collect only going into pensions...this bill gives them no flexibility to manage those costs."
The mixed reaction to SB484 was evident in voting, where it failed 59-46.
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