Smith says Democrats' promises to freeze property taxes won't happen
Promising property tax freezes for the umpteenth time — 17, to be precise — Democratic lawmakers statewide plan on plastering the population with paper, but Michelle Smith, the Republican candidate for state Senate in District 49, isn’t buying it.
Smith observed that the plethora of promises suggests that by now, Illinois residents should have already seen a halt to increasing property tax numbers.
"Democrats and their mailers,” Fairfield's Smith posted on Facebook recently. “Democrats will be sending out mailers suggesting they have voted yes to a property tax freeze, which is true.”
Corroborating observations by state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), Smith questioned the relevance of all the mailers in light of the fact that taxes are still unharnessed.
“Mailers don’t lie,” Ives said this month. “As a state legislator, I can assure you that no bill gets 17 votes. It is extremely rare that a bill gets a second vote. So what’s going on here?”
The flurry of posted pieces indicated to both women that the Democratic originators of the mail campaign may just be playing a game, with the message’s potential power diminished with each subsequent repetition.
“Seventeen votes on a bill that never passes?” Ives said. “Who do they think they’re fooling?”
Smith remarked specifically on the disparity between the mailer crusade and the lack of tangible results.
“So why with the Dems having super majority do we not have a property tax freeze?” Smith said via her Facebook page. “Well, because it’s a political game and we are the pawns."
“It’s a game that’s being played,” she said aligning with Smith’s interpretation. She went on to explain the motivation behind the momentum.
“House Democrats, led by Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), know that they are going to have to answer for the fact that your property taxes are sky-rocketing,” Ives said. “They need to have a vote or two to point at on a campaign mailer. So, they bring a bill to the floor with no intention of seeing into law, and vote on it. The process is a scam that’s being perpetrated on Illinois homeowners.”
Illuminating the process for constituents, Ives went on to describe what happens in a legislative session. When the bill comes up for a vote, Republicans vote “present” while certain Democrats are able to avoid participating. In Ives’ words, they are “strategically let off the vote to ensure that it doesn’t pass.”
The one time that the measure to freeze property taxes actually made it through the House, Ives pointed out, it somehow faltered.
“So, what happened?” Ives queried. “It was never sent to the Senate for a vote. It was never meant to be a law. It was only meant to be a campaign talking point. House Democrats let it die.”
Blaming Madigan, Smith and Ives observed that suburban Democrats washed, rinsed and repeated, cycling in a series of orchestrated moves not unlike a peculiar, long-lasting board game.
Average citizens who might not have been aware of the elaborate choreography behind the paper parade may be interested to know that Madigan and his cronies are not the only factions on the bandwagon; lobbyists, unions, administrators and other Springfield stakeholders all enable the scenario to keep the status quo and protect themselves.
Instead of passing a balanced budget, Ives said, legislators repeatedly take “sham” votes on ineffective proposals that will have nothing to do with property tax reform.
“All so that Democrat legislators can fill your mailbox with glossy mailers touting the great things they are doing for your community,” as Ives put it.
Moreover, the perpetual postponement is not just an innocent game. Families across Illinois are struggling to make ends meet. They pay the highest property taxes in the U.S. — and even as politicians clamor about reductions, nothing has happened. The budget remains unbalanced, unemployment is the nation’s highest, and the state coffers are all but depleted.
“Do they think you will be so blinded by those glossy mailers that you won’t notice that?” Ives said. “Yes, and what’s worse: they count on it. It is the impetus for this whole charade.”
Ives observed that she is surprised not by the Speaker’s shenanigans, but only by the fact that the play is so blatant.
“In Illinois, elections speak louder than words,” Ives said. “On Nov. 8, will you tell the ruling class that games and lies so transparent render campaign mailers and rhetoric not just useless, but ridiculous?”