Tonia Khouri worries how long Illinois can continue on its current path before the state truly becomes just a shell of its former self.
“If the state keeps overburdening taxpayers, they’re going to keep fleeing the state of Illinois, which is already suffering from population loss and may lead to the loss of two congressional seats,” Khouri, running against Democrat Karina Villa to replace Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) in the 49th House District, recently posted on her website. “Not only does Illinois need new ideas to reduce property taxes, the entire system needs more transparency and fairness in property tax assessments.”
Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) recently studied property tax assessments in Cook, DuPage, Lake and St. Clair Counties, delving into the way current assessment practices make the system harder on some than others.
Rep. Mike Fortner
In Cook County, IPI researchers gleaned data from the Illinois Department of Revenue to conclude that fair and accurate assessments were the most unlikely, with the concept of uniformity being little more than fantasy.
IPI also highlighted the growing “regressivity” across the county, or the act of owners of higher-value residential, commercial and industrial property having lower levels of assessed value than owners of less expensive property.
While researchers noted different ways the system could stand to improve and become fairer, like replacing fractional assessment with assessment at full market value and requiring more frequent assessments from more recent sales data, Khouri seems convinced simply more transparency and fairness would do the trick.
“In many counties in Illinois, taxpayers are confused by a complicated property tax assessments [sic] that causes inaccurate and unfair assessments,” she said. “These are a serious burden on taxpayers and property taxes have grown six times faster than Illinoisans’ household incomes from 2008 to 2015. High property taxes are one of the biggest concerns of residents in the 49th district. People are being overtaxed and they’ve had enough.”
The 49th District includes portions of Batavia, Elgin, Geneva, Hanover, Naperville, St. Charles, Wayne and Winfield.