Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) is warning DuPage County voters to look out for an advisory question on November’s ballot about raising property taxes by almost 50 percent every year for the next 30 years.
"I believe this is a terrible proposal," Oberweis told DuPage Policy Journal. "This would drive down the value of homes in DuPage County if it passed."
Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove)
The question is: "Shall DuPage County oppose the General Assembly instituting a property tax increase equivalent to 1 percent of your home's value to help retire state debt?"
Voters should consider that proposal on about the same level as Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker's accelerating income tax proposal, Oberweis said.
"Illinois has already been experiencing an outmigration of successful people and this would clearly accelerate the outmigration, as would Pritzker’s accelerating income tax," he said.
Oberweis, owner of Oberweis Dairy in North Aurora, has represented the 25th District since he first was elected to the seat in 2012. The 25th Senate District is within Cook, Kane, Dupage and Kendall counties.
The DuPage County ballot question follows a proposal by the Chicago Civic Federation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in April when a Chicago Federation speaker proposed an across-the-state tax levy. The levy would be a special property assessment estimated at about 1 percent of actual property value each year for the next three decades. That special property assessment would be in addition to current property taxes.
Illinois is the only state in the nation that has lost population for the last three years in a row, the Chicago Tribune states. A recent study by the University of Illinois also found the state is second only to New Jersey for the country's highest property taxes.
Instead of increasing taxes, lawmakers need to bring them down, Oberweis said.
"Property taxes need to be reduced or at least frozen for the next five years," he said. "We need a constitutional amendment to allow the state to renegotiate the extraordinary pensions that past legislatures under Democrat control have approved."
At a minimum, annual pensions should be limited to $100,000 and "the extraordinary" 3-percent annual cost of living allowance should be ended or reduced, Oberweis said.
"Reducing the unfunded pension liability and its annual catch-up payments would allow the state to increase aid to education and thus allow school districts to reduce their property tax levies," he said. "We also need to reduce the school administration staffs. Too many dollars are going into administration instead of the classroom.”