After reading last week’s column, everyone gets the fact. I love the state of Illinois; however, I don’t like what’s happening to our home state. I can’t say enough, keep voting the same way and you’ll keep getting the same thing.
There’s no question abut the amount of families and businesses that are hauling out because they have had enough of the high taxes and the craziness of this Democrat-run state. By the way, each one that leaves increases your tax rate, so don’t get excited. Their presence will reward other states.
Recently I’ve met a number of people — from Cook County to the tip of Southern Illinois — all sharing their concern for Illinois in response to an article I wrote for the Illinois Policy Institute out of Springfield a few months ago. Two such people are Anthony Travis of Cook County and Bob Anderson of McHenry County and both represent We The People Coalition who work tirelessly with a large group all over Illinois in a campaign to save Illinois.
Their mission is to reform the state of Illinois property tax system by changing a number of things. On the list:
1. Overhaul the pension system by constitutional amendment of Illinois Article 13, Section 5.
2. Shift the tax burden back to the state to live up to the legislatively required state-wide streaming source of revenue to fund public K-12 education.
3. Hold our legislators accountable to their recommended solutions as follows:
a. Removal of school districts from the property tax system by 2026;
b. Unify the 859 school districts to be appropriately, efficiently, and equitably financed by the state;
c. Create 50 county school districts feeding primary into high schools to be operated under the district control, which reduces overhead and administrative costs.
After a number of lengthy conversations and an invitation to join their efforts, they sent me an open letter to Illinoisans that I’m glad to share. So if you’re like me, concerned about the out-of-control spending and property taxes, you need to read the open letter written by Bob Anderson and Anthony Travis. They start with statistics.
Did You Know?
Illinois has 8,529 units of local government. This includes: 1,427 units of township government; 1,391 township road districts; 321 multi-township property tax assessment districts; 94% of township revenues come from property taxes; Unfunded liability estimates for the pension funds range from $140 to $533 billion; 61.5% of property taxes go to the public school system; 859 school districts serve 1,925,415 students in 3,977 schools.
What Does All This Mean For You As A Taxpayer?
Illinois’ excessive number of local governments is a major contributor to its second-highest status in the nation for property taxes. Illinoisans’ residential property tax burden alone — as a percentage of median household income — has risen 76 percent since 1970. Over the past 50 years, whether measured in comparison to household income, economic growth, population or inflation, all classes of property taxes — residential, commercial, industrial, etc. — have placed an increasingly unaffordable burden on Illinoisans. Since 1963, Illinois property taxes have grown 2.5 times faster than inflation and 14 times faster than the state’s population. About 60% of property taxes go to the public school system. But, according to the State of Illinois Constitution, the State of Illinois is responsible for funding public education not local property owners. (Source: Illinois Constitution Article 10, Section 1).
The American Legislative Exchange Council puts the total unfunded liability of the pension funds in Illinois at $533 billion. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability reported this liability at $140 billion.
Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation, said on October 4, 2022 that routine property tax hikes in Chicago and other municipalities will continue until Springfield lawmakers consolidate and reform Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension debt.
If you have questions or want to join this group effort, feel free to contact Anthony Travis at 773-988-0934 or Bob Anderson at 815-653-9865.
Moving forward but not leaving the state of Illinois, our current governor, J.B. Pritzker, who has dreams these days of sugar plums and presidential aspirations, in my opinion, is at it as usual.
Late last week it was reported that constitutional court challenges can only be filed in Springfield and Chicago and Illinois Democrat lawmakers are okay with this. In my opinion, the reason is they have been stung for by losses in downstate Illinois, so the new law will help them win with their buddies in the judicial system where they can control the outcome. And, of course, who introduced this openly corrupt move ? None other than the powerful Senate President Don Harmon (D–IL39). This legislation will now advance to J.B. Pritzker for his expected signature.
This new bill, HB 3062, in my opinion, is unconstitutional. It certainly doesn’t give most in the state easy access to the court system, limiting lawsuits against the State Constitution or against its officers, employees or agents. It’s clear the Democrats came up with this unconstitutional idea after recent years’ challenges across the state over Pritzker’s COVID 19 orders, cash bail, and the state ban on assault style weapons and large capacity magazines.
Keep in mind courts exist to serve people, which is why they are located where the people live.
This legislation is nothing more than an attempt by Pritzker and the General Assembly to do what they do so well: Control!
Until next week.
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