Illinois State CapitolThe State Journal-Register - May 30, 2017 | original article

By Doug Finke

Illinois senators Tuesday approved bills that impose a two-year property tax freeze for school districts and local governments outside of Chicago.

The legislation – Senate Bill 482 and Senate Bill 484 – now go to the House.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office, which has sought a four-year property tax freeze, labeled the bills “phony.”

Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said the legislation fulfills Rauner’s desire to have a property tax freeze as a condition of the General Assembly raising taxes to balance the budget.

“This is a full property tax freeze,” Cullerton said. “The question is the length. My philosophy is two years is a really good start, and if it is so popular, we can come back and do it again.”

That wasn’t good enough for Senate Republicans, most of whom voted against the bills.

“We have the highest property taxes in the entire country,” said Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles. “It’s one of the driving reasons why people leave the state of Illinois. If we are going to pass a massive income tax (hike), don’t we think the very least we can do for the people of Illinois is to give them more relief than what is being presented?”

“If we pretend to care about our constituents, we need to do more than a two-year freeze,” said Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet.

Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, said Republicans were unwilling to buck Rauner in the name of compromise.

“The Senate Democrats have stood up and done the right thing,” Bush said. “If we really want to change the trajectory, you’ve got to get the cojones over there to stand up to Gov. Rauner. It’s time to do the right thing. Stop the damn politics.”

In the end, though, only three Republicans voted for the two bills – Sam McCann of Plainview, Sue Rezin of Morris and Kyle McCarter of Lebanon. Nine other Republicans voted “present” on both bills.

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Category: In The News

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