Hello Friends and Neighbors:
Property Tax Freeze/ Relief
Responding to calls from working families and seniors living on a fixed income, I recently voted yes on legislation that would prevent your property tax bill from increasing every year.
In recent times, most homeowners have seen the value of their homes decline, while local governments continue to raise property taxes annually. Lawmakers have a responsibility to find ways to reform this disparity and provide relief to homeowners.
Over the last few weeks, I supported legislation which freezes property tax rates unless voters approve an increase directly through a referendum. Under current law, many local governments can raise property taxes up to a 5 percent cap each year or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. This cap encourages taxing bodies to request the maximum increase every year, resulting in higher property tax bills, which places a greater burden on homeowners
While freezing property taxes is the right thing to do for taxpayers, as a former mayor and school board president, I am also keenly aware of the financial burden this could place on some local governments and schools. Freezing property tax rates means local governments will collect less as their costs continue to increase. I understand the financial impact this could have which is why I’m fighting to reduce the number of state imposed unfunded mandates on local governments, so they can operate efficiently and effectively, focusing on providing high-quality services to their communities.
Term Limits – Fair Map – Budget – The Need for Compromise
Since becoming state representative, I have supported and introduced legislation to impose term limits on members of the Illinois General Assembly multiple times. I also support efforts to bring fairness to how legislative boundaries are drawn in Illinois, by adopting the fair map system. If the General Assembly were to approve these non-budgetary items, the people of Illinois would witness two of the most substantial governmental reforms in the state’s history.
While I believe discussion and bipartisan cooperation on these reforms is essential, at this time, passing a responsible budget is the top priority for the people I represent, and we must focus on doing so without further delay.
In Springfield, legislators are trying to find a compromise to balance the state’s budget to protect important safety net services, such as child care assistance, home care for the elderly and early intervention programs. While reducing spending, eliminating duplication and waste is necessary, lawmakers must put the most pressing needs of our community first, including making sure our schools open in the fall, public safety is properly funded, the disabled and most vulnerable are cared for, and hospitals can continue to provide quality medical services.
Once we have a budget agreement, I look forward to working with Gov. Rauner and other legislators from both parties who share my commitment to empowering voters and giving you a stronger voice at the ballot box. I will continue to push to do my part to bring much-needed reforms to Illinois, but first we must focus on passing a responsible budget that protects families most in need.