* From a PQ campaign press release…
A new poll today showing that 99% of Chicagoans don’t want higher property taxes confirmed a key principle of Governor Pat Quinn’s budget: Illinois over-relies on the property tax.
Governor Quinn is pushing a responsible and honest budget plan that would begin to reduce the state’s over-reliance on property taxes by properly funding education and sending every homeowner a guaranteed $500 property tax refund each year.
By contrast, billionaire Bruce Rauner is scheming to shift more of the tax burden to property taxpayers by cutting the state’s investment in education.
“It’s no surprise that Rauner - a self-proclaimed member of the .01% - would be scheming to do something that the 99% are strongly against,” Quinn spokesman Izabela Miltko said. “By cutting the state’s support for education, Rauner would preside over the largest property tax increase in Illinois history.
“It’s time to lower the property tax burden for homeowners across Illinois by properly funding our schools and sending every homeowner a guaranteed $500 property tax refund each year. The governor’s budget plan does just that.”
More than 2.1 million Illinois households would receive an annual $500 property tax refund under the governor’s budget plan, which also provides the largest increase in funding for the classroom in state history. Illinois collects more money in property taxes than the state’s sales tax and income tax combined.
* The poll didn’t say that 99 percent of Chicagoans don’t want a property tax hike. The somewhat oddly worded McKeon & Associates poll [ADDING: McKeon just called to say that the Sun-Times chose the question’s wording] merely allowed Chicagoans to pick their preference of new revenue streams…
Offered four choices on ways Chicago could solve its $20 billion pension crisis, raising property taxes ranked dead-last, chosen by only one percent of the Chicago voters surveyed.
The favorite remedies on the list — both at 25 percent — were a “commuter tax” on suburbanites who work in Chicago and the transaction tax on LaSalle Street exchanges championed by the Chicago Teachers Union.
Running close behind — at 21 percent — was a city income tax. That’s somewhat surprising, since a city income tax would have to be paid by many of those polled.
The transaction tax is dead, as is the city income tax. The commuter tax isn’t going anywhere any time soon. And while the 1 percent favoring a property tax hike is newsworthy, there apparently were no follow-up questions about what voters actually thought of that prospect.
* Also, the governor’s proposed property tax rebate isn’t really a property tax rebate. It’s a $500 check to all Illinois homeowners - at a net new cost to income taxpayers of $700 million.
* And, as Rauner has noted before, education funding hasn’t been protected by Quinn in the past. So, is the governor, then, responsible for large numbers of school-related property tax hikes? And since the governor pushed the original income tax hike, which didn’t include money for local government revenue sharing, is he also responsible for their tax hikes?