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Rauner pushes property tax freeze via robocalls

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014

* From a press release…

Bruce Rauner today called thousands of homeowners across Illinois and began a significant digital ad campaign to officially launch FreezeMyTaxes.com, a statewide petition to let voters add their voices in support of Rauner’s initiative to freeze property taxes.

“Property taxes are out of control and Pat Quinn’s done nothing about it,” Rauner said in his call to homeowners. “We need a property tax freeze in Illinois – no more property tax hikes without taxpayer approval.”

Joan Zaleski, a homeowner in St. Charles, also called homeowners urging them to sign the FreezeMyTaxes.com petition.

“I’m a a homeowner just like you,” Zaleski began in her call. “Let’s put an end to these career politicians raising our property taxes without our approval. We need Bruce Rauner’s property tax freeze – sign the petition right now at FreezeMyTaxes.com.”

Under Pat Quinn’s failed leadership, as both Lieutenant Governor and Governor, Illinois property taxes increased from 7th highest in the nation in 2005 to 2nd highest today. Property tax rates have increased in each region of the state every year that Quinn has been governor.

* The Rauner robocall

Full script…

“Hello, this is Bruce Rauner. I’m calling with an important message about your property taxes. Property taxes are out of control and Pat Quinn’s done nothing about it. That’s just plain wrong. We need a property tax freeze in Illinois – no more property tax hikes without taxpayer approval. That’s why I’m launching a petition at www.FreezeMyTaxes.com. If you agree that we need a property tax freeze, go online right now and sign the petition at FreezeMyTaxes.com. Help me stop career politicians from raising your property taxes without your approval. Paid for by Citizens for Rauner, Inc. 312-583-0704.”

* The Zaleski robocall

Script…

“Hi, this is Joan from St. Charles. I’m a homeowner just like you. Property taxes are out of control and Pat Quinn’s done nothing about it. That’s why I support Bruce Rauner’s call for a property tax freeze. And now you can too. Go online right now to www.FreezeMyTaxes.com and sign a petition to freeze our property taxes. Let’s put an end to these career politicians raising our property taxes without our approval. We need Bruce Rauner’s property tax freeze – sign the petition right now at FreezeMyTaxes.com. Paid for by Citizens for Rauner, Inc. 312-583-0704.”

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


41 Comments
  1. - Try-4-Truth - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    This issue is good politics, but bad policy. Tax caps have hurt communities and so has TIF districts. I think that Rauner is either dishonest or dangerous.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Professor Henry Hill would leave town before the good people found out what he was selling wasn’t band instruments, but dreams, playing on emotions, to sell himself.

    At some point, the term limits, the maps, the property tax freeze, the Rauner income tax raise, the shutting down of government, the Union busting, the gridlock with the General Assembly…

    … it always catches up.

    Prof. Henry Hill was usually on the next train, outrunning the story of himself. Four years would be a long time to keep selling false conclusions.

    “Oh we got trouble…”


  3. - A guy... - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    You hear this at nearly every door.


  4. - Gooner - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    California tried that, and the result was that it nearly destroyed the state’s budget.

    Rauner really seems to have gone down the route of promising magic. He’s playing on the gullibility of voters who think that with a few painless budget cuts, all of our problems will be solved.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    lol, I am a Dope.

    Between auto-correct and Goodfellas…

    Harold Hill.

    Dope.


  6. - Western Ave. Doug - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    ==California tried that, and the result was that it nearly destroyed the state’s budget.==

    If it wasn’t for Haward Jarvis and Prop 13 seniors and people on fixed incomes were being taxed right out of their homes. By capping property taxes with percentage increases, more people could afford to stay in their homes. Just because the government couldn’t control spending and negotiated public sector contracts with hefty pensions, doesn’t mean Prop 13 is to blame for the State’s budget. California has a higher state income tax to fund the state budget. Property taxes fund other items for the most part.


  7. - Stones - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    How can he regulate the schools / local governments portion of the property taxes? Am I missing something?


  8. - Norseman - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    Vote for Raunervich and enjoy a utopian Illinois where taxes are low, never increased, unemployment is nonexistent, and the schools and roads are perfect.

    This is a perfect example of telling them what they want to hear and then worry about the ramifications later.


  9. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    That’s a winner!

    If you are quiet enough, you can almost hear Quinn’s poll numbers falling…


  10. - walker - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    Oh no!

    The tri-fecta: a petition that will not do anything, a wonderful promise that cannot legally be delivered, and robo-calling.

    That’s about as cynical and abusive to voters as one can get away with.

    It might even work.


  11. - Streator Curmudgeon - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    I may be wrong (I often am), but aren’t the rates on property taxes set by local and area taxing bodies, not the State?

    My property tax bill lists local governments, county government, the community college, and school districts.

    I think there’s a property tax cap in Livingston County, but I believe voters put that through in a referendum.

    Sure, property taxes are too high in Illinois, but here in Streator, the tax base has eroded over the past 40 years by loss of industry, some of which moved to foreign countries.

    This is a knee-jerk popular issue, but even with the tax rates we have, schools and municipalities around here are still broke.

    Seems like an oversimplified solution to me.


  12. - Gooner - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    Come on Western Ave. Doug.

    Rauner wants to freeze property taxes.
    He claims, apparently, that he’s going to reduce income taxes.

    Unless the sales taxes he promised are through the roof (a great way to both shift taxes to the poor and to decrease demand) then the result is going to be either massive budget cuts or huge budget shortfall.

    Rauner’s plan plays to those who believe in magic. He sure chose the right running mate.


  13. - Gooner - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    If this sort of thing starts to move numbers for Rauner, then Quinn should just forget about reality and instead promise to reduce income taxes to 2% and to increase education funding by 50%, and of course, claim that doing so will balance the budget.

    Heck, if certain voters are going to believe this, Quinn may as well play that game too.


  14. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    I just looked at both of my property tax bills and I cannot find one levy that I pay to the State of Illinois. I do not understand how the Governor of Illinois is somehow responsible for the levies. Besides I thought if a taxing body wanted to raise the levy it has to be on the ballot.


  15. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    == How can he regulate the schools / local governments portion of the property taxes? Am I missing something? ==

    By himself no, but the legislature could change the rules on increasing property taxes.

    Also if you go to the website you see this..

    No more property tax hikes without taxpayer approval.

    So it wouldn’t be a freeze so much as it would be just making it harder to increase them.


  16. - Shemp - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Not only does the State not collect the property tax, it has chronically been late with payments to schools, and the State has set up costly police/fire pension plans that are funded via local levies.

    Not a fan of my property taxes either, but until the State works up some new funding formulas and allows local governments more latitude, freezing property taxes is only going to erode local education and infrastructure and drive out who is left here.


  17. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    It will be like not voting for Santa come November!


  18. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    If the Rauner freeze would apply to the tax levy, then each year revenue would decline in constant dollars, unless the school district could pass a referendum. How does this comply with Rauner’s promise to increase education funding?


  19. - Bobbysox - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    1. Freeze property taxes.
    2. Lower income taxes.
    3. Close corporate loopholes.
    4. Invest in the Caymen Islands.
    5. Balance the budget.
    6. Increase funding for education.
    It is amazing to me that this man has any credibility with his unfulfillable promises.


  20. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Suppose Rauner is elected and the legislature declines to override home rule and impose the freeze. Would Rauner be accountable then for any increases in property taxes on his watch, the way he proposes to hold Quinn accountable, even though Quinn has called for property tax relief that the legislature rejected? Or will this be another partisan double standard? I know, silly question.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===By himself no, but the legislature could change the rules on increasing property taxes.===

    I am sure the Democratically-controlled General Assembly will oblige.

    Sadly, almost ironically parallel, Rauner’s plans remind me of Speaker Lee A. Daniels and his “passed” agenda;

    In the end, it was empty.


  22. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    Yesterday I received a robocall from Rauner asking me to participate in an electronic town meeting where “people like me” will be asking questions. I did not participate, but what struck me the most was for all the $$$$ Rauner has invested in the campaign the sound quality of the call itself was really, really poor. I would think he could afford the technology to make his “robo” sound more human.


  23. - olddog - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    === I think that Rauner is either dishonest or dangerous. ===

    === Heck, if certain voters are going to believe this, Quinn may as well play that game too. ===

    I think Rauner’s both dishonest *and* dangerous. If you look at his ballot initiatives and legislative proposals like this one, they would significantly weaken state and local government and they would concentrate power in the executive. They’re a win-win proposition for Rauner. If they get enacted, he wins. If they don’t, he gets to demagogue against “career politicians” and “shake up Springfield.”

    Quinn’s played the ballot initiative game, too. That’s how he started out.

    Different issues, maybe (except for term limits), but the same reliance on media pops and ballot initiatives that aren’t intended to go anywhere (except for the cutback amendment). Main difference I see is that Rauner can afford paid media and doesn’t have to rely on Sunday press conferences. Otherwise, he looks so much like Pat Quinn back in Coalition for Political Honesty days, it’s eerie.


  24. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    Anybody want to ask Bruce Rauner how he plans to increase funding for education while cutting BOTH state and local revenues to school districts?


  25. - Stones - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    I would add…name one person (just one) who enjoys receiving robo calls. I personally don’t think they add anything to a campaign and only serve to anger the recipient.


  26. - Commander Norton - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Great point, Anon at 12:28. Accountability is key here. Sure, no direct link has been found between Rauner and nursing home deaths or pay-to-play or any other unsavory behavior. But he sells himself as a successful businessman who plans to run the state like he runs his businesses. And he holds Quinn accountable for things like property tax rates - which surely Quinn had less to do with than Rauner had to do with any of his subsidiaries’ and investments’ scandals. Either Quinn wasn’t responsible for everything he’s blamed for, or I don’t much like the way Rauner runs a business.


  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    rauner knows that 65 and 55 k already does the trick? what are you doing to tax pensions? (undecided)


  28. - Empty Chair - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    Joan Zaleski is the head of client services for Liberty Jet, a major private jet operator. I wonder how the Rauner campaign found out she was such a big supporter?

    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/joan-zaleski/6/a84/833


  29. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    This is pure pandering and dumb but, it will probably work as planned so I guess that makes it genius for Rauner. Still, it is inherently inaccurate and even the inept Quinnster’s have to be able to jump on this, right? Yeah, probably not. First, the vast majority of Illinoian’s have addressed this issue by approving PTELL in cook and the collar counties. PTELL froze the local tax rate for 11+ million in Illinois. Other Illinois counties approved PTELL as well (34 total, in addition to the collar counties). The citizens of those communities chose to accept (voter approval) to limit increases to lesser of 5% or CPI which, has exceeded 3% only 4 or 5 times since 1991. The voters made that decision and elect the local boards that make the decisions in non PTELL counties (voter approval). Outside of the Cook County Board it is nearly impossible to, honestly, refer to other locally elected governmental bodies as “career” politicians. School Boards, responsible for the largest portion of the tax bill, are not paid positions. Hardly a “career” political position. I get it, property taxes are too high in Illinois. I do not like my bill either. But, this is just a flat out fairy tale at best and a pure lie at worst.


  30. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    Freeze property taxes, lower the income tax, limit government whenever possible. All nice sounding ideas until schools get bad enough that large employers do not move in based on lack of trainable employees. What do you mean you cannot plow the streets, repair the sewer pipes, and the water system has to be replaced? What do you mean can’t afford more prisons? No link cards? The police and fire are down how many positions? Those bridges cost what?

    Hey come here. Pick a card, any card…….


  31. - DuPage - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    @Try-4-Truth11:43=I think Rauner is either dishonest or dangerous.=

    Both dishonest AND dangerous!


  32. - A guy... - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Dangerous? = Empty vessel. You only hear that kind of junk when you’re losing and you don’t have anything else. Make your case, but knock off the dangerous business.


  33. - Try-4-Truth - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Mr. Guy,

    I did make my case, and I think his policies, as proposed, are dangerous. I think I laid that out pretty well.

    Also, I’m not convinced that Quinn is going to lose. And one more thing, why do you assume that Quinn is my guy and hence I’m “losing”?


  34. - efudd - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    So, to re-cap, our choices in November, is what appears to be a quasi-corrupt Mr. Magoo, or P.T. Barnum.


  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    I’m pretty sure Quinn ran on a pie-in-the-sky property tax freeze for some office back in the day. It was phony then, it’s phony now.

    Why does anyone do robocalls? They’re just rude.


  36. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    Looks like Jack Franks is running the Rauner campaign.

    I meant that as a compliment.

    Rauner can’t freeze property taxes without legislative action and he knows it.

    Between the schools, cities and park districts his idea is DOA and he knows it.

    But is the Tribune editorial board going to crucify him with a headline comparing him to Blagojevich?

    Nope.

    So unless mayors and school boards across Illinois are going to start knocking on doors for Quinn, what is the harm to Rauner?

    And, not to be a spoiler, but this is only marginally more pandering than Quinn’s $500 property tax rebate.


  37. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    Looks like Jack Franks is running the Rauner campaign.

    I meant that as a compliment.

    Rauner can’t freeze property taxes without legislative action and he knows it.

    Between the schools, cities and park districts his idea is DOA and he knows it.

    But is the Tribune editorial board going to crucify him with a headline comparing him to Blagojevich?

    Nope.

    So unless mayors and school boards across Illinois are going to start knocking on doors for Quinn, what is the harm to Rauner?

    And, not to be a spoiler, but this is only marginally less pandering than Quinn’s $500 property tax rebate.


  38. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    Has the township officials assn. (TOI) come out against this freeze yet? How about the park district assn? The municipal leagues? Rahmbo? If the drive gains political traction, it won’t be long. I’d like to see those downstaters vote against the wishes of their township officials.


  39. - ok... - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    last thing i want to hear is people from upper-middle class St. Charles complain about their property taxes.


  40. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 4:54 pm:

    If i am not mistaken, the baron would not only have to get the dems to pass a freeze, but by 3/5ths, to preempt home rule. Good luck w that.

    Say anything to get elected. Details be damned


  41. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Aug 12, 14 @ 6:24 pm:

    Langhorne:

    Like I said, unless the Tribune is penning an editorial headlined “Rauner: Blagojevich in a Carhartt?” why not campaign like Blagojevich? It worked.


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