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Rauner says he wants to find another way on property taxes

Wednesday, Nov 23, 2016

* The governor often claims to have pared back his infamous Turnaround Agenda, going as far back as May of 2015. So, this comment from yesterday isn’t really a new thing

“I got it down to basically five things now, from 44,” Rauner said. “And we can, you know, throw out one or two. It has to be significant. It has to send a message to job creators that it’s a new day in Illinois, come to Illinois.”

* What is somewhat new is this

Rauner on Tuesday indicated he was willing to consider other options for alleviating the revenue lost by a property tax freeze.

“I’m willing to change it in whatever way we can get done with the General Assembly,” the governor said. “There’s no one way that it has to be. What we’ve got to do is bring down property taxes. There’s various ways to do it. More local control of bargaining, bidding, contracting is one way. Reducing the number of units of government and government consolidation helps. There’s a lot of different ways to do it.”

“I’m open,” Rauner said. “I want to be flexible.”

If that’s true, then it would eliminate a very problematic bone of contention. Click here to read “The Mother of all Poison Pills” if you need a refresher.

* Raw audio. His property tax comments start at about the 5:30 mark..

- Posted by Rich Miller        

77 Comments
  1. - Ole' Nelson - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:26 am:

    The words sound good, but the actions will tell the true tale. I want to be excited by this new found flexibility, but his credibility is low. The governor has not been a straight-shooter up to this point.


  2. - yeah - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:32 am:

    Maybe, just maybe we could lower the dollar threshold where the top gaming tax rate of 50% kicks in on the Big Casinos. Maybe instead of $200 million, we could lower it to $2 million. Maybe we could raise the maximum gaming tax rate to 60%. This money goes into the Common School Fund, and as Schools in most areas are the largest property tax bite this could help. Hundreds of million of dollars is not going to be the solution, but it could be part of it. Especially when speaking to the issue of Property Tax relief.

    We could also have the Dept of Revenue get all of the County Level Property Tax data and look for individuals with multiple Homestead Exemption. Too many well to do folks pay one third less in property taxes by claiming this on multiple homes, some of which are rentals, some are vacation homes. And given how common it is for Elected Officials to cheat on this, it must be freaking common.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:33 am:

    ===”…More local control of bargaining, bidding, contracting is one way. …===

    It will always be about collective bargaining and prevailing wage.

    Rauner pretends his flexibility isn’t attached to his rigid requirements.

    Weakening Prevailing Wage and/or Collective Bargaining will NOT get 60 and 30 in this GA or the GA seated in 2017.

    What a rascal.


  4. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:38 am:

    “More local control of bargaining, bidding, contracting is one way.”

    For this guy, everything — everything — is a cover for busting unions. And it doesn’t even take any real effort to peel back the layers of word salad to see that.

    Newsflash, Gov. 1.4 percent: the only real way to reduce property taxes is to increase funding from the state level, the only way to do that is with a state income tax increase. Anything less than that is just posturing.


  5. - Consideration - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:42 am:

    Here is one way…

    Raise taxes to better fund the schools, so they do not have to rely on high local property taxes.

    Here is another - put forth a graduated tax amendment (of which IL voters already voted that they would approve) to bring in more revenue to better fund the schools, thereby lowering the need for high property taxes.


  6. - Big Muddy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:46 am:

    Bruce is doing a very good job lately in pointing out how Madigan is the obstructionist to getting a budget deal done. Madigan has no clue what is going on right now and Brown has no logical response to this other than fear-mongering and scare tactics.
    If Rauner keeps winning the day like this Madigan becomes more and more isolated and ineffective… within his own caucus too. What did Guzarrdi say? Whats our plan? Great question Rep. Guzarrdi, Madigan doesn’t have one…


  7. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    Ahh the “I’m flexible” perfidy again.

    You can never trust Rauner

    Nearly every initiative/assault is fluffed with this phrase.

    It’s a lie to get you out where he can attack.

    I’m an AFSCME. We fell for this many times.

    To our peril


  8. - A Jack - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:50 am:

    Perhaps the Governor is realizing that having no major accomplishments is not the way to be reelected.


  9. - A few more - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:51 am:

    A few more rounds and we will have another stopgap with no policy conditions.


  10. - Rabid - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    Being flexible and open he needs to stick his neck out


  11. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    =Reducing the number of units of government and government consolidation helps. There’s a lot of different ways to do it.”=

    If you don’t give it much thought this sounds great.

    On would naturally equate fewer units of government to big savings. But that is not necessarily true, and maybe even unlikely.

    The main reason is somebody still has to do the work those agencies perform. Sure, the there are some units that do little or nothing, but most perform services that are needed or desired by their communities.

    Oh, and firing a bunch of administrators is always the rallying cry, good luck on that one.

    There is savings to be found through consolidating but it is unlikely to be in the as of yet undisclosed estimates from the Governor’s office.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:58 am:

    Two in five labor households voted Rauner.

    “Someone” fell for something.


  13. - RNUG - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 9:58 am:

    So when the S the Gov proposing a graduated income tax constitutional amendment large enough to cut property taxes in half? T-2 years and counting down …


  14. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:02 am:

    I could be wrong, but I always though Rauner was looking to cut a deal and Madigan is not. To me this isn’t surprising, Madigan just needs to learn how to negotiate instead of dictating.


  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    We’ll see. Words vs. actions.

    This past action, for example. If the governor was concerned about replacing the revenue from a property tax freeze, withholding all and then trying to grab a share of the locals income tax revenue last year was a funny way of showing it.


  16. - cdog - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:05 am:

    Can we define “property tax freeze?” please.

    There are several components to a property tax bill –
    the assessment
    the multipliers
    the taxing bodies
    the rates charged by the taxing bodies

    Please no lip service on this, especially from Rauner.

    Freeze all of the above, or don’t call it a freeze.


  17. - illini - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:05 am:

    I will forever be skeptical of anything that our Governor says - until he does something to to deserve and warrant a modicum of credibility.

    Just give us the facts not the normal political pandering that we are all so accustomed to.


  18. - Winnin' - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:14 am:

    Welp Governor, the House passed property tax reduction legislation about 294 times, but you and your House Raunerite failed to take the hint.
    Is it safe?


  19. - Liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    “More local control of bargaining, bidding, contracting is one way.”

    Absolutely. Municipalities are getting raked by formulas they have no control over and can’t even bargain over. We are handed down mandates from on high, and our only recourse is to rake the taxpayers in turn. I’m 100% with Rauner on this.

    I find it completely ridiculous that Willy and others claim it would “weaken” bargaining by allowing discussions to cover more topics. That’s actually strengthening bargaining–quite obviously. It makes bargaining more powerful.

    In the areas where there are critical and widespread issues, like fire and police pensions, we are handicapped from even discussing them. That is incredibly stupid. Our departments can’t even voluntarily contribute more for risk of lawsuits costing everyone massive bucks (and possibly for nothing). The whole system is ridiculous. What’s the point of bargaining if municipalities can face massive financial crisis and not even discuss those topics?

    Further, all this talk of “refusing to come to the bargaining table” is rank hypocrisy when you are simultaneously advocating to keep entire topics OFF THE TABLE for discussions entirely. Blatant hypocrisy.


  20. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    Rauner had 44 TA demand items? It would be insane if it didn’t seem or wasn’t calculated. Same with the AFSMCE contract–so many bad proposals to start with, then he pared them down to what is still too harsh and radical.


  21. - Deft Wing - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    Look beyond the substance because Rauner’s messaging, though far from perfect, is beating the daylights out of the Dems & Madigan — that’s beyond debate. Expect more to come too.

    Nov. 4 is over, and the Governor is now campaigning for re-election & the defeat of many in Madigan’s caucus.


  22. - Liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    My comment appears to be moderated, lol, so let me try a shorter version: it is rank hypocrisy to claim that Rauner refuses to come to the table, while you simultaneously defend preventing municipalities from bargaining over critical, financial-crisis inducing issues like pensions.

    Which is it: do you want to talk at the table, or do you want to prevent critical issues from ever reaching the table in the first place?


  23. - Thoughts Matter - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:21 am:

    Property taxes are local money. The only thing the state should be doing about it right now is paying the locals what they owe the locals. The state should be getting a budget and paying vendors so that the local economies aren’t destroyed. Later we can discuss state funding of education.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    ===Which is it: do you want to talk at the table, or do you want to prevent critical issues from ever reaching the table in the first place?===

    Hmm. Can ending prevailing wage and reducing collective bargaining get 60 and 30? No? Then what are we negotiating?

    I guess some can’t keep a promise of leaving and they continue to pop up here? That’s fun.

    - Ahoy! -

    Show me 60 and 30 that Madigan is stopping to end prevailing wage and reduce collective bargaining.

    That’s the ball game.

    If Rauner has 60 and 30 for his labor reductions, Rauner should show them.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:31 am:

    ===I find it completely ridiculous that Willy and others claim it would “weaken” bargaining by allowing discussions to cover more topics. That’s actually strengthening bargaining–quite obviously. It makes bargaining more powerful.===

    Reduced wages is making bargaining more powerful?

    How much money, and what percentage of a budget would YOU save with the ending of prevailing wage or the collective bargaining eliminated.

    Not theory, not “possible”, real numbers.

    Explain the savings YOU would have. Give us these numbers, not theory.

    Respectfully, show your work, you’re in a position to show these savings, and keep in mind you are reducing wages, that’s part of the ball game here.


  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    “I’m open,” Rauner said. “I want to be flexible.”

    What is unsaid is “As long as you do it my way.”


  27. - Winnin' - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    “I’m open … I want to be flexible,” Rauner offered with a wry chuckle.


  28. - City Zen - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:39 am:

    =Raise taxes to better fund the schools, so they do not have to rely on high local property taxes.==

    Is that really going to happen though? Are the school districts with the highest property taxes (Chicago burbs) going to get any more education funding with the “poorer” districts demanding more “equitable” funding (read: more $$)? I doubt there will be any money left to keep property taxes in line, let alone reduced.

    So the folks that live in so-called “wealthy” districts will pay higher income taxes yet continue to pay high property taxes.


  29. - Liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:40 am:

    Who said reducing wages was the only option? Why not allow governments to discuss contribution rates for new hires, so that the new hires have a working system to rely on? Why not allow the pension formula, at least for new hires, be a topic of bargaining? Why not allow arbitrators to factor in a cities financial condition fully into results? Why not allow areas with flat incomes, and/or falling property values, real power to reflect that issue in wages?

    Increasing the number of topics that can be included in bargaining absolutely strengthens bargaining. It makes it more powerful, and makes it better able to actually address issues. Police and fire pensions, for example, are THE key issue in many communities, yet can’t be touched at the bargaining table (except to plead for pay freezes that will never survive an arbitration).

    As to prevailing wages, our engineers are confident that removing that would reduce our costs on many local projects by 10% or more. I will grant you that the larger the scale of the project, the less I’m confident of massive savings. Local projects, though, can add up fast. Let’s take $200,000 for a water main fix, add another $1,000,000 for a sewer upgrade along the river, and another $300,000 for various concrete fixes, ADA-complaint crossroads, etc. We’ve hit at least $100,000 in extra costs–and that equals roughly 1/4th of my cities entire annual MFT road project.


  30. - cdog - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    Expanding on my previous point, whatever agreement is to be made regarding a freeze, make the effective date be in the past, like 7/1/16.

    Last time there was a “freeze,” I believe in the 90’s, the local taxing bodies were allowed to jack up the rates.

    (It seems that the assessments were even allowed to be ratcheted up. Anybody have a better memory on how that went down?)


  31. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:42 am:

    Well, as the household budget manager, if Trump lowers my income taxes and Rauner lowers my property taxes, I might be able to handle an modest increase in the state’s regressive flat taxe and still come out ahead.

    Is coming out ahead too much to hope for? At all levels, the political rhetoric about helping the middle class has been just that–rhetoric.

    And ahead doesn’t mean a trip to a luxury mall. It means more money saved for retirement and for the kids’ college funds and for paying down the mortgage and/or moving to a better school district.


  32. - liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:43 am:

    @willy:

    Apologies for the double post; apparently it finally popped up. Also, I tried to a post a response with some local numbers, but it isn’t appearing at the moment. I’ll come back later before posting in case it pops up, I guess?


  33. - Rabid - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:46 am:

    The war on prevailing wage continues, why does want to make madigan a martyr?


  34. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    ==So the folks that live in so-called “wealthy” districts will pay higher income taxes yet continue to pay high property taxes.==

    Yes, the formula needs fixed…but, it’s up to those towns. If they don’t have to raise as much revenue from property taxes to fund the schools - then they can reduce property taxes.

    Rauner wants us to compete with neighboring states…fund the schools at the same percentage of GDP as they do - and our property taxes will reflect those neighboring states.


  35. - walker - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    Ok. Could be a good sign. Let’s hope.
    Show me. What 5 exactly?

    Note: He’s now on record saying he had 44,15, 8, 4 and 5 TA items. Perhaps he throws out these numbers to be illustrative rather than precise.


  36. - liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:52 am:

    - Rabid - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:46 am:

    “The war on prevailing wage continues, why does want to make madigan a martyr?”

    Better question: why do the unions refuse to even allow a look at the formulas? I have talked directly to regional union representatives about how a formula adjustment, especially in rural areas, would be a reasonable compromise. For example, why do cities to my west have much lower prevailing wage rage, despite exactly similar demographics? Because of the Rockford/suburban market I’m tied to.

    And those regional union reps agreed with my point. Yet now there is a bill to not only block looking at the formulas, but actually SPIKE them. I got the IML alert recently and got immediately frustrated.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:52 am:

    ===…our engineers are confident that removing that would reduce our costs on many local projects by 10% or more. I will grant you that the larger the scale of the project, the less I’m confident of massive savings.===

    That’s the argument.

    You can’t even SHOW, (respectfully) that it’s 10% higher or lower, or that these savings are of s significance, and arguably only significant to a PR splash and the Trade Laborer’s family that takes a financial hit for no better or significant reason than to seem to be thoughtful.


  38. - Liberty - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    I don’t agree with those who keep claiming Rauner is winning because Rauner talks all the time and Madigan doesn’t…


  39. - liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    Willy, what exactly are you asking for? Engineer estimates are how we base things. We can’t actually bid out, because that’s illegal. There is NO QUESTION that we would save money. The one time I remember, since I’ve been mayor, that we didn’t use prevailing wage (single owner business) to do a minor room remodel, we saved way MORE than 10%. It was such a small project, though, that I would feel disingenuous trying extrapolate from that.

    I’m not sure why you think the engineers are wrong, the local contractors are wrong, and that the few projects that can be legally bid out with using prevailing wage are also wrong. Zero evidence you are right, and quite a bit that I am–using, again, real experience.

    As for the trade laborer income: they average (I speak only for my community) nearly double the per capita income of the average taxpayer. We are subsidizing (again, speaking only for my area) a boost to the upper-middle class using tax money from people who earn less than them. How does that make any sense–to either a liberal or a conservative?

    To put that in perspective, my annual income (no benefits, no union pension or retirement, etc.) puts me roughly in the range of an established union painter/plumber/carpenter. Yet no one is (nor should be!) advocating that taxpayers boost my wages or boost my employees wages.

    I have great respect for the trades, btw. I serve alongside many union guys, and I’ve risked my life alongside them. That doesn’t mean I support subsidizing them using tax money. Respect doesn’t equal tax dollars for their private enterprises.

    I’ve also repeatedly pointed out that reforming the prevailing wage formulas, especially in rural areas, seems like a reasonable compromise.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    ===Yet now there is a bill to not only block looking at the formulas, but actually SPIKE them. I got the IML alert recently and got immediately frustrated.===

    1) “It’s just a bill”

    2) 60 and 30. Rauner’s continued frontal assault on Labor will bring about bills like this, if passed, will have Raunerites voting, again, against Labor, and Rauner’s veto come January won’t face any realistic opportunity for override, so Rauner list that crutch too.


  41. - Shemp - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:20 am:

    ===Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 10:52 am:

    You can’t even SHOW, (respectfully) that it’s 10% higher or lower, or that these savings are of s significance===

    So you want him to bid out projects at non-prevailing wages that he can’t award so he can “SHOW” you what you are in denial of? I have a local contractor that has routinely estimated in the area of 20% less on projects that involve public private partnerships until he discovers it has to be done at prevailing wage. Our sidewalk contractor asked to do some of the residential sidewalk work outside of the City program because he can do it cheaper working directly for residents than going through a 50/50 split with the City at prevailing wage. Your refusal to acknowledge what people in the know know is humorous at a certain level. And your smugness masking the ignorance gives me a little grin to be honest.


  42. - liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:27 am:

    1) “It’s just a bill” — valid, but the Senate already passed an over-ride of Rauner’s veto, right? Now the house votes? So, it’s roughly four votes (at last count) of being a “law”.

    2. also valid, but but that political reality doesn’t help sterling/rockfalls/dixon deal with the pension issue, does it? Sterling raised property taxes over 18% last year, Rock Falls by over 11% (IIRC) and swept some funds, and Dixon slashed infrastructure spending (and thus union work, no?) and hit savings. How much longer can that continue for these three and others?


  43. - Huh? - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:27 am:

    “The war on prevailing wage continues …”

    Please remember that there are 2, I repeat 2, prevailing wage laws that are in effect in Illinois for public projects.

    The first one is the Federal Davis Bacon Act that applies to those public projects that utilize federal funds that are contracted out agency.

    The Second is the State Prevailing Wage law that applies to public projects that are contracted out.

    The key to the prevailing wage laws is whether or not the work is contracted out. If a public agency can use their own forces to do the work, the prevailing wage laws do not apply. However, if the public agency has to hire an outside company, then the prevailing wage laws are in effect.

    Repealing the State prevailing wage law will only create confusion about when a Federal Law must be used. Many local agencies only look at the dollars and not the source of the dollars. Federal money comes with all kinds of strings attached ans one of those strings is the Davis Bacon Act.


  44. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:30 am:

    ===It was such a small project, though, that I would feel disingenuous trying extrapolate from that.===

    Again, that’s the point.

    You’re advocating the lowering of wages. That’s what you are saying at a rate you’re “guessing” is roughly 10%, maybe, but maybe not.

    ===To put that in perspective, my annual income…===

    Respectfully, the argument of what YOU make versus what another person or group makes ISN’T an argument.

    Become a tradesmen. Envy as to what others make us t an argument.

    ===…that taxpayers boost…===

    So those working in Labor aren’t taxpayers? Since when?

    ===I have a local contractor that has routinely estimated in the area of 20% less on projects that involve public private partnerships until he discovers it has to be done at prevailing wage===

    If your Math is based solely on wages, than I suspect a 20% wage decrease for you is acceptable.

    I’ll take your 20% you are so wanting of Labor, then let’s talk about Labor taking a 20% cut to appease you.

    ===Your refusal to acknowledge what people in the know know is humorous at a certain level===

    You take that 20% cut, then I’ll look humorous….


  45. - Huh? - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:32 am:

    Reducing the number of units of government will not result in the reduction in the property taxes.

    For instance, a rural township decides that it is going to dissolve, who is going to pick up the duties of the property assessor and highway commissioner? The money needed to maintain the miles of township roads and the salary of the assessor has to be picked up by another unit of government. Those costs are not going to disappear.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:35 am:

    ===1) “It’s just a bill” — valid, but the Senate already passed an over-ride of Rauner’s veto, right? Now the house votes? So, it’s roughly four votes (at last count) of being a “law”.===

    lol, and the RaunerS have spent $60 million since 2013 to prevent overrides. How many overrides have prevailed against Rauner? How many that are Labor-Centric? Now add in the 67-51 GA being sworn in in January… It isn’t going to get thru the House, and respectfully, you know that.

    You your response to my #2, then the Governor needs to look at finding remedies and building 60 and 30. Rauner isn’t a passenger. Also, there are collar county GA Democrats, maybe Rauner should get his 60 and 30 from them.

    Why can’t he?


  47. - Rabid - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    If you think cheeping up the labor is such a good idea, why don’t we fire the police department and hire rent a cops?


  48. - Huh? - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    “The one time I remember, since I’ve been mayor, that we didn’t use prevailing wage (single owner business) to do a minor room remodel, we saved way MORE than 10%.”

    So you admit that you used public funds for a project that was contracted out in violation of the prevailing wage law. And we are supposed to appreciate your lawlessness?

    For highway projects, the engineer’s estimates are generated using a pay item list of the work involved. Those pay item prices already have the prevailing wage law baked into them. Your engineer’s estimates do not provide a breakdown of material cost and labor costs. So it is disingenuous to say that repealing the prevailing wage law will save “X” amount of dollars.


  49. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:54 am:

    Liandro:

    He wants to give you the ability to remove things like wages and healthcare from being collectively bargained. Don’t pretend that this is anything other then the Governor wanting to bust unions.


  50. - liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:55 am:

    “So you admit that you used public funds for a project that was contracted out in violation of the prevailing wage law. And we are supposed to appreciate your lawlessness?”

    Please, don’t be ridiculous. Owner’s don’t pay themselves wages (that would actually be a tax problem) and thus prevailing wage doesn’t apply the same to them. If, though, they have even one employee–then the full prevailing wage process is immediately triggered for that employee. Thus, a single-owner business (which doesn’t have employees) has a hard time running afoul of wage laws. That said, I’m no lawyer, which is why cities have legal teams that look over every contract.


  51. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    ==As for the trade laborer income: they average (I speak only for my community) nearly double the per capita income of the average taxpayer.==

    So. What. You’re just like the Governor. You want to REDUCE wages because someone makes more than the average. What’s a better solution? Figuring out ways to increase everyone else, not reduce the wages of some.


  52. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    ==If you think cheeping up the labor is such a good idea, why don’t we fire the police department and hire rent a cops?==

    North Riverside attempted to do just that with their fire department. Like it or lump it, villages across the state are either facing or will soon be facing those same difficult choices.

    What one considers “cheaping up of labor” is what others call “bang for the buck”.


  53. - liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 12:00 pm:

    “He wants to give you the ability to remove things like wages and healthcare from being collectively bargained.”

    I’ve talked to legislators and aides on both sides of the aisle and never heard that was a big push for municipalities. That said, you may know more than me as to what the final intent is. Again, though, not even Democratic legislators have raised fears about that one in my conversations, and I’ve seen no push from local governments to ask for any of that.


  54. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 12:01 pm:

    I think a confusing aspect of these examples is the premise those bidding on these contracts seem to forget prevailing wage until the end, then everyone complains about… you guessed it… prevailing wage.

    Hmm.


  55. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 12:05 pm:

    liandro:

    Click on the “mother of all poison pills” above in Rich’s post.


  56. - liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 12:20 pm:

    “I think a confusing aspect”

    Not going to disagree, and I wasn’t involved in the project. I don’t claim to know every detail (although I’ve talked to several people who were involved). My city has not done several incentive packages due to forethought on this exact issue.

    Indeed, that’s one reason private, non-profit development corporations pop up in many communities. In Dixon, decades ago, many wealthier community leaders created such a group to buy property and use it to bring in industry.

    It worked…many of our community’s biggest manufacturing companies are on land formerly owned by that private community development company. If the city had been more involved, it would have triggered much more complicated issues.

    I think some of the laws have changed in recent years to allow for a bit more flexibility, but it’s still an issue for private developers.


  57. - Rabid - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    Can Rita crunwell refresh your memory?


  58. - Huh? - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 12:57 pm:

    liandro - You said that as mayor, you let a project to remodel a room and didn’t use the prevailing wage law on the grounds that the company was a one man shop. I have to assume that the person, the owner, was paid for his work.

    The prevailing wage law does not make the distinction between owner and employee. The law say that the wages paid must be the prevailing wage.

    You violated the law and are proud of it and are dismissive of being called out for your lawlessness.


  59. - anon - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 1:15 pm:

    The Guv says he wants to lower property taxes. Let’s be honest: That will not happen unless other revenues replace those lost from the reduced property tax. What revenue ideas does he have?


  60. - illini97 - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    Liandro, it certainly appears -Huh?- is correct.

    -Liandro - “Please, don’t be ridiculous. Owner’s don’t pay themselves wages (that would actually be a tax problem) and thus prevailing wage doesn’t apply the same to them. If, though, they have even one employee–then the full prevailing wage process is immediately triggered for that employee. Thus, a single-owner business (which doesn’t have employees) has a hard time running afoul of wage laws. That said, I’m no lawyer, which is why cities have legal teams that look over every contract.”

    From ‘A Brief Introduction To The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act For Private Contractors’

    “Although the Act is termed the Prevailing “Wage” Act, even proprietorships or partnerships that may not strictly pay a “wage” to employees are included. For workers under any business form, the Act requires that payment be made in an amount that equals or exceeds what would be paid at the prevailing wage. Thus, for example, a sole proprietor may be required to write him/herself a check each month in the amount of the prevailing wage due for the owner’s time on the prevailing wage job.”

    So, how’d Dixon, Illinois accomplish the savings?


  61. - MyTwoCents - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    If Rauner wants to reduce property taxes:

    1) properly fund education (including community colleges)
    2) figure out ways to help local governments tackle pension funding. For example, combine all police & fire pensions into 1 public safety fund under IMRF.
    3) work on revising statutes to make it easier to consolidate governments & maybe consider providing incentives for consolidation, with the understanding it will ultimately be the local citizens who decide on consolidation or elimination.


  62. - City Zen - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 1:26 pm:

    ==The Guv says he wants to lower property taxes. Let’s be honest: That will not happen unless other revenues replace those lost from the reduced property tax.==

    So how do we resolve having the 2nd highest property taxes in the country? We’re constantly told high property taxes are due to inadequate income tax revenue. If one goes up, the other should go down. What I’m hearing is raise income tax rates but leave property taxes as-is. That’s not the narrative that’s been spun.


  63. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 1:30 pm:

    - City Zen -

    Explain Rauner’s veto of property tax relief… less the diminishing of Labor?

    Why did Rauner do that?


  64. - Huh? - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 1:57 pm:

    “So, how’d Dixon, Illinois accomplish the savings?”

    By breaking the law.


  65. - Huh? - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 2:09 pm:

    The only way around the prevailing wage law is for local agencies to do the work with their in-house employees.

    I used to work for a downstate county highway department. They had a very talented highway maintainer completely rip out and remodel a bathroom. Because they did the work by a county employee, the wages they paid was the maintainer’s regular wage.


  66. - Liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 2:11 pm:

    “The only way around the prevailing wage law is for local agencies to do the work with their in-house employees.”

    Best way, without a doubt. I’d love to bring more work in-house. Actually keeps the money local (which prevailing wage claims to do, but rarely does for a rural city), creates local jobs, and gives us better command-and-control of the project.


  67. - Liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 2:17 pm:

    @demoralized:

    “You want to REDUCE wages because someone makes more than the average.”

    That’s nonsense too; I’d love to see wages rise. With prevailing wage, though, someone’s after-tax income is dropping for every single cent that prevailing wage is “increasing” it. Fact.

    The best prevailing-wage argument continues to be “quality of work”. Dropping the income of other taxpayers for the gain of others (who already earn more on average) is not “raising” incomes. It’s just a direct transfer from one private earner to another private earner.


  68. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 2:38 pm:

    - Liandro -

    You exposed yourself, it’s about envy of what people make..,

    ===…To put that in perspective, my annual income… ===

    You want lower wages to match yours. “Simple”


  69. - liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 3:07 pm:

    Willy,

    No need to pull out the ad hominem on this one; you’re better than that. If I wanted to make more money, I’d never have ran for an $800/month job and stayed full time in my businesses. We should be able to have a discussion without you resorting to a baseless attack on my motives.

    You still haven’t answered my question. The per capita income in Dixon is less than $25,000, but perhaps the household income is a better mark. Why do you support a policy that gives tax money to private workers money in a way that hurts fellow private workers who make less (on average)?

    You want my motive, Willy? Why the heck should the less privileged families inflate, above local market rates, the incomes of those better off? The trades work hard and get paid well; explain to me (without baseless ad hominem) why they need to take away after-tax income from others to boost it higher?


  70. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 3:12 pm:

    ===You still haven’t answered my question. The per capita income in Dixon is less than $25,000, but perhaps the household income is a better mark. Why do you support a policy that gives tax money to private workers money in a way that hurts fellow private workers who make less (on average)?===

    As a Mayor, I thought the obvious would not need explaining…

    It’s the agreed to prevailing wage. You said yourself, you want lower wages, including a lower prevailing wage.

    ===Why the heck should the less privileged families inflate, above local market rates…===

    Again, you’re upset people make more than you, you don’t like it.

    That’s not a good reason.


  71. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 3:18 pm:

    The best prevailing-wage argument continues to be “quality of work”.

    I’m not sure I agree with that either. The idea of prevailing wage is to level the playing field so that carpet baggers who pay their workers third-world wages can’t come in and lowball a bid taking the jobs away from the local businesses who pay what the local labor market demands.


  72. - liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 3:19 pm:

    Good grief Willy, you’re flat out lying about my motive. And no, it’s not the agreed to prevailing wage; it’s the mandated prevailing wage. Have a good Thanksgiving, and maybe try not to attack the motives of every person who disagrees with you.


  73. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 3:42 pm:

    It’s agreed that the wage prevailing for the specific work is paid.

    You are also saying the wage is too high. I’m not saying that, you did

    Happy Thanksgiving, bud. Respectfully.


  74. - Liandro - Wednesday, Nov 23, 16 @ 3:45 pm:

    “lowball a bid”

    Point taken, but doesn’t that fall under “quality of work”? If they low bid because they pay “third-world” wages, they aren’t going to have the highest quality staff…

    Either way you are right that “lowest bidder” laws produce an argument for prevailing wage; that’s one of the reasons why I think revising the formulas is a fairly strong compromise. Revising is an easier fix, that’s for sure.


  75. - Rabid - Monday, Nov 28, 16 @ 10:01 am:

    The culture that gave birth to Rita continues to flourish by bending the law to suit your needs. Hometown pride


  76. - Liandro - Monday, Nov 28, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    Rabid, we had no basis to deny the contractor’s bid. The lawyers make sure contractors meet our prevailing wage ordinance, and union reps follow up on it (unless they skipped this contract, which I doubt). Again, the city had no basis for denying the bid.

    The only “culture” on display here is the tendency for people who disagree to personally attack each other. I’m not wading into that with you–I hope you have a fantastic day!


  77. - Rabid - Monday, Nov 28, 16 @ 1:56 pm:

    Paying union wages to a nonunion contractor saved you money how? What computer wiz set up Rita’s accounts? Another no bid contract ? Nothing personal


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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