* From GateHouse…
The largest sticking point — with negotiations still ongoing — is a Republican and Rauner-sought four-year property tax freeze paired with an income tax hike. Democrats say they’ll only approve a two-year hike due to concerns over school districts. They said the two-year timeframe was attached to the original property tax bill Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, sponsored in January.
Radogno noted the bill didn’t reflect the most current agreement regarding discussions to protect taxpayers in a “substantial” way. She urged senators to wait for an agreement.
“We made a lot of progress since then in terms of trying to accommodate each other’s point of view on how long this freeze would be. I think we all need to remember if our taxpayers at home are watching the one thing they universally care about are property taxes,” Radogno said. “It is driving them out of their homes. They care deeply about property taxes. And a simple two-year freeze is inadequate, and there’s been some other really good ideas floated out there that again I think we can come to closure on if we gave ourselves a little more time to do it.”
Cullerton denied that the bill was “inadequate.”
“It’s a Senate bill. It can be amended in the House and let’s pass it. Let’s pass a two-year freeze. If it’s working so well and constituents clamor for it, we can come back next year and we can extend it,” Cullerton said.
According to WalletHub, Illinois has the highest combined state and local effective tax rate in the country at 14.76 percent based on national median household income. That’s a point higher than the next state. California is at 8.79 percent.
For decades, the Democratic Party has been talking about giving homeowners some relief on their property tax bills. Remember the Dawn Clark Netsch plan? These days, the Democrats barely pay lip service.