[Bumped up to Sunday for visibility.]
* From JB Pritzker…
Governor Rauner’s property tax freeze is just a political stunt. Since day one, Governor Rauner’s strategy has been to starve social service agencies and local governments to force the crisis we now suffer from. His cynical approach has often led to the increases in property taxes he claims he wants to freeze. Governor Rauner should stop playing politics and offering gimmicks and start doing the job he was elected to do, including putting Illinois on a path to fiscal responsibility and the state providing additional support for education funding.
* As you’ll recall, an Oak Park newspaper reported this the other day…
Pritzker said that he opposed a property tax freeze, a favorite Rauner talking point, saying local communities should make that decision.
Pritzker has since been slammed repeatedly by the ILGOP and the Chicago Tribune editorial page.
* Now, here’s the transcript of what was asked and what Pritzker said…
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Bruce Rauner was downstate earlier this week saying the two greatest problems for small business are property tax and workers comp. And I know you’ve done work on this. Could you just tell us what you think about that claim?
PRITZKER: The two biggest problems in the state are property tax and workman’s comp? Okay, lets talk about that. Property taxes are a pretty big issue, but it’s an issue for a different reason than he says it’s an issue. He polled a property tax freeze. And it polls really well, because nobody wants to pay higher property taxes. And so that polls really well, and that’s why you see his commercials, it’s one of the first things he lists of things that he wants to do.
Look, nobody wants higher property taxes, but we can’t hamstring all of our local governments that way.
Here’s what I want to do. If you raise revenue at the state level and pay for education at the state level – constitutionally mandated at 50%, we’re only providing 26% — if you raise revenue at the state level and do it on a progressive basis, local governments will have choices, you all will have choices about whether you want to lower your property tax revenue for your city.
If you want a property tax break, you should go get that. He’s not advocating anything like that, by the way. And so, the best he can do is say property tax freeze, and then he throws the problem at you, at the local level to figure out what you’re going to do if you need a property tax increase, or you need more revenue. He’s not creating any jobs, so we’re not creating any more revenue around – 0.5 percent job growth last year, which is in the bottom third of states. So that’s the property tax issue.”
This is also nicely timed ahead of Chris Kennedy’s expected property tax/school funding announcement on Tuesday.
[I put this up really late in the day and I’m about to close comments. You can still comment below, but they won’t be visible to anyone. However, I’ll “release” them from moderation on Sunday.]