On Friday, Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an Executive Order banning state legislators from representing clients before the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board. State Representative Jeanne Ives released the following statement in response:
“Governor Rauner’s order doesn’t ban legislators from doing property tax appeals work. It only prohibits them from representing clients at the state level. Speaker Madigan, Senate President Cullerton, and their cohorts make their money at the local level, in Cook County. Not the state level. This E.O. solves nothing other than Rauner’s need for a little good publicity in an election year.
“Lawmakers working to profit off of a property tax appeals system they control has hurt families and businesses for decades. Truly bold legislation would prohibit legislators from doing property tax appeals work at the state and local levels, the latter being the most important. Additionally, an Executive Order requiring legislators to disclose their property tax appeals clients and the fees they derive from those clients, just as legislators have to disclose sources of income over $5,000 and other investments, would better serve taxpayers than a watered-down Executive Order.
“Property taxes were one of the state’s most urgent problems when Governor Rauner took office in 2014. They were at confiscatory levels in Cook County’s Near Western and Southern Suburbs, Lake and McHenry County then. Now, they are even worse.
“From 2007 to 2017, families in Country Club Hills saw their effective property tax rates double from 2.30% to 4.44%. In Dolton, property owners saw their rates increase from 2.09% to 8.62%. Harvey sustained increases that took rates from 1.70% to 9.72%. In Riverdale, homeowners were punished with increases that took their property tax rate from 2.16% to 12.10%. Governor Rauner’s E.O does nothing to address the rising cost of owning property in Illinois.
“When he took office, Governor Rauner proposed a property tax freeze, which would only serve to maintain the status quo by locking in Illlinois’ ‘highest in the nation’ property tax rates. But even for that he wasn’t willing to fight.
“Illinois has had phony limitations for thirty years, which is why we have the highest property taxes in the nation. The state needs what I am proposing: a hard 1% cap on property taxes, like Indiana has.
“A property tax cap will force us to reconsider the way we fund schools and make the state pay the majority of the freight. Our goal is to return home equity and home value to Illinois homeowners, so they can get a real return on their investment.
“While Governor Rauner issues pandering, ineffective Executive Orders, Illinois families are struggling under the very real effects of his inaction.”