View as PDF CHICAGO—Although members of the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) reached a compromise late last week and approved a six-month stopgap budget for the state, some legislators are denouncing the deal, and taxpayers should, too.
“The stopgap budget plan was not agreed upon for the benefit of the majority of taxpayers and residents of Illinois,” said Jared Labell, Executive Director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
“This bipartisan compromise is merely another tactic for the majority of legislators to avoid blowback from decades of fiscal irresponsibility. Many of these politicians assume that they can continue to strike deals that continue to overspend, overtax, and overburden taxpayers without addressing the need for systemic reform of the Illinois state government and its 7,000 taxing districts.”
Four legislators, however, voted against the stopgap budget plan and discussed their position on the July 5 edition of Chicago Tonight: Reps. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), David McSweeney (R-Cary) and Thomas Morrison (R-Palatine).
“If you voted for that budget, get ready, because come January, maybe the end of December, you’re going to also have to feel obligated to vote for a $5 billion-plus tax increase. This budget wasn’t a budget. This budget was a spending plan that we can’t afford. Budgets set priorities and tell you what’s the most important thing you have to fund. All this vote did was set up a tax increase,” said Ives.
“Seventy-five percent of the budget is on autopilot. We’re going to increase the debt, we provided a package of bills – $625 million to CPS without any reforms, we increased education spending by $524 million – none of that money is required to reduce property taxes. We have the highest taxes in the country. I am going to fight tax increases. We do not need to raise taxes in this state, and they are going to raise taxes through the roof. That’s what the vote the other day was for, a vote for the stopgap was a vote for a massive, 30-percent increase to the income tax. I am going to fight that until my death,” said McSweeney.
Chicago and suburban Cook County taxpayers can empathize with these dissenting legislators as they receive their property tax bills, which will rise by a combined $838 million over the next few years for Chicago alone, and will exceed one billion dollars for suburban residents. This total includes the historically high $588 million property tax increase approved by the City Council last fall for Chicago police and firefighter pensions, as well as an additional $250 million for Chicago teacher pensions, which will not need City Council approval, thanks to the stopgap budget deal.
“People were pretty upset. They’re seeing some pretty big increases. In some cases, we’re talking 30 percent or 40 percent higher. In other cases doubling,” said Chicago Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd).
Other towns that could see massive property tax increases, according to the Daily Herald and data from Cook County Clerk David Orr, include Hoffman Estates (5.8%), Rolling Meadows (6.3%), Roselle (10.7%), Elgin (11%), and Wheeling (11.3%).
Since TUA’s founding four decades ago, Jim Tobin’s name has been synonymous with talk of tax strikes and taxpayers revolts, and for good reason,” said Labell. “In 1977, Tobin, TUA’s founder and president, led the most successful property tax strike in modern Illinois history with a list of demands focused on the interests of taxpayers, not the political bosses in the state,” said Labell. “Nearly forty years later, Illinois taxpayers are once again facing rapidly increasing and onerous tax burdens without redress of grievances from their elected representatives.”
“When politicians are unwilling or unable to answer their constituents’ pleas for help, and rising property taxes threaten to bankrupt citizens, who ya gonna call? The Taxbusters at Taxpayers United of America,” concluded Labell.
Concerned taxpayers can contact Taxpayers United of America by email,, or phone, (312) 427-5128 if they are interested in organizing public meetings or for further information.