What if anything should state government do to address rising property taxes?

Budget

We should allow local communities to have more control over their own property taxes so they can fund the important priorities in their communities and lower them if they see fit to attract more residents and businesses. Local control means both empowering taxpayers to control property tax rates at the ballot box and giving elected officials the tools they need to contain costs and innovate inside government.

We should allow local communities to have more control over their own property taxes so they can fund the important priorities in their communities and lower them if they see fit to attract more residents and businesses. Local control means both empowering taxpayers to control property tax rates at the ballot box and giving elected officials the tools they need to contain costs and innovate inside government.

Illinoisans unquestionably need immediate relief from the highest property taxes in the nation. The state's average property tax rate, at 2.67 percent, is three times higher than Indiana's (0.88 percent) and twice as high as Missouri's (1.26 percent), according to Corelogic. The only solution to persistent high property taxes is to institute a hard cap as a percentage of home value. A levy freeze, which is the only property tax freeze that has been discussed in Springfield, is not a freeze for an individual home owner.

A property tax cap, such as Indiana has, is the only real way to keep housing affordable. In order to institute a tax cap four things must happen: the government must reduce spending by addressing the cost drivers of local spending, the state must become the primary funder of education, across the state we must reduce the number of taxing bodies and distortions (TIFs, exemptions) in our property valuation system, and we must align local accountability and costs (shift pensions, collective bargaining reform).

Some of the above are not new ideas. Voters must be presented the alternatives to not solving this crisis so they clearly see the choices before them. Fortunately, lawmakers who represent Chicago will be eager for reform once they realize their pension costs at the local level will eat up 25% of the budget by 2023. Any attempt to increase taxes enough to make that payment and the ensuing revolt will make the Cook County soda tax skirmish look like a walk in Grant Park.

Property taxes are too high, especially in the poorest neighborhoods. It's because we rely too heavily on them to pay for our public schools. Instead, we should implement a progressive income tax, allowing us to lower the burden on property taxes for school funding and to protect the middle class. We should then use that revenue to move the state closer to the constitutional goal of the majority of education funding coming from the state. Currently, we're providing a dismal 26%, ranking us near the bottom of the U.S. in state funding for education. Fixing our broken property tax system and our over-reliance upon it for school funding will be a priority for me as governor.

I believe there should be more consolidation of all of the various government entities. Property tax relief could also be achieved by pension reform. The profits from legalized marijuana and casino gambling in Chicago should be distributed directly to property owners throughout the state. This is being done in Colorado and it is very successful and well liked.

The state government should restructure our state tax system to be less reliant on property taxes to fund our local school systems, and we need to make our assessment process and data transparent. The reason our property taxes continue to rise is because we have locked ourselves into a system where political insiders benefit from the status quo. We need to break up the racket that makes local taxpayers foot the bill for political insiders, and the well-connected few who benefit from a broken property tax system.

Place a Moratorium on rising Property Taxes. in other words, a Property Tax Freeze.

We have exemptions for homeowners, senior citizens, veterans. I'd like to see a moratorium on new exemptions, because they push the tax burden to other property owners. I'm not against keeping existing exemptions. Tax increment financing (TIF) districts should be limited to "blighted" areas that would not see new development but for the TIF program. Enterprise zones should not be extended once they reach the end of their time period. We should close loopholes that cause properties to be under-assessed.

Illinoisans unquestionably need immediate relief from the highest property taxes in the nation. The state's average property tax rate, at 2.67 percent, is three times higher than Indiana's (0.88 percent) and twice as high as Missouri's (1.26 percent), according to Corelogic. The only solution to persistent high property taxes is to institute a hard cap as a percentage of home value. A levy freeze, which is the only property tax freeze that has been discussed in Springfield, is not a freeze for an individual home owner.

A property tax cap, such as Indiana has, is the only real way to keep housing affordable. In order to institute a tax cap four things must happen: the government must reduce spending by addressing the cost drivers of local spending, the state must become the primary funder of education, across the state we must reduce the number of taxing bodies and distortions (TIFs, exemptions) in our property valuation system, and we must align local accountability and costs (shift pensions, collective bargaining reform).

Some of the above are not new ideas. Voters must be presented the alternatives to not solving this crisis so they clearly see the choices before them. Fortunately, lawmakers who represent Chicago will be eager for reform once they realize their pension costs at the local level will eat up 25% of the budget by 2023. Any attempt to increase taxes enough to make that payment and the ensuing revolt will make the Cook County soda tax skirmish look like a walk in Grant Park.

Property taxes are too high, especially in the poorest neighborhoods. It's because we rely too heavily on them to pay for our public schools. Instead, we should implement a progressive income tax, allowing us to lower the burden on property taxes for school funding and to protect the middle class. We should then use that revenue to move the state closer to the constitutional goal of the majority of education funding coming from the state. Currently, we're providing a dismal 26%, ranking us near the bottom of the U.S. in state funding for education. Fixing our broken property tax system and our over-reliance upon it for school funding will be a priority for me as governor.

I believe there should be more consolidation of all of the various government entities. Property tax relief could also be achieved by pension reform. The profits from legalized marijuana and casino gambling in Chicago should be distributed directly to property owners throughout the state. This is being done in Colorado and it is very successful and well liked.

The state government should restructure our state tax system to be less reliant on property taxes to fund our local school systems, and we need to make our assessment process and data transparent. The reason our property taxes continue to rise is because we have locked ourselves into a system where political insiders benefit from the status quo. We need to break up the racket that makes local taxpayers foot the bill for political insiders, and the well-connected few who benefit from a broken property tax system.

Place a Moratorium on rising Property Taxes. in other words, a Property Tax Freeze.

We have exemptions for homeowners, senior citizens, veterans. I'd like to see a moratorium on new exemptions, because they push the tax burden to other property owners. I'm not against keeping existing exemptions. Tax increment financing (TIF) districts should be limited to "blighted" areas that would not see new development but for the TIF program. Enterprise zones should not be extended once they reach the end of their time period. We should close loopholes that cause properties to be under-assessed.

From high assessments to ineffective appeals, our broken property tax system exploits middle-class homeowners while lining the pockets of property tax lawyers and letting the wealthy and well-connected off the hook. We must create a more transparent system to eliminate corruption and special treatment and give ordinary homeowners a fair deal.

To address these problems, I introduced the HOME Act in the spring. The legislation would bring transparency to the opaque valuation process by requiring county assessors to make clear how they estimate and validate values and by requiring state oversight and reporting on local officials. It would also require assessors to modernize broken valuation systems which demand more from middle-class and working homeowners and less from the wealthy, and involve the Department of Revenue in performing statistical analyses to analyze fairness and equity.

Lastly, the HOME Act would subject property tax lawyers to pay-for-play rules to prevent conflicts of interest and limit contributions from property tax lawyers to assessors, candidates for assessor, and others in the appeals process to $750 per year.

These reforms would make our property tax system much fairer, but would not decrease our total property tax burden, which is far too high. Reducing the overall burden requires reducing our reliance on property tax revenue to fund neighborhood schools. This will require wholesale reform of our tax system, beginning with a constitutional amendment to enable a progressive income tax, and then of our school funding formula. The other significant input into our sky-high property tax burden is the proliferation of local governments — thousands more than in any other state which we must continue working to streamline.

From high assessments to ineffective appeals, our broken property tax system exploits middle-class homeowners while lining the pockets of property tax lawyers and letting the wealthy and well-connected off the hook. We must create a more transparent system to eliminate corruption and special treatment and give ordinary homeowners a fair deal.

To address these problems, I introduced the HOME Act in the spring. The legislation would bring transparency to the opaque valuation process by requiring county assessors to make clear how they estimate and validate values and by requiring state oversight and reporting on local officials. It would also require assessors to modernize broken valuation systems which demand more from middle-class and working homeowners and less from the wealthy, and involve the Department of Revenue in performing statistical analyses to analyze fairness and equity.

Lastly, the HOME Act would subject property tax lawyers to pay-for-play rules to prevent conflicts of interest and limit contributions from property tax lawyers to assessors, candidates for assessor, and others in the appeals process to $750 per year.

These reforms would make our property tax system much fairer, but would not decrease our total property tax burden, which is far too high. Reducing the overall burden requires reducing our reliance on property tax revenue to fund neighborhood schools. This will require wholesale reform of our tax system, beginning with a constitutional amendment to enable a progressive income tax, and then of our school funding formula. The other significant input into our sky-high property tax burden is the proliferation of local governments — thousands more than in any other state which we must continue working to streamline.