Durkin: Taxpayers Deserve Real Property Tax Relief Not Political Grandstanding

Springfield, IL….The taxpayers of Illinois deserve real property tax relief, not the political theatrics demonstrated in Springfield this week, said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. On Friday, the majority party called a sham property tax freeze amendment for the vote in an attempt to embarrass the governor and put Republicans in a tough spot. 

“It comes as no surprise that Illinois residents now pay the second highest property taxes in the country and need relief,” said Durkin. “For years, Republicans have introduced legislation to provide property tax relief, only to have those measures repeatedly blocked by the Democrats. This week, Democrats put forth hastily drafted ‘property tax freeze’ legislation that they had no real intention of passing.”   

As part of his turnaround agenda, Governor Rauner is seeking property tax relief.  According to Durkin, the Governor is asking Republicans and Democrats to work together to craft legislation that takes a comprehensive approach to rein in rising property taxes, without hurting local governments. 

“The amendment presented on the floor Friday by the Democrats was not complete; not negotiated or vetted through the committee process; and provided no guarantee that property tax bills would go down. Taxpayers want Republicans and Democrats to work together to solve problems. It’s a shame that Democrats continue to play their disingenuous games on a variety of important issues, rather than roll-up their sleeves and get to work with us on the major problems facing our state.” 

After Republicans voted ‘present’ on the sham amendment, a push was made to release from the House Rules Committee, a real property tax relief bill co-sponsored by Durkin. HB 136 is a carefully crafted, measured approach to property tax reform targeting homeowners who have lost value on their homes. Unfortunately, this bill was immediately dismissed through draconian house rules that provide the majority party a defense again virtually any legislation they don’t like.