During the week, Democrat lawmakers introduced measures that they claimed would provide property tax relief and repeal the estate tax. While their rhetoric would lead constituents to believe these proposals would move the needle on these critical issues, a closer look shows that they are little more than smoke and mirrors – part of a political game to push through a $3.4 billion tax hike.
Republicans argued that if Democrats were serious about repealing the estate tax, they could put their support behind Leader Bill Brady’s Senate Bill 1727, a measure introduced in February that is nearly identical their own proposal – except that it’s not tied to the implementation of a graduated income tax. The estate tax was previously repealed on Jan. 1, 2010, only to be reinstated a year later on Jan. 1, 2011.
Meaningful property tax relief has long been a priority for Senate Republican lawmakers. During debate, Republican Senators noted that the Democrat proposal that emerged this week, which is also tied to the implementation of a graduated income tax, is not real relief.
Senate Bill 690 would provide for tax relief only if a series of stringent requirements are met – a situation that would be so unlikely to occur that the proposal is not likely to result in any property tax relief. Not only does the bill only apply to school districts, it also does nothing to prevent municipalities and other local entities from raising rates.
As people throughout Illinois get their property tax bills this month and see that this year’s bill is higher than last year’s bill, this legislation would nothing to stop that trend from continuing.
Instead of playing political games with taxpayers’ pocketbooks, Senate Republicans are urging their colleagues on the other side of the aisle to come to the table to negotiate real reforms that will put money back in the pockets of Illinois families.