Pro-economic liberty group launches campaign against soaring Illinois property taxes
Supporting a proposal to cut Illinois property taxes in half and a slate of political candidates who would help make that happen is part of Liberty Principles PAC's recently announced "Save Your Home" campaign.
The campaign centers around the stories of Illinois property taxpayers trying to sell their homes or whose home value has deteriorated due to high property taxes, the "Save Your Home" website states. The campaign supports a 1-percent hard cap on property taxes as a percentage of home value, which is backed by lawmakers who are not beholden to House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) or Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
"Rich, poor or somewhere in between, Republican, Democrat or somewhere in between, you will not be spared the financial disaster the highest property taxes in the nation inflict," Liberty Principles PAC said in a statement. "The good news is there's a group of independent state legislative candidates who aren’t … beholden to the Chicago power structure or the big government Republican sell-outs. They're working people taking up the fight to lower — repeat, to lower — your property taxes.
Getting that much political leadership with the political will to implement the 1-percent cap into office in Springfield will require a revolt on the part of Illinois voters during November's general election, the PAC’s website states.
"If you commit to the revolt for lower property taxes, we can get the personnel and the leadership we need on November 6," the website reads.
Liberty Principles PAC Chairperson and Treasurer Dan Proft is a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns this publication.
The "Save Your Home" campaign website includes the profiles of 19 new candidates and incumbents running for re-election. They include surgeon Jay Kinzler, who is running for Illinois' 46th District state House seat; Park Ridge Republican Marilyn Smolenski, running for the 55th District state House seat; Dwight Kay, who in December announced his bid to return to the 112th District House seat in which he'd served from 2011 to 2017.
The "Save Your Home" campaign centers around the stories of Illinois property taxpayers who are struggling with property taxes, including Illinois residents like Mike Serino of Naperville, whose family has decided to leave the state.
"Well, our decision is that, at our earliest possible convenience, we're moving out of the state of Illinois," Serino told Prairie State Wire.
That decision was driven by ever-increasing taxes on his home of 15 years, which has failed to appreciate in value in all that time, Serino said.
"We're overtaxed," he said. "We're overtaxed and my home's value has not changed at all. It has not appreciated and part of the reason why it has not appreciated is because of how much we're paying in property taxes."
Things have gotten so bad that he now regrets his home purchase, Serino said.
"My investment in my home was a bad investment," he said.
Russell O'Neil of Des Plaines said that he also has given up on Illinois.
"I'm actually thinking of selling my home in the near future, in the near couple of years, and going someplace where I can live without being taxed out of my property," he said.
His property taxes went up when he and his neighbors could least afford it, O'Neil said.
"They raised my taxes in the middle of the recession and my house was not worth the value that they claimed it was," he said. "They just raise your taxes anyway, but the resources that they need are beyond taxpayers' ability to pay."
That has caused widespread pain, O'Neil said.
"The pain of it is when you raise your family in a home and you feel secure," he said. "And the neighbors, we all talk about it. Pay the bill, somehow, someway. But how much more could I pay? It's to the point that I don't have the money for having a meal, for groceries."
His own taxes recently went up another $800 after he'd been told that there would not be another increase, O'Neil said.
"It's so underhanded and out of control," he said. "There's no legal controls where taxpayers can do something to not have to pay a huge increase when they weren't expecting it."
Stories like O'Neil's and Serino’s are why the "Save Your Home" campaign pushes for a 1-percent hard cap on property taxes as a percentage of home value, according to the PAC.
"If implemented in Illinois, this cap would cut the property taxes for most Illinois families at least in half, restoring home equity and home value," the website states. "The cap would also rein in runaway local government spending."
"Indiana and California have schools and first responders and local government and yet don't destroy the home values of their residents with confiscatory property taxes," the "Save Your Home" website said. "Illinois can do the same. All we lack is the political leadership with the political will.”