Rauner: Permanent property tax freeze would help keep homeowners in Illinois

Illinois governor spoke in front of Moline home on Wednesday

A Moline woman's house was the backdrop for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner's speech Wednesday.

He said property taxes throughout the state are too high and he wants to freeze them for at least four years.

Rauner said it's one of the issues prompting people to move out of state.

Andrea Anderson, who hosted Rauner at her home in Moline, agreed, saying she's tempted to move to Iowa because of the state's lower property taxes.

"I'm trying really hard to keep my family here in Illinois," Andrea Anderson said. "It becomes more attractive everyday, especially now that we've passed the income tax increase in the state. That was one of the things that we kind of had over Iowa, and now, that's gone."

Rauner said he wants a permanent property tax freeze to help solve the problem but said he'll settle for four years. It's one of the items that Rauner wants passed before signing a budget, adding that he can't get behind the Illinois Senate's recent proposal for a two-year freeze.

"A four-year freeze is a compromise," Rauner said. "Permanent is the right answer, but two years is too short."

Illinois House representative Mike Halpin (D-Rock Island) said he supports a temporary freeze, but much more needs to be done to actually solve the problem.

"Real property tax relief is not just holding firm with some of the highest property taxes in the country, Halpin said. "It should be finding ways to cut those taxes."

Halpin added that Rauner should also sign the education funding reform legislation, "which would allow schools in turn to reduce some of their reliance on the property tax."

Rauner disagreed.

"Your tax money would be going to bail out CPS," Rauner said. "They attached that to the back of the bill. Then we can do a new education funding formula."

Some lawmakers argue the senate's property tax reform plan should be enough of a compromise, but Rauner says he can't get behind it.

"What we've got to do is real change," Rauner said. "Things that really matter. A two-year freeze, that's a nice headline, it wouldn't change things."

Halpin said he expects the House back in session later this month. He's trying to stay optimistic about passing a new budget before the new fiscal year on July 1.


EARLIER UPDATE

Illinois governor Bruce Rauner is in Moline talking about property tax relief with local taxpayers.

Rauner spoke in front of the home of Andrea Anderson, who says she's trying to stay in Illinois, but the high property taxes make moving to Iowa more appealing.

We'll have more on the governor's visit on Local 4 News at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.

 


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