State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, issued the following statement today regarding the Draft Final Report of the 88-member Property Tax Relief Task Force on which he served as House Republican Co-Chair:
“As a current draft, the final report is nothing more than a collection of thoughts with no real recommendations, put together by only a handful of people. There was no actual discussion or debate at the committee level on this report. This grossly oversized task force was created in a deal with the Governor to convince reluctant legislators to support an income tax increase being placed on the ballot, apparently to provide them with political cover. Instead of bringing us closer to achieving meaningful and lasting property tax relief for Illinois families, this draft report is a complete disaster that fails to live up to its intended purpose.”
The Property Tax Relief Task Force was created last year by the passage of Senate Bill 1932 and given the responsibility to identify causes of increasingly burdensome property taxes throughout Illinois; examine nationwide best practices; and make recommendations to assist in short-term and long-term property tax relief in a final report due by December 31, 2019. The task force was created because specific members of the House Democrat Caucus stated they required it in exchange for support of SJRCA 1 (the “Graduated Tax” Constitutional Amendment).
The process over the last several months included three meetings of the full Task Force and numerous meetings of the several subcommittees created within it. House Republican members participated in the subcommittee meetings and offered numerous recommendations, most of which are not included in the Draft Final Report. For example, reforms that would directly reduce the burden on senior citizen homeowners; or reduce the burden of State mandates — both of which would provide short and long-term property tax relief — are not included.
As a result, House Republicans will not approve the Final Draft Report on the grounds that it (1) fails to address core issues that impact the failed property tax system in Illinois, and (2) has been improperly presented by a few members of the Task Force without proper process and public consideration.