Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement today (May 30) regarding his votes on a pair of property tax freeze measures taken up by the Illinois Senate:

Nobody likes paying property taxes. They’re unfair, they’re too high and they’re a burden. Don’t forget the reason why our property taxes are so high – we have an outdated tax system that ties local funding to property wealth. Property taxes pay for our schools, sidewalks, sewer lines, firetrucks, police cars, playgrounds, libraries and community colleges. Freeze local property taxes, and you freeze money for local services. That’s OK if it’s what local taxpayers want to do.

The Senate voted today to give local taxpayers two years to take a property tax freeze for a test drive and see if they like the results. If they do, we can take another vote in the General Assembly. The governor wanted a permanent freeze, but two years is a compromise that attempts to find a middle ground without causing permanent harm to schools and local governments.

I supported two bills in the Senate today to freeze property taxes because that’s what my constituents have told me they want and because Gov. Rauner has indicated that doing so will help move him toward a budget resolution. But let me be perfectly clear: the way to bring down Illinois’ skyrocketing property taxes isn’t a freeze that ties the hands of school districts and village halls. We need to adopt a fair income tax system in which people with lower incomes pay lower income taxes rates and people with higher incomes pay higher tax rates. Then we need the state to live up to its obligation to fund schools so that they aren’t so heavily reliant upon local property taxes.

In short, a fair income tax coupled with fair school funding reform is the answer to Illinois’ property tax woes. I look forward to Gov. Rauner throwing his enthusiastic support behind both.

Category: News

Contact Me

Email Senator Harmon

Springfield Office:
329 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(p) 217.782.8176
(f) 217.558.6013

Oak Park Office:
6941-B W. North Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302
(p) 708.848.2002
(f) 708.848.2022

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