Part 2 of State Rep. Mike Tryon’s end of session report:
Tryon Sponsors Series of Tax Freeze and Relief Bills
Taxpayers in Illinois are at their limit in the amount of taxes they can pay, and in Springfield I am a strong advocate for tax relief and tax freezes. This year I was a co-sponsor of several initiatives, including:
- HB493: Beginning in tax year 2016, increases the maximum income limitation under the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption from $55,000 to $75,000.
- HB2434: Increases the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption maximum reduction from $5,000 to $7,000
- HB2454: Similar to HB2434; Raises the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption maximum from $5,000 to $7,000.
- HB3579: Changes the way property tax assessments are evaluated and corrected; provides that 1/23 of fair cash value is determined by the lesser of current law or the valuation of the property in the year immediately preceding the assessment year.
- HB4119: Provides that the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption also applies to disabled persons.
Unfortunately, taxpayer protection bills like these are not well-received by the controlling party, and the Speaker of the House bottled all of them up in the House Rules Committee where they were never scheduled for a hearing. I will continue to be a leading voice on property tax relief issues in the House.
Intergovernmental Cooperation leads to $63 Million Allocation for Longmeadow Parkway
Three years ago, when the legislative maps were redrawn and I began representing some portions of Northern Kane County, community leaders came to me right away and let me know that the extension of Longmeadow Parkway to provide for a bridge across the Fox River was a top priority.
The IDOT 2016-2019 Highway Improvement Program for District 1 includes seven different projects that will move the Longmeadow Parkway bridge project forward. Money to fund the program comes from motor-fuel taxes, vehicle registration taxes and federal sources.
Motorists who must cross the Fox River during their daily commute are aware of the dire need for a third bridge across the Fox River. In addition to the traffic mitigation benefits, the opportunities for economic development that would result from the project’s completion are significant. Especially for the Villages of Algonquin, Carpentersville, and for East and West Dundee, this third accessway across the Fox will open the door to future business growth and prosperity.
Tryon Participates in Bipartisan Task Force on Education Funding
Last year I was a vocal opponent of SB16, which sought to fundamentally rewrite the school funding formula in a way that was very punitive to the taxpayers of the 66th District.
Democrats Try to Change Rules for Collective Bargaining
On one of the final days of the legislative session, majority party legislators from both chambers approved a change to the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act that paves the way for public employees to unilaterally default to binding arbitration in the event of unsuccessful contract negotiations.
I was a vocal opponent to this irresponsible bill and believe Governor Rauner will veto it.SB1229 sets a dangerous precedent that all but removes any incentive for union representatives to negotiate in good faith.
I believe strongly that the right to strike is fundamental to the bargaining process. It is, in fact, what motivates each side to be able to come to an agreement that is fair. SB1229 would remove the ability for a union to strike or for management to lockout workers when arbitration commences. The bill also would remove the Governor, elected by the people of Illinois to represent them in contract negotiations, with an unelected arbiter.
Arbitration is different than mediation. Whereas during mediation the goal is compromise, in arbitration the arbiter listens to both sides’ proposals and chooses one or the other- and cost of the contract or ability to pay cannot be a contributing factor in the decision. Given our state’s precarious financial situation, allowing an arbiter to make decisions with taxpayer dollars with no regard for Illinois’ budget situation is extremely dangerous. Even unionized workers have expressed their opposition to the measure since it removes the ability to strike. Despite that opposition, SB1229 was sent to the Governor on June 4.