I’ve been thinking back to the days in the early 1990’s when newly-elected Governor Jim Edgar faced down House Speaker Mike Madigan.
There was nothing bombastic about Edgar.
But he made it know that he would get a real estate tax cap before legislators went home.
I can’t remember if it was the 21st or 22nd of July when the Illinois General Assembly finally adjourned.
The compromise allowed the collar counties would get the Property Tax Cap the next year.
The bill said that governments couldn’t borrow money with referendum approval, so some local governments sold bonds before the law took effect.
There was still a year for local tax districts to play games.
Cook County would not be subject to the tax cap until another year passed.
Then, it did not apply to Chicago or Cook County, because both were Home Rule units.
It did get the school districts though.
The final part of the compromise was to allow Downstate counties to avoid the Tax Cap altogether unless a countywide referendum passed.
So, why do I think Madigan will allow tax freeze legislation to pass?
Because such a freeze won’t mean much.
Next year local non-Home Rule units (all local tax districts but Algonquin, Barrington Hills, Crystal Lake and Lake in the Hills, plus Woodstock, if it gets over 25,000 in its special census) are only allowed to raise 7/10 of 1% more than they are getting this year.
The difference between a zero increase and a 7/10 of 1% increase isn’t much.
Any government that couldn’t cut that much from a budget is just incompetent.
So, Madigan will huff and puff, maybe even agree to include Home Rule units in the tax freeze, but I think he’ll figure out what I’ve figured out.
It’s not a big deal.