An article by Austin Berg of the Illinois Policy Institute:
WHY YOUR PROPERTY TAX BILL IS SO HIGH, AND HOW TO FIX IT
Less than 50 cents of every additional property tax dollar over the last 20 years went to pay for services that raise home values. Instead, the primary driver of the rise in property taxes was pension costs.
Continued from yesterday.
Of every additional property tax dollar that went to municipal fire departments in Illinois from 1996 to 2016, 78 cents went to pensions, not protection.
Of every additional property tax dollar that went to municipal police departments, 81 cents went to pensions, not protection.
The path forward is not as complex and unfathomable as political actors make it seem.
It’s limited only by political will, which should change as more and more Illinoisans realize they’re not getting the services they think they’re paying for.
In order to protect pensioners and taxpayers, state lawmakers must amend the Illinois Constitution to allow for reductions in unearned, future benefits.
Among other things, this means ending automatic 3 percent compounding benefit increases and bringing retirement ages in line with the private sector.
Many Illinoisans, such as Vicki, are deeply frustrated with their property taxes.
But more than frustration, thousands are trapped.
The depreciation of their property outweighs what they’ve paid toward principal, meaning they would need to fork over extra cash just to sell their home.
Those who are trapped are looking to Springfield, where one of two paths will shape their future:
- either their property taxes (and probably income taxes) will continue to rise, or
- lawmakers will get serious and amend the state constitution.