Illinois Review Spreads Potential Rauner Property Tax Hike Signature Statewide

has picked up the information that Woodstock’s Susan Handelsman found about the bill that would allow school districts to raise real estate taxes without a referendum.

Rauner RET Tax Hike Bill HB 5529It would legalize (still again) the transfer of money from Transportation Funds to districts’ Education Funds.

In short, it would allow school districts to overtax folks for school buses in order to put money into the Education Fund that otherwise would be illegal.

The bill passed overwhelmingly, but that doesn’t make it any less of a tax hike.

Will Governor Bruce Rauner still to his campaign promises to fight property tax increases?

Or will he hope that no one notices if he signs House Bill 5529?

If you would like to contact the Governor about this property tax hike bill, you can email his office.

Link to email Rauner:

Tell the Governor you want this bill vetoed.


Illinois Review Spreads Potential Rauner Property Tax Hike Signature Statewide — 10 Comments

  1. Is there no end to what these miscreants are willing to
    perpetrate on the already overtaxed families and businesses ?

  2. While you communicate with the Gov. remind him that the people who can afford to leave are leaving.

    If he continues to permit property tax increases (or any increase in any fee or tax), those who can afford to leave will continue to leave.

    In other words, a bad situation will continue to get worse.

    In 2014, McHenry County supposedly increased its population by 411 people after decreasing its population in 2013 by 675 and in 2012 by 920 (based on exemptions as reported to the IRS).

    However, in 2014 the people coming in filed average returns of $55,799 while the people going out filed returns averaging $58,163.

  3. There is no more important issue than the House Bill 5529, currently sitting on the Governor’s desk with regard to the average taxpayer.

    Think about all the controversy of the Valley Hi debacle–all of it very well deserved.

    But any refund from the $3,000,000 levy adopted by the County Board in December of 2014 remains TINY, MARGINAL and of NO CONSEQUENCE compared with what the school districts are doing with the levy funds with no cap.

    Between Districts 36, 15 and 200 alone, more than ten million dollars were “transferred” last year under the very same provision which H.B 5529 allows.

    That represents 10 million levied and collected for “transportation” costs which were totally unnecessary but perfectly legal.

    Given the fact that the schools represent, on average, 65% of our tax bills, the cost of this bill remains devastating to the average taxpayer.

    If you really want to start a process where real estate taxes are reigned in, contact the Governor’s office immediately.

    For every written objection, the politicians consider the issue to be ten votes.

    Since votes, and the ancillary power which comes with those votes are the only concern of our politicians, make your voice known.

    This is not a Republican or Democratic issue.

    The unions have nothing to do with this.

    In fact, if any blame should be shouldered, it rests with the ISBE, the useless oversight agency which purports to monitor the schools in our state.

    Let us see if this Republican Governor walks the walk or is just more of the same:

    politics as usual in Illinois.

  4. Driving families out,
    while driving your property values DOWN.

    It’s a lose / lose scenario for those who are left behind
    to bear the burden.

  5. Many of us in the area make decent incomes relative to the rest of the country but this craziness is unsustainable.

    I continue to search for that magic escape hatch to flee this state.

    One day.

    Those who say its up to us to vote the miscreants out (in other blog entries) rather than impose term limits forget that Xtreme Gerrymandering has emasculated this state.

    We’re screwed until we’re really screwed.

  6. The same people who drew the reapportionment referendum opposed term limits.

  7. Susan Handelsman is a county treasure!
    (and the school boards, administrations are setting up their own empires via our tax dollars)

    Please contact the Gov. about this!

  8. Governmental accounting (school districts fall into that category) and non-profit accounting is different than private sector accounting.

    The government and non-profits separate revenues and expenditures into discrete funds.

    Here are the funds used in Woodstock District 200.

    The numbers are assigned by the Illinois State Board of Education.

    10 – Educational

    20 – Operations & Maintenance

    30 – Debt Service

    40 – Transportation

    50 – Municipal Retirement / Social Security

    60 – Capital Projects

    70 – Working Cash

    80 – Tort

    90 – Fire Prevention and Safety


    Each of these funds has its own set of rules about what can and cannot be done, and those rules were created by state legislators (Senators and Representatives) in House Bills and Senate Bills, and signed into law as Public Acts by Governors.


    House Bill 5529 (HB 5529) effects:

    10 – Educational

    40 – Transportation


    Legislators are deluged with bills so it’s not possible for them to fully understand every bill on which they are voting.

    Who knows how many legislators knew of or understood what Susan is saying above.

    Who knows if the Governor knows or understands what Susan is saying above (hopefully one of his staff members have or will brief him).


    In education legislation, the major powers of influence are the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) teacher unions.

    That’s the labor side of the equation.

    On the management side, we have the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance that consists of the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO), & the Illinois Principals Association (IPA).

    The IASB is the point association in the alliance.

    The labor side has much more power, money, and members than the management side.

    Thus, labor wins more battles in Springfield and a lot of those laws impact local property taxes.

    There is a person named Jim Broadway that doesn’t have any major influence in Springfield, but a lot of teachers who are interested in legislation like to read his subscription newsletter.

    There are various education reform non-profits such as Advance Illinois and Stand for Children who are more liberal; currently a big push is more money for the property tax poor school districts.

    A conservative Illinois non-profit dealing in Education is Heartland Institute, but education is only one of many focuses and they have a nationwide focus.


    So it is helpful to check what these organizations have to say about any education legislation.

    For instance the IASB reports, “HB 5529 (Crespo, D-Streamwood), and Alliance initiative, extends the sunset for a school district to utilize interfund transfers to June 30, 2019.”


    State laws with expiration dates are not uncommon.

    Upon expiration, sometimes they are renewed, sometimes they are not.

    For instance, Early Retirement Option (ERO) for teachers was not renewed effective July 1, 2016.

    (So as of July 1, 2016, teachers and administrators with no pension pickup contribute 9% to TRS not 9.4%, as .4% was for ERO and teaches got refunded at retirement if they didn’t participate in ERO; as previously reported many times, in the majority of school districts in Illinois, teachers contribute little to nothing to their pensions in a scheme that generally hikes gross pay called salary schedule add-on pension pickup).


  9. So at least one of Susan’s foes on HB 5529 is IASB.

    Woodstock District 200 is a member of IASB.


    The IPA has a different description of the bill.

    “HB 5529 – Extends the ability to transfer surplus life safety taxes and interest earnings to be transferred to Operations and Maintenance funds for building repairs from June 30, 2016 to June 30, 2019. Alliance Supports.”

    Since the description is different, it’s time to read the bill.


    On the Illinois General Assembly website, > Bills & Resolutions > House Bills > 5501 – 5600 > HB5529 SCH CD-INTERFUND TRANSFERS.

    In the Bill Status, on April 5, 2016, the Elementary & Secondary Education, School Curriculum & Policies Committee passed 22-0.

    To determine who voted on that committee vote, and to view any witness slips, one has to visit the website.




    Who voted yes:

    Republican Mark Batnick
    Republican Tom Bennett
    Republican John Cavaletto
    Democrat Linda Chapa Lavia
    Democrat Katherine Cloonen
    Democrat Deb Conroy
    Democrat Fred Crespo
    Democrat Den Dunkin – Not Voting
    Democrat Will Guzzardi
    Democrat Sonya Harper
    Republican Sheri Jesiel – Not Voting
    Democrat Camille Lilly – Not Voting
    Republican Charles Meier
    Democrat Christian Mitchell
    Republican Donald Moffitt
    Democrat Michelle Mussman
    Republican Robert Pritchard
    Republican Ron Sandack – Not Voting
    Democrat Sue Scherer
    Democrat Carol Sente
    Democrat Elgie Sims
    Democrat Andrew Skoog
    Democrat Mike Smiddy
    Republican Joe Sosnowski
    Democrat Emanuel Chris Welch – Not Voting
    Republican Barbara Wheeler
    Democrat Kathleen Willis


    Witness Slips in Support of HB 5529 (none opposed)

    John Lowder, Governmental Consulting Solutions, representing Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents

    Sarah Hartwick, Illinois State Board of Education

    Deanna Sullivan, IL Statewide Management School Alliance,

    Peg Agnos, representing LEND SCOPE, an Illinois High School Organization

    Gwen Peebles, Advance Illinois

    Calvin Jackson, Illinois Education Association,

    Diane Rutledge, Large Unit District Association

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