Edgar Got Tax Cap from Madigan, Rauner Got No Tax Relief

Both Governor Jim Edgar and Governor Bruce Rauner made property tax relief a centerpiece of their campaigns.

Back in 1991 there was a resulting standoff between Republican Governor Jim Edgar and Democratic Party House Speaker Mike Madigan.

Edgar had promised real estate tax relief in his 1990 campaign.

My research convinced me that was an issue because of increased real estate taxes caused by issuance non-referendum bonds in heavily-Republican DuPage County. Besides schools, think of the DuPage County Airport and Water District levies–both from appointed board members.

Madigan did not give up easily.

He extracted a delayed effective date for Cook County and tax caps in Downstate (non-collar) counties taking place only after referendum passage.

My memory tells me Madigan held out until July 20-something with Edgar keeping the General Assembly in session until the bill passed.

Bruce Rauner

Compare that with Republican Bruce Rauner’s real estate tax relief accomplishment.

After a three-year standoff, Rauner caved without getting any property tax relief in the new State Aid To Education bill.

Compare that nothingness with the property tax relief the General Assembly passed during my first term in the Illinois House.

In 1974, under the sponsorship of State Rep. Gene Hoffman, tax districts with a tax rate higher than a given level were told to cut those rates.

Looked good on paper, but the school lobby went back the next session and repealed (over my objection, of course) that part of the law.

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