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As Property Taxes Rise, Pritzer Creates Task Force

By Gary Smith
09/17/2019
As Property Taxes Rise, Pritzer Creates Task Force

As Realtors point to high property taxes for a decline in homes sales across Cook County, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has agreed to create a property tax relief task force, which will include representatives from Pritzker’s office and each of the four legislative caucuses.

Task Force Goal

The creation of the task force is part of a larger bill, Senate Bill 1932, which also includes Pritzker’s graduated income tax proposal. The property tax relief tax force was added by House Democrats, who said the original bill didn’t do enough to address high property taxes.

The bill stipulates an initial report should be made to the governor and General Assembly within 90 days of the bill being signed, with the final report to be completed by year’s end.

The graduated state income tax that Pritzker campaigned on is being touted as a way to providing relief on property taxes assessed by county governments by increasing the state share of education funding, which would fulfill the mandate spelled out in the state constitution that the state should be the “primary” source of school revenue.

The Governor’s Office has said that the task force will be charged with looking at property taxes through a “racial and economic equity lens,” which is similar to the approach taken by the recreational-cannabis law that was recently signed into law.

Property Taxes Impact Illinois’ Economy

According to the National Association of Realtors, Chicago-area prices flattened out in June, compared with a 4.3 percent rise in the nationwide median home selling price. NAR estimates residential real estate generated $139.2 billion in economic activity in Illinois, which is 16 percent of gross state product.

The housing market stalling has an impact on the state’s overall economy, impacting appliance and furniture dealers, moving companies and mortgage brokers, and the new home construction market slowing down impacts opportunities for carpenters, plumbers, and electricians.

In addition to the low prices in both commercial and residential properties, the new Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi is reassessing properties with the goal of eliminating historical inequities that favored wealthier areas. Unfortunately, that will impact many homeowners with limited resources to absorb those tax increases.

With the elimination of federal tax deductions for local property taxes, property owners will feel the increases.

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