Batinick says Madigan digs tax hole, dumps in homeowners
Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) fears House Speaker Mike Madigan has created such a tax-induced whirlpool in Illinois that people and businesses must either escape or get sucked into its abyss.
“Businesses are leaving, jobs creators are leaving, young people are leaving, and they are the big taxpayers of tomorrow,” Batinick told the Will County Gazette of the effect of the state's high property taxes.
In a recent interview, Madigan said he thinks property tax relief should be an option only for certain Illinoisans, not everyone still struggling to call the heavily taxed state home.
With Illinois among the most heavily taxed states in the country, that’s a view that escapes all reasoning for Batinick.
“A freeze is not enough; we need broad and major relief,” he said. “As it is, these outrageous taxes are prohibiting growth, and businesses don’t want to locate in Illinois.”
Still, that hasn’t stopped or even slowed soaring tax burdens, particularly in areas like Will County, where a Local Government Information Services (LGIS) analysis shows Union School District 81 taxpayers are paying as much as $5,400 per home to fund the district at a time when home prices are rapidly tumbling.
LGIS data show that of 22 Will County communities analyzed, median home prices fell between 17.8 percent and 38.1 percent over an eight-year period starting in 2007. By 2023, homeowners in 21 of those communities are projected to have paid more than 50 percent of their home’s value in property taxes.
Meanwhile, over that same time, 30 of 33 school districts surveyed spent more money in 2015 than they did eight years earlier, even though 13 of the districts experienced dwindling enrollment.
Lincoln Way High School District 210 taxpayers are on the hook for $474 million, much of it stemming from the $225 million funding of two new high schools, one of which was shuttered after just eight years.
Overall, homeowners in Crete have seen their home values dip by nearly 35 percent over an eight-year period ending in 2015, from a peak of $225,191 on average. LGIS projects that by 2023, median home prices there will hold less than half that value -- $109,690 -- while the average homeowner will have paid $105,840 in property taxes, or nearly 97 percent of the home's value.
"Madigan’s plan is just another way to pick winners and losers," Batinick said. "We need to be providing relief for everyone.”