Durkin opponent wants to stop Illinois' 'evacuation state' status
Mickey Straub sees distress signals across Illinois.
“We have become an evacuation state, and politicians haven’t learned what they can do to turn the state back to a destination place,” the Burr Ridge mayor told the Will County Gazette. “Republicans need to stand up for fundamental Republican values and principles, with limited government, lower taxes and maximum freedom being no-debate issues.”
Straub, who recently announced his campaign to unseat Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) in the 82nd District, was reacting to a new Illinois Policy Institute report that concluded that rising property taxes in Illinois are now far outpacing population growth, inflation and the economy.
The institute report also detailed that by 2013, Illinois residents were paying a property tax burden 76 percent higher than it was just 20 years earlier. Overall, property taxes are now the single-largest tax in the state, with the government collecting as much as $27 billion in revenue as recently as 2013. At an average of 2.32 percent, the state now has the second-highest effective property tax rate in the country.
Over the last half-century, Illinois property taxes have also grown 2.5 times faster than inflation, and since 1990 residential property taxes have grown 3.3 times faster than median household incomes, the report said.
“You have to admit you have a problem before you can make a change,” Straub said. “I’ve spoken to high-ranking Democrats, and they all deny we have a spending problem and not a revenue issue. We have to accept the facts. That’s part of my motivation and platform. I’m not running against Republicans but against the results of the last 10 years.”
Straub tells of recently being at a Hillsdale restaurant and encountering a waitress who was afraid she won’t be able to stay in Illinois in her retirement because of the high taxes.
“I think I gave her a glimmer of hope that someone wants to talk about common-sense policies,” he said. “Right now, what we’re doing is not working. Illinois’ evacuation state status has become the reality for college kids, career people and retirees because politicians are screwing everything up.”
The 82nd District covers parts of Cook, DuPage and Will counties, including Darien, Homer Glen, Lemont and Willowbrook.