MURPHYSBORO — The Jackson County Board on Tuesday made a definitive statement opposing any potential statewide property tax.
During its regular meeting, the board passed a resolution opposing any effort by the state to implement a statewide property tax through legislation or any other means. Additionally, the resolution said the board would support an effort by the Illinois General Assembly to amend the state constitution to forever prevent a statewide property tax.
The issue came about this past Tuesday when the Legislative and Public Committee considered a proposal to place an advisory referendum on the November general election ballot. The referendum was proposed by Republicans Dan Bost, Emily Burke, Laurie Nehring, Steve Bost, Andrew Erbes and Jose Medoza.
The question was: "Should the Illinois General Assembly amend the state constitution to ban the implementation of a statewide 1% property tax increase?”
The committee voted against placing the question on the ballot and instead recommended a board resolution to oppose such an act.
“Let’s just do it right now,” board member Keith Larkin said during the committee meeting. “There is no reason to wait.”
On Tuesday, Bost said he’s not opposed to the resolution as he voted for it. However, he still thinks there should be a question on the ballot in addition to the resolution.
“I would hope that we go ahead and put in on the ballot,” he said. “Because I think it is important to let the people vote on this."
“It sends a strong message and we are doing things to oppose property tax increases even outside the area.”
Although there isn’t any legislation in Springfield that is advocating for increasing the property tax on a statewide scale, Burke has said the idea has been floated out there by individuals who state leaders listen to when shaping economic policy.
The ballot question comes in response to a blog post authored by Thomas Haasl, Rick Mattoon, and Thomas Walstrum and published on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago website. The post proposed a statewide residential property tax. In the post, it says the views expressed are the authors, and do not reflect those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago or the Federal Reserve System.
“In our view, Illinois’s best option is to impose a statewide residential property tax that expires when its unfunded pension liability is paid off,” the blog post reads. “In our baseline scenario, we estimate that the tax rate required to pay off the pension debt over 30 years would be about 1 percent.”
“It is a credible source and I know people say ‘Oh, it’s just a blog post,’ but the post was a presentation in a journal by three economists that recommended this as a solution,” Burke said previously.
Previous statements have also come from Nehring, who said a question on the ballot would truly show how constituents feel they are overtaxed in the county and state.
“This gives them an opportunity to have a voice in Springfield,” she said.