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Illinois Republican leader files bill to repeal all Illinois property taxes

Illinois Watchdog.Org

Friday, June 29, 2018  |  Article  |  By Cole Lauterbach

Taxes, property (87) Durkin, Jim--State House, 82
A leading Republican in the General Assembly has filed a bill to put a sunset on Illinois’ property tax laws. All of them.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin announced that he had filed legislation Wednesday creating a sunset date for laws that enable local property taxes in Illinois. If enacted, the entire property tax code for the state would sunset on July 1, 2019. It would remove the taxing authority from many of Illinois’ 7,000 units of government.

The bill, which is short by Springfield standards, comes months before a general election. 

Durkin said his legislation would force lawmakers to work together to reform what he called a broken system. 

“The property tax system in Illinois is a failure, and it is time to start over,” Durkin said in a statement. “By setting a firm deadline for the General Assembly, it will force the legislature to come together in a bipartisan manner to find a compromise solution that will remedy this crisis and help bring Illinois back.”

Lawmakers aren’t scheduled to return to Springfield until Nov. 13, one week after the general election.

Durkin said that a sunset on a law is a good way to encourage lawmakers to revisit how well it works.

“This forces the General Assembly and stakeholders to review laws periodically to ensure they are working properly or risk repeal,” he said.

He said the bill will set a hard deadline for lawmakers to fix Illinois’ property taxes.

“And if we don’t do anything, property taxes would go away,” he told the crowd to applause.

A request for comment from House Speaker Michael Madigan’s office on the bill was not immediately returned. Madigan, a property tax appeals attorney by trade, has taken criticism from Gov. Bruce Rauner and many others for profiting from the complex system of appealing assessments.

Illinois has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. They were rated the second-highest in the nation in an April report by Attom Data Solutions.