Marengo alderman says he has mixed feelings on property tax freeze
A Marengo alderman has weighed in on potential legislation that would impose a two-year property tax freeze on local governments in six Illinois counties.
Todd Hall, who represents Ward 3, said he has mixed feelings on the issue. Hall said on one hand, he does not appreciate the state telling local entities what to do and that the state should make it less expensive for local governments to provide services.
Hall said that on the other hand, local governments and townships should scale back and cut costs.
“We do not have an income problem, we have a spending problem,” Hall told the McHenry Times.
The counties that would be affected by the freeze are Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Will, according to a Township Officials of Illinois legislative alert. Other counties would have an option for a voter referendum.
Hall said has noticed a dramatic difference in property taxes compared with the last state he lived in. He said these higher burdens add strain to Illinois families and businesses.
“For the same services and same size home, I am paying (four) times the amount in property taxes than I paid in the last state I lived in,” Hall said.
Hall also discussed Illinois' township governments of which the state has about 7,000 that all exist off property taxes.
“Having lived in four different states, I was shocked to see how many taxing bodies there were here,” Hall said. “So for the most part, I think there needs to be a consolidation of taxing bodies, not just townships. The only concern I have with this is that there are some laws and/or contracts that require that the absorbed employees get the highest pay/benefits of the most lucrative contract."
He added that taxing bodies and townships need to make a more favorable and less costly environment for consolidating services.
Additionally, Hall said voters in Illinois should seek candidates who are committed to reducing taxes.
“It still amazes me that voters in Illinois continually elect or allow people to be elected that are not looking at ways to reduce taxes,” Hall said. “Too often, officials get elected by promising something to everyone. Every one of those promises has a cost. While $10,000 may not seem like a lot in a $10 million budget, it only takes a few $10,000 services in every taxing body to be a huge cost to taxpayers.”
The proposed tax freeze, Senate Bill 851, was proposed on Oct. 26.