Skillicorn proposing resolution in response to suggested state property tax
An Illinois House resolution is being proposed in response to a statewide property tax recently suggested by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) said during a recent interview.
"In response to the Chicago Fed calling for higher property taxes, I'm drafting a resolution calling for the U.S. Congress to pass the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, otherwise known as the audit the Federal Reserve bill," Skillicorn said during a McHenry Times email interview.
Too many other options exist that should be studied before new taxes should be considered, Skillicorn said.
"The notion of hiking property taxes for pensions with no discussion of reform or a reduction of benefits is ridiculous," he said.
The Federal Reserve Transparency Act, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) would require the U.S. comptroller general to conduct a full audit of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks. The proposed legislation, also called "Audit the Fed," was reintroduced into the U.S. Senate in January 2017 "to prevent the Federal Reserve from concealing vital information on its operations from Congress," Paul said in a March press release.
"While we have made great strides in reviving our economy through curbing overzealous regulation and cutting taxes, lasting prosperity will escape us if we do not hold the enabler of big government and our astronomical national debt accountable," Paul said in the press release. "It’s time for the Senate to side with the American people by removing the shackles on congressional oversight and lifting the Fed’s veil of secrecy. It’s time for us to pass 'Audit the Fed.'"
Skillicorn promised his resolution after a sold-out gathering partnered by the Chicago Civic Federation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in April when a Chicago Fed speaker proposed a state property tax. The levy would be a special property assessment estimated at about 1 percent of actual property value each year for the next three decades. That special property assessment would be in addition to current local property taxes in Illinois, which are the second highest in the nation behind New Jersey.
Wirepoints, which covered the event, in a recent article called the special property assessment proposal "among the most blatantly inhumane and foolish ideas we’ve seen yet."
"Homeowners with houses worth $250,000 would pay an additional $2,500 per year in property taxes; those with homes worth $500,000 would pay an additional $5,000; and those with homes worth $1 million would pay an additional $10,000," the Wirepoints article said. "Are they blind to human consequences? Confiscatory property tax rates have already robbed hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of Illinois families of their home equity - probably the lion's share of whatever wealth they had."
Illinoisans do not fully own their property, Skillicorn said. "We don't own our homes," he said. "We rent them from local bureaucrats to finance their gold-plated pensions."
Skillicorn said he sees a way out and a statewide property tax isn't it.
"The first step is not some new tax scheme," he said. "The first step should be replacing pensions with defined contribution retirements. Then keep all other options open. We should amend the state Constitution eliminating the pension protection clause before any additional taxes."