Guzzardi rent control bill is well intended but 'will lead to unintended consequences,' Skillicorn says
A Chicago Democrat lawmaker's second attempt to eliminate Illinois' statewide rent control ban is likely well-intended but will have "unintended consequences," state Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) said during a recent interview.
"The intention to help renters is good but the state meddling will lead to unintended consequences," Skillicorn, who represents the 66th House District, said during a McHenry Times email interview. "This bill forgets that Illinois' outrageous property taxes and other out of control taxes hurt ordinary families. High property taxes and government waste drive up rents for even the most modest apartments."
Those property taxes in particular point up a much better way to deal with Illinois' housing crisis, Skillicorn said. "If politicians want to lower the cost of housing, they should stop hiking property taxes," he said.
Skillicorn's comments followed Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) introduction earlier this year of his six-word House Bill 255 to repeal the the Illinois Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997. As its name implies, the state's rent control ban bars municipalities in the state from enacting laws to control rent on residential or commercial property.
Illinois is one of 35 states in the U.S. that bans rent control, and Guzzardi has for a while been interested in lowering that number to 34. In February 2017, Guzzardi introduced House Bill 2430, which would have repealed the state's rent control statute. That billed picked up nine co-sponsors but died in the House Judiciary's subcommittee on Real and Personal Property Law.
Guzzardi's HB 255 currently is assigned to Judiciary's subcommittee on commercial law.
Skillicorn voiced his opposition to HB 255 less than a week after it was referred to subcommittee, saying then, "We do not need or want politicians and bureaucrats meddling with this."
Skillicorn has represented the 66th House District since he was first elected to the seat in 2016. He was unopposed in November's midterm elections. The 66th District covers Kane and McHenry counties and includes Lakewood, Lake in the Hills, Gilberts, Sleepy Hollow, Crystal Lake, East Dundee and West Dundee.
Guzzardi has represented the 39th House District since he first was elected to that seat in 2014. Like Skillicorn, Guzzardi was unopposed in November's midterm elections. The 39th District is located entirely in Chicago and includes all or portions of the Belmont, Fullerton, Shakespeare and other area neighborhoods.