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Despite high property taxes, Illinois legislators eye increases


(The Center Square) – Despite Illinois having among the highest property taxes in the country, Illinois legislators are advancing measures that would allow for more property tax increases.

Illinoisans already pay the second highest property taxes in the country, behind New Jersey, according to MoneyGeek.

Thursday in Springfield, the House Revenue and Finance Committee advanced several measures that would allow for increases in property tax levies. House Bill 1075 would allow villages and townships to increase theirs for museums. Illinois Municipal League Executive Director Brad Cole supported the museum levy.

“Nobody here wants to support property tax increases but what we’ve already heard is it’s a de minimis amount, it’s for a community function, museum affairs and activities,” Cole said during the committee.

Another from state Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville, House Bill 4179 would allow for a voter referendum to increase taxes for private ambulance costs.

“So the voters will be there to vote for if they want an ambulance service, or if they want to drive whoever of their family members to the hospitals themselves,” Meier told the committee.

State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, said legislators should be going in the opposite direction when it comes to property taxes but aren’t.

“Basically we’re just expanding local authority to increase peoples’ local property taxes,” Sosnowski told The Center Square. “In a state where we’re the second highest already, it’s something we need to be concerned about.”

He said it’s a scary message with Illinois already having high property taxes and there needs to be a course reversal.

“We’ve got to figure out ways to put caps on total increases, create opportunities for seniors, whether it’s increasing the eligibility for freezes and just keeping taxes low,” Sosnowski said. “That’s what we gotta do to keep people here and to bring people to Illinois.”

Legislators return to Springfield this week to continue spring session.