Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces
President's Corner: Our Legislators Listened and Did the Right Thing
Talk radio, always full of bravado, recently interviewed an individual who intimated a measure to eliminate property taxes was likely in the works. This was in response to the 2017 legislature’s struggle to fully fund the twelve percent property tax buy down and to the interviewee’s lack of satisfaction regarding property tax reform. In all this, the show’s host referenced the GNDC as a likely opponent to a potential measure.
Whether a measure is forwarded is anybody’s guess, and what the GNDC might do about the supposed measure will be up to the GNDC board of directors at which time support or opposition is needed. What is known at this time is the GNDC is really good at knocking down well-meaning but misguided attempts at installing these kinds of things into Century Code or our constitution. We will respond when necessary.
More to the point; the 2017 legislature created property tax reform/relief through a social services pilot program. Essentially they funded the costs of social services they mandated the counties provide, but failed, for the last many years, to fund. In addition, they eliminated the ability of the counties to tax property owners for those services. Hence, your property tax will go down (relief) and now the state will pay for those services out of their budget (reform).
What remains to be seen is how much each property tax payer will receive in actual cost reduction. Some will see less and others more. Likely, though, the actual amount will be somewhat less than the twelve percent buy down. Either way, this new relief and reform of property tax has a much greater chance of sustainability than the old buy down. In many minds this is a much better position for the state to be in rather than simply handing money over to the counties. State government, to be sure, passed good policy.
The talk show interviewee – albeit full of passion in their hatred of property tax – is likely to be less impressed. What we should all remember is you can offer some people a free lunch and they would complain it didn’t come with Champaign. Let’s give the newly created pilot program a chance and remember our citizen legislators listened and did the right thing.