In his State of the State speech, Wednesday Governor Bruce Rauner singled out for praise new legislation introduced by State Representative Grant Wehrli to help protect property taxpayers from legislators’ conflicts of interest that may negatively impact their tax bills. Representative Wehrli has introduced House Bill 4435 that will prevent members of the General Assembly who make decisions on legislation that impacts property tax rates from also representing clients before a property tax appeals board in Illinois.
“Any legislator who is also a property tax appeals attorney has a vested interest in keeping property taxes high enough to generate appeals cases for his or her law firm. In my opinion, that’s a clear conflict of interest that hurts the very working families we were elected to represent and it needs to stop,” Representative Wehrli said.
“Two weeks ago, we issued an executive order that prevents legislators from practicing before the state property tax appeal board. And today Senator Oberweis and Representative Wehrli will introduce legislation that asks you to apply this same reform to every legislator who might practice before an assessment appeal board anywhere in the state,” Governor Rauner remarked in his speech to a joint session of the General Assembly.
“It’s long past time for this General Assembly to truly put the taxpayers first, and that will continue to be my priority in Springfield this year,” Representative Wehrli said.
Representative Wehrli said he will be working with members on both sides of the aisle to begin moving House Bill 4435 through the committee process in the House in the coming weeks so that it may receive a fair hearing on the House floor this spring.