Assistant Minority Leader Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) joined House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and fellow House Republicans at a press conference this morning to bemoan the partisan failings of the Democrat led Property Tax Relief Task Force.
“Without a doubt, the issue I hear most about from the people I represent is the crushing property tax burden that is driving their friends, families and businesses out our state,” said Wehrli. “I know I’m not the only General Assembly member hearing that from constituents, so you would think that would have been the impetus Democrats needed to get something done with a task force supposedly dedicated to property tax relief. But once again, another task force has been a waste of time.”
The oddly large 88-member body again missed the statutory filing deadline for its latest report after the House’s Democrat co-chair of the task force unilaterally sought to submit a self-drafted report without the consent or approval of the whole, supposedly, bipartisan task force.
Wehrli continued, “This episode is another perfect example of the utter uselessness of task forces. Our state’s history is one failed task force after another because the simple fact is they are not really about getting anything done, but placating General Assembly members so they can look good at home and then keep quiet for the Speaker and his cronies to continue to run business as usual. Taxpayers deserve better.”
Considering the entire task force had only met on a few occasions, all House Republicans on the task force rejected the flawed report after being refused an opportunity for thorough review and revisions holding to the bipartisan intent of the task force. Again, they noted, it demonstrates that Illinois Democrats are not serious about implementing substantive property tax reforms.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said, “Democrats’ failure to provide any property tax relief is another clear indication of history repeating itself in Illinois. With soaring new taxes hitting families across the state, the time is now to offer real property tax relief and fix this flawed system.”
During his remarks at the press conference, Wehrli also highlighted the numerous failed attempts to use task forces or similar groups to address tax reform, dating back to Senate Joint Resolution 10 in 1975:
- 1982 – the Tax Reform Commission;
- 1995 – the Equity 95 Property Tax Classification Task Force;
- 1997 – the Electric Utility Property Assessment Task Force;
- 1998 – the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Property Taxes;
- 2004 – the Property Tax Task Force under House Resolution 917;
- 2008 – House Resolution 527 – which instructed the House of Representatives Revenue & Finance Committee to conduct an investigation into ways to improve property tax assessment practices across the State;
- 2009 – the Property Tax Reform and Relief Task Force;
- 2018 – the TIF Reform Task Force.
Fellow House Republicans Amy Grant (R-Wheaton), Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst), Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) and Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) joined Assistant Leader Wehrli and Leader Durkin at the press conference held at the Thompson Center in Chicago.