Scales Mound treasurer sides with opposition on property tax freeze
Scales Mound Village Treasurer Steve Stadel is siding with a township officials group in opposing proposed legislation for a two-year property tax freeze in Illinois.
“I think that it is correct for township governments to oppose a tax freeze,” Stadel told the NW Illinois News. “Most township governments are run efficiently. I prefer local control and local elected officials.”
The village treasurer favors having township governments even though Illinois has far more units of local government than any other state in the U.S. – all of which receive funding from property taxes.
“Local economies could suffer worse from a tax freeze if that affected the local schools, local road systems and local fire departments,” Stadel said. “A downward spiral of revenue could result in catastrophic loss of vital services.”
In its current, House-amended form, Senate Bill 851 would establish a two-year property tax freeze for Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Will counties. The measure would allow those counties to increase property taxes only with voter approval.
All other counties would be subject to referendums asking whether a property tax freeze should be imposed for 2018 and 2019 or that all governments within a county jurisdiction be subject to a property tax freeze over that period and to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for levy year 2020 and the foreseeable future.
Bryan Smith, the executive director of the Township Officials of Illinois, had sent a legislative alert to township officials about SB851, asking them to urge their state lawmakers to oppose the measure.
The legislation was not brought up for a vote in the Senate before the veto session ended.
According to the Daily Herald, some legislatures think that a temporary property tax freeze is a decoy for a permanent one in the future which would harm local governments in the long run.