CHICAGO – More protests are being planned by Illinois taxpayers seeking relief from steep property tax increases.
Protests are being led by Taxpayers United of America and the Illinois Tax Revolution in an effort to spark policy changes in Illinois government.
“We are hoping to have an impact on the state’s finances and get legislation passed to freeze or roll back property taxes,” Jared Labell, executive director of Taxpayers United of America told the Record.
The latest protest by the group was held on Oct 12 at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago with more being planned throughout the state all the way into the new year. The organizations plan to converge again during the November veto session in Springfield and is working with local taxpayers to coordinate more areas for protest.
“We absolutely plan on continuing these activities through the winter as conditions permit, starting off well into the new year with keeping this issue at the forefront,” said Labell.
According to Labell, there are several instances where taxpayers feel stuck because they can’t sell their homes because the property taxes are too high in the state. These people feel trapped and are in need of change., he said.
He added that people want tax relief as well as reform to government pensions, consolidation of school districts and consolidation or elimination of some of the approximately 7,000 taxing entities in Illinois.
In the latest Freedom in the 50 States analysis from the Cato Institute, Illinois ranked 44th for fiscal, regulatory and personal freedom policies. For local taxes it came in at 49th and government debt it was at 44th in the U.S.
For Taxpayers United of America, this has become a non-partisan issue that is spread across all political boundaries and affects every Illinois resident regardless of party affiliation.
“This isn’t simply a partisan issue,” said Labell. “This affects everyone across the political spectrum. It’s a multi-faceted problem and there’s a lot of reasons we’re in the current situation we’re in.”
There is hope for Illinois as Labell predicts change soon as the organizations have gained support from some legislators.
“I think we are nearing a time of significant political change,” he said. “I don’t know what the tipping point will be but I think the finances are in such a terrible state right now that I think there is an opportunity to bridge gaps across the political spectrum and work together to try to affect change within the state.”