House candidate sees tax freeze, district consolidation as hopes for Illinois
Freezing property taxes is one answer to the ever-rising tax burden on Illinoisans, according to Katie Miller.
Miller, who is hoping to replace retiring Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights), is willing to take up the post in the state with second-highest property tax burden in the country. The 53rd District covers Prospect Heights and Mt. Prospect.
Responding to an Illinois Policy Institute report titled “Growing out of Control: Property Taxes Putting Increasing Burden on Illinois Taxpayers,” Miller said rising property taxes are driving citizens out of Illinois.
“Property taxes in Illinois are the second highest in the nation by only a small margin of 2.32 percent versus 2.28 percent,” Miller told the North Cook News via email. “In Illinois, what we pay in property taxes is more than double the median of 1.12 percent for all states.”
The wife and mother said the rising tolls are particularly hard on seniors.
“There are places in Illinois that taxpayers have to pay twice for their house over 20 years, once through their mortgage and second through property taxes,” Miller said.
Citing statistics from the report, including how the state’s property taxes have risen by 2.5 percent more than inflation from 1963 to 2013, Miller said she is also concerned with the tax rate rising 14 times faster than the state’s population growth.
One hope, she said, is comprehensive property tax reform, including decreasing layers of bureaucracy and local government districts.
“The state of Illinois has over 7,000 local government districts that increase property taxes, and each of these layers have their own bureaucracy,” Miller said. “In other states, people have two layers of municipal government, but on my property tax bill in Mount Prospect I have 10. Other places in Illinois have 13 or more.”
She said a five-year property tax freeze could be the answer, along with requiring referendums before taxes can be raised again.
“The government would then be accountable to people in their districts,” Miller said.
She said it is unfair that residents are forced to decrease their family budgets when legislators in Illinois refuse to cut spending.
“The state keeps increasing the overall tax burden, which keeps rising and making it harder for families to stay in Illinois,” Miller said. “High property taxes have not kept other taxes low in Illinois, which is seen by the 30 percent income tax increase that taxpayers in Illinois received this July.”