Viewpoint: Libertarians blast tax bills

Viewpoint: Libertarians blast tax bills

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

Since 1993, Illinois legislators have passed 15 property tax increases. Two bills now in the legislature would gut the property tax caps of 1991 and raise taxes in counties without caps, according to the Libertarian Party of Illinois.

“The taxaholic Democrats and Republicans are working overtime extending the General Assembly special session in order to raise our taxes and increase spending with at least $2 BILLION in pork,” said Austin Hough, Libertarian state chairman. “Libertarians oppose this sneaky tax grab, of which at least $600 million would reward the bottom-of-the-barrel Chicago Public Schools,” he said.

Hough asserted Republicans and Democrats show their true colors with legislation like this. When it comes to taxation, he said, there is very little difference between the major parties.

“Since 1990, Hough said, “26 states have passed income tax cuts. Illinois, however, has done the opposite and raised its income tax rates twice, in 1991 and 1993. These are prime examples of why Libertarians are desperately needed in the state General Assembly.”

Sen. Steven Rauschenberger [R-33] is one of the sponsors of SB 22. He denied Libertarian accusations. Does the bill raise taxes? “No, it doesn’t,” he said. “It depends on your definition. It is a permissive authority for life safety items for schools. It could result in a tax increase, but the bill itself does not provide for an increase,” Rauschenberger said.

He said a capital improvements tax was included in the original bill but was removed when the bill left the Senate. Rauschenberger said the bill allowed for temporarily exceeding the tax caps for the period necessary to make repairs and improvements to school buildings. “We spent 18 months redrafting the Life Safety Code and narrowing its scope,” the senator said.

Senate Bill 22 passed the Senate but was never called in the House. Rauschenberger said it may come up again in November or next spring.

SB 1171, sponsored by Sen. James “Pate” Philip, modifies the property tax extension limit law, which applies to park district bond issues made without a referendum.

The bill passed the Senate and is sitting on the desk of the secretary of the Senate, awaiting a motion for concurrence or no concurrence.

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