Chicago… State Representative Deanne M. Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) today called upon her fellow legislators to study and end systemic conflicts of interest in the Illinois property tax system. These conflicts generate disproportionate outcomes; increase costs; and often benefit politically connected insiders. All but a few Democrats voted no, and rejected her request. Those voting “no” included members who profit from the property tax system; another was recently subject to a federal indictment.
After the vote, Rep. Mazzochi released the following statement:
“Currently this task force has 90 members. It is absurd to suggest we can’t have a subcommittee to target conflicts of interest that both sides of the aisle know exist. Today’s vote demonstrates that members of the majority are insincere about real reform. If this task force wants to achieve meaningful reform, we must address the problem of high-level political insiders who game the system, whether at the state, county or local level. Illinois residents already pay among the highest property taxes in the nation. They don’t need an added corruption tax. The antics on display at the meeting are the exact reason why we do not have property tax relief today. Whose interests are they really looking out for?”
Illinois residents attending the meeting also expressed concerns during public comment about public corruption. James Di Naso of Charleston explained, “The first issue that needs to be addressed is the corruption and conflict of interest at the top of Illinois government. Only then can the property tax issue be honestly dealt within this state.”
Mazzochi’s motion would have charged the task force with specifically looking at existing areas of conflict of interest, and making reform recommendations to improve the integrity of the property tax process. Once Mazzochi’s motion was made and seconded, additional task force members not present for the first 45 minutes of the meeting were added to the roll and allowed to vote. When votes were tallied, Rep. Mazzochi’s motion failed 40-23, with two additional members voting “present.”
Notwithstanding the result of the vote, Mazzochi vowed that she would continue to advocate for added transparency and integrity within the entire property tax system.
DuPage County legislators voting yes in support of Mazzochi’s motion included Grant Wehrli, Amy Grant; Anne Stava-Murray, as well as Mazzochi. Voting no were Suzy Glowiak; Tom Cullerton; Tara Costa Howard; Karina Villa; and Diane Pappas. Deb Conroy, a member of the task force, was absent.