Chicago… State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) is fighting to overhaul the property tax system to increase transparency and fairness, and avoid increases that cause families and seniors to flee Illinois.
Mazzochi said residents are fed up with tax bills that increase while their property values remain stagnant or decline. “The current property tax and assessment appeals processes is ripe for abuse, because there is an army of property tax appeals lawyers in our state, including House Speaker Mike Madigan, who specialize in obtaining lower assessed values for paying clients,” said Mazzochi. “This places an unfair and higher tax burden on everyone else.”
The largest property tax bill line item is K-12 education. Mazzochi stressed that property tax reform still must ensure local schools stay appropriately funded. She pointed out that schools in the 47th House District have seen their share of state funding plummet over the years, to be almost 90% funded by local taxpayers.
Mazzochi, who co-chairs the Property Tax Relief Task Force, explained that “ISBE admitted at a recent hearing that for every $100,000 of new income tax dollars Springfield takes from our district, we get a mere $100 back under the state’s school funding formula. Our district residents have been incredibly generous with their local tax dollars to fund our schools, but when our tax dollars sent to Springfield do not come back in any meaningful way, we deserve more local control.”
Mazzochi applauded local school boards’ efforts to attract top talent and provide teachers with the tools they need to maximize student success, but warned that they need relief from unfunded mandates and curriculum or program whims that Chicago politicians force on schools statewide. “Many of these unfunded mandates are just not relevant to our district needs. This drives up costs – including property taxes – to no measurable educational benefit,” Mazzochi said.
In making a plea for more local control, Mazzochi emphasized that the diverse nature of the state necessitates letting schools respond to each district’s unique challenges and student demographic profile. “A one-size-fits-all educational blueprint can’t work statewide; and it doesn’t work for our property tax system either, given the diverse nature of our local resources and economies,” said Mazzochi.
Future subcommittee meetings are tentatively scheduled for the following future dates: Thursday, September 19 at 1:30 PM; Wednesday, September 25 at 12:30 PM; and Thursday, October 3 at 1:00 PM
To learn more, contact Representative Mazzochi’s office at (630) 852-8633.