Property Tax Compromise Fails To Pass Illinois Senate

Jul 16, 2015

A plan advertised as a compromise on one of Governor Bruce Rauner's top goals failed to muster enough support to get through the state Senate.

Credit Simon Cunningham, licensed under CC BY 2.0 / lendingmemo.com

Senate President John Cullerton says the package he introduced is a sort of overture.

"The governor has asked for a property tax freeze, he's acknowledged it could be a two-year property tax freeze, and that's what this bill does,” Cullerton said.

Schools rely heavily on those taxes. During the freeze, legislators would be charged with finding a new way to divvy up state education funding. It'd also give Chicago schools some pension relief.

What it doesn't do, though, is what Republicans -- like rolling back labor requirements. That’s what Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno wants.

"Specifically, that would be to give local governments the tools to be able to conduct their business more cost effectively," Radogno said.

Democrats say they'll never go along with union-busting.

Republicans Senator Matt Murphy of Palatine also says he fears it will lead to less state money for suburban districts.

"So I see a vision of the suburbs in a couple years where we're back to the same old property tax hell, but we're also being targeted for our schools from state funding,” Murphy said. “And I think to myself: why is that a good deal for the people I represent?"

A spokesperson for the Senate President says he'll continue working to pass the measure.