Taxpayers need urgent relief, but Mark Walker squandered opportunities to rein in property taxes.
Updated: Oct 20
Residents in Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Des Plaines, and Schaumburg are getting slammed with exorbitantly high tax assessments this year, shocking families who are barely hanging on under the combination of gas taxes, gas prices, and the price of groceries.
Recently, Wheeling Township released its new assessed values, detailing a shockingly high 34% increase in total assessed value for residential and commercial properties. Wheeling Township is the latest of the townships in the northwest suburbs to release its property assessment data.
As high as the increases are for residential property owners, increases for commercial properties are as high or even higher. These outrageous property tax increases will spur further increases in prices, and potentially cause layoffs and business closures for small businesses that simply cannot afford them.
What's worse is that next year, local governments will be able to increase property taxes at the maximum level of 5%! With inflation currently above 8% - a 40-year record high - local taxing bodies will have the authority to increase property taxes to the max, which could result in more than $1 billion in new revenue, according to the Daily Herald.
Unfortunately, when career politicians, like Mark Walker, had a chance to deliver actual results for taxpayers, he failed. Walker had been appointed to the Property Tax Relief Task Force where he was supposed to identify the cause of, and solution to, burdensome property taxes. Obviously, he failed at this job. When Walker ran for election last time, he promised to fight for taxpayers and for lower property taxes. But while serving on the property tax relief task force, when he had the best opportunity to make meaningful reforms that would benefit taxpayers, he kept the status quo in place.
The sham task force was ripped by journalists for doing nothing, and amounted to just another election year talking point – and just another broken promise from Mark Walker.
As State Representative, I’ll fight for taxpayers by sponsoring legislation to empower voters to vote to freeze property taxes in their communities and lower the cap on annual property tax increases. I’ll also focus on picking up the stalled effort to consolidate duplicative administration of school districts, which experts predict can create $2.6 billion savings over five years, and redirect those resources directly to the classroom where they can improve educational outcomes and return savings to the taxpayers.
Taxpayers deserve a break. Mark Walker has had years to address these challenges and he has failed. It is time for fresh leadership and fresh ideas.