Illinois state Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) | rep-danbrady.com
Illinois state Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) told a press conference last week that House Republicans will continue to fight for property tax reform despite the failed efforts of the Property Tax Relief Task Force recently assembled by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
Brady and fellow Republican House Reps. Tim Butler (R-Springfield), Mike Murphy (R-Springfield) and Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) were all assigned to the task force, which proved to be more of a public relations move by Democratic leaders than a genuine effort at reform.
"We felt it was important to reach every sector of Illinois to talk about what our concerns have been and continue to be in regards to Property Tax Relief Task Force," Brady said at the press conference. "We wanted to talk about our shared disappointment in the task force and the results. I, like my colleagues, was hopeful when the task force was created. Republicans brought ideas to the table that were dismissed by Democrats. Illinois families deserve better."
Illinois state Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield)
Butler said the committee was flawed from the beginning.
"Having an 88-member task force is a little ridiculous," he said. "The draft that was forwarded from Democrats to Republicans has not gone back to the full committee and missed the deadline of Dec. 31. Things were not done the way they should’ve been. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue — it’s an issue surrounding all of Illinois."
Murphy said that state lawmakers must get out of the way of local governing bodies.
"How can we expect local government to create cost savings to lower tax when the General Assembly keeps creating unfunded mandates?" Murphy asked at the press conference. "The state government has to recognize that Illinois is a large and diverse state and put it back in the hands of local governments. Cut programs that don’t work. It is time for Illinois Democrats to get out of the way and stop telling local governments how to use their money."
Bennett says he had high hopes for the task force in the beginning, only to have them dashed when Democrats submitted their draft report that the GOP members have refused to sign.
"After years of talking about things, we were finally going to work on something," Bennett said. "A lot of good ideas were brought up, but I was disappointed that so many of them were not included in the report. This deserves serious discussion. This was just more of the same. The issue of property taxes is going to remain a serious issue. We have to do better."