Jesiel and Wheeler Call for Meaningful Property Tax Reform, Not More Political Theater

SPRINGFIELD – State Representatives Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) and Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake), seat mates in the House Chamber and who represent neighboring districts, joined together in a call for meaningful property tax reform. They noted reforms need to be carried out through thoughtful discussion and deliberation, not through the phony tactics being employed by Democrats who knew the legislation debated today would never arrive at the Governor’s desk.

“I support comprehensive property tax reform as part of a package of reforms that address unfunded mandates, cost drivers, and policies that drive businesses and taxpayers out of Illinois,” said Jesiel. “If we can attract and retain business, it will spread the costs over a broader tax base, lowering taxes for everyone. This is the only way that we will ever get lasting property tax relief.”

In the ongoing theme of the past couple weeks in Springfield, Democrats again brought a doomed property tax amendment before the House knowing it wouldn’t ever become law. Jesiel and Wheeler are calling for support of House Bill 136, and its release from the House Rules Committee by the Speaker, which seeks common sense property tax reform that does not put local schools and residents’ quality of life in jeopardy.

“The bill today was, as the finance director of one of my communities said, ‘a Band-Aid on an infection that will continue to fester,’” Jesiel continued. “I support true property tax reform, and will gladly vote for a legislative package that includes all of the previously mentioned elements of reform.”

Rep. Wheeler shared parallel concerns and called for the release of House Bill 136 from the Speaker’s Rules Committee.

“In Lake and McHenry Counties, we feel the heavy burden of property taxes every single day, and we absolutely need property tax reform,” said Wheeler. “However, the amendment offered before the House today, while being well intentioned, was irresponsible. The amendment won’t become law, it won’t relieve the burden on families struggling to stay in their homes, and it won’t ensure the solvency of our schools and communities.”

Wheeler continued, “There is a responsible bill, House Bill 136, a common sense bill that doesn’t deliberately leave places like Chicago out, and has the support of members of both parties. This is what Illinois voters have been asking for and the political gamesmanship in Springfield needs to stop.”

Following the vote held on the amendment to House Bill 695 offered by Democrats, Republicans called for a floor vote to discharge House Bill 136 from the rules committee. The motion to discharge was denied on the grounds of House Rule 18(g). The rule makes it virtually impossible for the minority party to bring legislation to the House floor because of its impossible to meet standards; ensuring Speaker Madigan and his handpicked Rules Committee can assert control over the House.