County Board District 5 Candidate Debate

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Four women running for a seat on the DuPage County Board to represent District 5 went head-to-head at The League of Women Voters of Naperville debate.

Republican Patty Gustin, Democrat Dawn DeSart, and Democrat Sadia Covert joined incumbent Republican Janice Anderson to answer questions from the audience.

Topics ranged from consolidation to infrastructure of roadways, but the candidates put a focus on the three non-binding referendum questions to be on the ballot this November. Those ask voters their view on a property tax hike, a state mileage tax, and consolidating local government.

“I oppose the increase in taxes,” said Covert. “I am a foreclosure defense attorney and one of the things I’ve see is while we did get homeowners loan modification and they were able to make their mortgage payments, they were still foreclosed on and forced to leave the state because they couldn’t afford the taxes.”

“They’re dog whistles. [The questions] are an attempt to cherry pick unpopular tax ideas in order to scare voters about their taxes being raised. This first question is about increasing your property taxes by one percent to help reduce the state debt,” said DeSart.

With some in opposition of the questions, others were in support. Anderson said it’s good to have these types of questions on the ballot, especially with the focus on taxes.

“Having an issue like that on the referendum, on the ballot is a positive,” said Anderson. “We are reaching out to the citizens, the voters, and asking them how they think. There is no dog whistle on it. It’s about finding what is important to you, the tax payers.”

And while Gustin agreed that the questions are important to get citizen input, she didn’t favor the questions about a property tax hike or a mileage tax.

“The mileage tax will effect those businesses that, particularly those that are in transportation, and it will not be a benefit if we’re going to try to promote business to come to the community,” added Gustin.

You can learn more about each candidate on their respective websites.

The general election will be held on November 6.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.