Local Rep’s Bill Is Major Talking Point in 2018 State of the State

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Governor Bruce Rauner recently gave his State of the State address, which included a shout out to a local representative.

“For too long, big businesses and the well-to-do have gotten huge tax breaks while little guys and little businesses take it in the pocketbook,” said Rauner calling for property tax relief. .

He took a shot at legislators like House Speaker Mike Madigan by calling for a new law to prevent legislators from acting as lawyers in property tax appeals cases.

“No one in Illinois is happy with our property tax assessment system. Ordinary people — the ones without clout or connections or money to pay high-powered lawyers — are victims of a system rigged against them,” he said.

Rauner praised District 41 Representative Grant Wehrli for putting forth legislation to make that change.

Wehrli said undervalued property assessments in Chicago decrease the area’s property tax income and have statewide effects – particularly for public schools.

“Chicago needs those tax dollars to fund their public education, and the system is not conducive to a fair assessment because of the rules that are in place set in Springfield by these people that do property tax assessments,” he explained.

Public schools are funded locally through property taxes, but state income tax is distributed across all school districts.

Naperville township assessor Warren Dixon said with more income tax going to Chicago, property tax has to make up for that in our area.

“With the inequities in the Chicago Public School System now, their valuations in the loop – under-valuations – that substantially impacts us out here and what we pay in property taxes. Our districts have to reach further and further for more dollars,” Dixon said.

Willis Tower is being only valued at 40 percent of its fair market value, according to Dixon.

Wehrli’s bill was put forth the same day as Rauner’s address and will go first to the rules committee.

Rauner will give his budget address on February 14.

Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.