The Coming Catastrophe

If Gov Quinn and Speaker Madigan have their way, property taxes will rise, home values drop, foreclosures skyrocket

In my past few blogs, I have written about in detail, Governor Quinn and Speaker Madigan’s proposals to eliminate state reimbursement for state transportation mandates for local school districts and abandonment of state obligation to the Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS).  In this blog, I will describe the real world fallout on homeowners and our communities if these bills pass.

The first fallout is local property taxes will rise fairly immediately, like this fall, and rapidly as districts are forced to not abate tax dollars to homeowners, to capture revenues wherever they can so they can cover these additional costs being unilaterally imposed on them by the state.

In addition, staff cuts, spending cuts, and program cuts will occur as districts attempt to minimize the burden on homeowners. Extra circular activities will become fee-based or eliminated entirely. Enrichment programs will have to raise their fees to continue. Districts will also have to raise their general fees to cover a greater share of the costs. The quality of our local education will suffer greatly.

Homeowners will not only see large increases, but the value of their homes decrease even more. Homeowners will find it very difficult to either sell or refinance their homes due to falling property values, decreasing quality of education, and soaring property taxes.

The commercial side will see these factors on an even larger scale. This will force local business owners to cut costs, lower payrolls, and cut jobs. Less economic activity means less revenue not only for the business but local government, further declining everyone’s property value. The vicious cycle continues.

As jobs disappear, wages from those who still do have jobs decline, property values sink, taxes explode, businesses will close, homes will fall further underwater, and the number of foreclosures will rise.  Our communities will begin slide.

You must call or email our legislators and candidates for the General Assembly. If they pass these bills the damage will be irreparable.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dean Casper March 15, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Thank you Joe. I try,
Andrea Williams March 16, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I agree with everything you said Dean. I would add, however, that the teachers and administrators will feel the pain too. The districts will have little choice but to cut salaries and benefits to the teachers. For example, the practice of of the Districts picking up the tab for the teacher's portion of the pension obligations will likely end if the Districts are now required to pay the state's portion. As beneftis are cut to the teachers, they will leave. As the teachers leave, the quality of our schools decline, putting further downward pressure on property values. It's a hot mess all around.
Dean Casper March 17, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Staff, including teachers and administrators will be cut Andrea. Others will leave voluntarily, either retirement or another opportunity, probably in Indiana. Its not too late, we need to pressure the Legislature
Alan Perkaus March 22, 2012 at 06:28 PM
That would be just horrible for the teachers to have to contribute towards their own pension plan. Just think about that for a moment! They would have to actually contribute towards their own retirement like everyone else. How horrible a thought! I and many others have had to do it for years while still paying the high taxes here in Illinois. Maybe it's time for the teachers to bite the bullet and pay their fair share. If they decide to leave then let them, Because then it would just be about money and benefits not pride in teaching.
Dean Casper March 22, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Alan, the state is who passed the law requiring them to make payments for teachers to their retirement plan. Now, the state is simply forcing the local districts to pay the state's obligation, unilaterally. Any benefits paid by teachers is negotiated and is in their contract. Districts and their taxpayers will be handed a bill from the state somewhere in July. Long term solutions will involve teachers contributing more, short term this is causing chaos with school districts budgets, levies, fiscal planning. The Governor and Legislative leaders once again are manufacturing another crisis with education and residents and business will flock to Indiana.


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