Amendment 1 could lock in $4B statewide property tax hike

Amendment 1 could lock in $4B statewide property tax hike

Total property tax extensions are on pace to total more than $40 billion by 2026, $4 billion more than at present. Amendment 1’s expansion of government union power would likely accelerate that increase.

Illinois governments will take $4 billion more from commercial, residential and other property taxpayers by 2026 at the present rate, but that could accelerate and rise significantly if voters approve Amendment 1 on Nov. 8.

Illinois’ total statewide property taxes are currently on pace to rise from an estimated $36 billion to $40 billion by 2026.

But that could change drastically depending on how voters respond to a constitutional amendment at the top of their ballot labeled “Proposed Amendment to the 1970 Illinois Constitution,” or Amendment 1 for short. Despite being branded as a “Workers’ Rights Amendment,” Amendment 1 would essentially guarantee higher property taxes because the amendment greatly increases the cost of government for Illinoisans who already pay the second-highest property taxes in the nation.

Future tax increases are anticipated to fall primarily on residential and commercial property owners. Nearly $2 billion in additional taxes will fall on homeowners, while $1.8 billion will fall on commercial properties. The remainder will fall on farms, railroads and mineral properties.

Translated for the state’s median homeowner, the property tax hike is conservatively estimated at more than $2,100 during the next four years.

The increase in property taxes could wind up being much worse if Amendment 1 is passed on Nov. 8. The measure at the top of the ballot would allow government unions to make demands outside the normal scope of bargaining, strike if their demands are not met, thwart simple, pro-taxpayer reforms, crowd out government services and exacerbate corruption in Illinois.

Amendment 1 is a referendum on taxes in Illinois more than anything else. If property taxes simply continue to rise at their historical rates, homeowners will be asked to pay $2 billion, businesses will be asked to pay $1.8 billion, while farms and other properties will be asked to pay an additional $256 million in higher property taxes annually by 2026. Should government union bosses exercise new powers granted through Amendment 1, the tax hike on Illinoisans could wind up being far more costly.

That endless loop of unlimited union demands, higher government costs and rising taxes is likely why no other state has a similar amendment.

Illinois voters have a decision to make before Nov. 8: either they can vote to fund the never-ending demands of government union bosses, or they can send a message by saying “no” to more tax increases in Illinois.

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