Illinois teachers unions back measure promising $2,149 property tax hike

Illinois teachers unions back measure promising $2,149 property tax hike

Teachers unions tout support for a constitutional amendment that threatens to raise property taxes over $2,149. Illinoisans already pay the nation’s second-highest property taxes.

Teachers unions are pushing for a change to the Illinois Constitution that would significantly boost their bargaining power as well as Illinoisans’ property tax bills – by at least $2,149.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers and Illinois Education Association have mounted a social media campaign to proclaim their support for Amendment 1, the so-called “workers’ rights” amendment. Their union websites also tout support for the amendment, which would drive up costs as taxpayers are forced to fund expensive contracts and a new range of demands allowed under the amendment.

If voters agree Nov. 8, the constitutional change gives government union leaders more power than elected state lawmakers and voters. Before putting Amendment 1 on the ballot, lawmakers received 90 witness slips from unions, firms, committees and individuals showing support for it.

Among those filing support for the amendment were the Illinois Federation of Teachers and Chicago Teachers Union. They filed support for the amendment twice.

Teachers unions also backed Amendment 1 with cash. IFT and its political action committee, as well as CTU, have already donated to the committee pushing the amendment.They are among 20 unions who have together contributed nearly $5 million in support so far.

While proponents claim Amendment 1 is pro-worker, in reality it is anti-taxpayer. Illinoisans already pay the second-highest property taxes in the nation, but the amendment means the typical Illinois family will pay $2,149 more in higher property tax bills during the next four years.

It also threatens to solidify Illinois’ reputation as one of the worst places to do business in the country. Just in the past two months, three major companies have fled the state. And Amendment 1 would only make the current exodus of jobs get worse and the economy suffer.

High Illinois property taxes is a major reason taxpayers are fleeing to lower-tax states. That problem could be made worse on Nov. 8 if voters approve Amendment 1.

The change would prevent commonsense reforms to reduce homeowners’ tax burdens while giving government union leaders virtually limitless new ways to demand higher costs from taxpayers. If it passes, Illinois’ trend of large annual property tax increases will likely grow faster than ever. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has failed to deliver on his promise of property tax relief during his term – the average family paid $1,913 more during his administration.

Illinois teachers unions and their political committees are not new to funding tax hike proposals. They donated over $200,000 to fund the failed progressive tax in 2020, which would have made it easier for lawmakers to tax everyone, including retirees.

Government unions also supported doubling the gas tax in 2019 to fund Pritzker’s $45 billion infrastructure plan, including $1.4 billion in waste and pork projects. Today, Illinoisans suffer under the nation’s second-highest gas taxes, with the average cost of a gallon of gas in Illinois currently surpassing $5.40. Chicagoans pay an even higher average price at $5.90 per gallon.

No state protects union militancy in its constitution, but Illinois voters are being asked to do so. Teachers unions already refused to teach students unless union demands were met, including demands over policy that were supposed to be decided by voters’ elected representatives. Amendment 1 would make it easier for unions to take control of those decisions, bypassing legislative bodies. It would embolden their continuing push for unaffordable wages and benefits.

Illinoisans have a choice Nov. 8: more union power and higher property taxes, or keep things as they are so the state has some hope of reform.

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