Property tax hike in disguise could cost Illinoisans billions

November 1, 2022

Amendment 1 could lock in $4 billion in statewide property tax hikes by 2026

PRESS RELEASE from the
ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE

CONTACT: Micky Horstman (312) 607-4977

Property tax hike in disguise could cost Illinoisans billions
Amendment 1 could lock in $4 billion in statewide property tax hikes by 2026

CHICAGO (Nov. 1, 2022) — Next week Illinois voters will decide the fate of property taxes statewide when they cast their vote for Amendment 1, the proposed change to the Illinois Constitution at the top of the ballot.

Original research by the Illinois Policy Institute found Illinois residents can expect a $4 billion statewide property tax hike by 2026 if tax rates continue to climb at their current pace. Amendment 1 would lock in this increase, and likely drive taxes higher than that estimate as government unions gain power to make demands over a much broader range of topics and elected leaders lose power to slow the tax increases.

Illinois’ total statewide property taxes are currently on pace to rise from an estimated $36 billion to $40 billion by 2026. These future tax increases will fall on both residential and commercial property owners. Of the $4 billion increase, nearly $2 billion will hit homeowners, while $1.8 billion will need to be covered by commercial properties. The remainder will come from farms, railroads and mineral properties.

“Amendment 1 would essentially guarantee higher property taxes by raising the cost of government and creating roadblocks to pro-taxpayer reforms, hurting more Illinois workers than it would help,” said Bryce Hill, director of fiscal and economic research for the Illinois Policy Institute. “High property taxes are crushing Illinois residents and businesses. Amendment 1 would drive up the cost of living, deterring new business owners and residents from coming to Illinois, while hurting those already here.”

What would Amendment 1 do?

  • Allow government unions to use “economic welfare” to negotiate for seemingly unlimited provisions, which taxpayers would be forced to fund.
  • Pass the cost of new government contracts onto local taxpayers through property tax increases, gas tax hikes, income tax hikes or other new taxes or fees.
  • Increase the rate of property tax hikes beyond the expected growth. The typical homeowner will pay over $2,100 more in additional property taxes during the next four years.
  • Override 350 existing state laws, while preventing anyone from ever changing what can be negotiated.
  • Worsen Illinois’ business climate. Amendment 1 would likely increase taxes on Illinois businesses, deterring growth.
  • Thwart simple, pro-taxpayer reforms. Lawmakers and the people they represent would never be able to override government union contracts. Crowding out government services for special interest causes will exacerbate corruption in Illinois.
  • Potentially keep more families out of school. The precedent of strikes to satisfy demands for contracts could lead to more opportunities for teachers union bosses to call a strike.

To read more about Amendment 1, visit illin.is/lockedin

For bookings or interviews, contact media@illinoispolicy.org or (312) 607-4977.