GOP plan all about easing tax burden by empowering people, Demmer says
Consolidating local governments is a major step toward ending Illinois' record-high property tax rates, state Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) said recently.
Demmer stood with Republican colleagues to announce a series of budget and reform proposals that they argued would not only fund the state but also reduce the cost of government and deliver pension reforms.
A longtime proponent of government consolidation, Demmer said the proposals will empower the citizens of Illinois.
“Our plan, our proposal, for local government consolidation strengthens the already passed Senate Bill 3 and empowers citizens to initiate consolidation measures,” he said. ‘The Citizens Empowerment Act gives the public the ability to put a referendum (proposal) on the ballot and have voters weigh in on whether consolidation is the right choice for their community.”
Illinois has 6,963 units local governments, and Demmer wants to remove the redundancies and save taxpayers money.
“Over the last couple of years, I was a member of the local government consolidation task force, and we looked at the increasing burden that local government costs have placed on taxpayers across the state,” Demmer said. “We have more units of local government than any state in the country by a long shot. That redundancy and those levels of bureaucracy add up to bring Illinois to some of the highest property taxes in the country.”
Another tax saving initiative the GOP members unveiled was their version of pension reform, which would incorporate the pension reform in SB16 and elements of Senate President John Cullerton's (D-Chicago) plan while adding provisions and changes, such as picking up Chicago Public School’s normal pension costs as well as creating a tier 3 hybrid system.
Demmer said that consolidation and pension reform will lower the burden on taxpayers.
“What we’ve heard today is a series of compromises in the budget and in reforms,” Demmer said. “We stand together today to say that we have the time, we have willingness, and now, today, we have the legislative proposals. House and Senate Republicans stand ready to solve this problem and to end this impasse.”
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