by Cal Skinner
I am stimulated by Chicago Tribune now freelance (used to be Education) reporter Diane Rado's Thursday article about the impact of the one-tenth of one percent increase in the Consumer Price Index and, hence, in property tax revenues for school and other tax districts in tax capped counties.
McHenry County Blog has written extensively about the effects of that unheard of low CPI and you can find links to the articles here, if you are interested.
Next week four of the tax cap busting bills are scheduled for the House and Senate Revenue Committees.
Diana Rado, who used to be the Tribune's best education writer until she met one of those downsizing problems, writes that
the one-tenth of one percent increase in the Consumer Price Index “ means most taxpayers can expect only slight increases in their 2009 tax bills, which are paid in 2010.“She points out that tax referendums “not a very viable possibility in the current recession.”
"One bill filed in the General Assembly in February would prevent the cap from falling below 2 percent. Another bill would allow the use of a different inflation measure in the formula—an employment cost index that tracks changes in labor costs—which could benefit school districts.”I find 110 bills designed to gut the tax cap.
Two concerning allowing a minimum of a two percent increase in what schools can get each year, even if the CPI is less, are
- Rep. Art Turner's House Bill 2502 and
- Sen. Lou Viverito's Senate Bill 2126
Viverito has no co-sponsors, but he is Chairman of the Senate Revenue Committee.
Both bills are posted for hearing next week. The House hearing is Nest Thursday at 9 AM. The Senate hearing is at 2 on Wednesday.
Members on the House Revenue Committee follow:
Chairperson John E. Bradley D
Vice-Chairperson: Frank J. Mautino D
Member: Bob Biggins R
Member: Suzanne Bassi R
Member: Mark H. Beaubien, Jr. R
Member: Linda Chapa LaVia D
Member: Barbara Flynn Currie D
Member: Roger L. Eddy R
Member: LaShawn K. Ford D
Member: Careen M Gordon D
Member: Ed Sullivan, Jr. R
Member: Arthur L. Turner D
Member: Michael J. Zalewski D
The Senate Revenue Committee members follow:
Chairperson Louis S. Viverito D
Vice-Chairperson: James T. Meeks D
Member: M. Maggie Crotty D
Member: Susan Garrett D
Member: Mike Jacobs D
Member: Jeffrey M. Schoenberg D
Minority Spokesperson : Chris Lauzen R
Member: Bill Brady R
Member: Randall M. Hultgren R
Member: Matt Murphy R
By clicking on their names, you can find their phone numbers, if you wish to call them.
Other bills to worry about are
Aurora's Rep.Linda Chapa LaVia's HB 2237, which would take pension payments out from under the tax cap.
SB 1513, sponsored by Sen. James Clayborne of East St. Louis. Both are Democrats.