Sullivan advocates for property tax freeze during Committee of the Whole meeting Friday

Illinois REALTORS®Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan prepared to speak during a Committee of the Whole hearing in the Illinois House of Representatives on Friday.  Source: Illinois General Assembly

The Illinois General Assembly has been back in Springfield this week for a special session, and Illinois REALTORS® Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan testified before a Committee of the Whole held in the Illinois House on Friday.

Sullivan was part of a series of speakers on Friday advocating for a property tax freeze. A freeze is a subject of negotiation as lawmakers grapple with how to pass a budget for the state. Sullivan said this was the first time in her decades at the association she had been asked to present before a Committee of the Whole.

Because Illinois has some of the highest property taxes in the U.S., Illinois REALTORS® has long advocated for some type of property tax relief.

High property taxes are preventing young consumers across the state from becoming first-time home buyers, said Sullivan, while other homeowners say they can make their house payments but struggle to pay their property taxes. Senior citizens can feel the effects of rising property taxes when their incomes are fixed.

“It affects all levels of homeowners and small businesses as well,” said Sullivan. “It has a cascading effect.”

Sullivan said the association is also supportive of measures which would allow for consolidation of some of the state’s record number of taxation districts.

Illinois leads the U.S. in the number of government entities, and Illinois REALTORS® has long held that there is a direct correlation between the number of taxing bodies and the high level of property taxes.