My mother was a Catholic school-teacher and my father was a salesman for a local manufacturer. I grew up in St Charles in a 1,200 square foot house. I worked my way through college and my wife and I rehabbed homes at night after our day jobs to make extra money. We used that money to invest in a business, grow it, and then sell it, allowing us to provide for our five children and put them through school.
After working that hard to raise our children, we selfishly (like most parents) want them to settle down in Illinois near family. Yet all three of our college age children are discovering there are better opportunities out of state for their field of study. Our oldest is about to graduate and is finding superior job prospects in Dallas. What’s more, my wife has six siblings, and five of them (all business owners) had to make the tough decision to uproot their families and move out of Illinois.
Too many 26th District families have similar stories. It’s time we took serious steps to get our tax burden under control. With the 2nd highest property taxes in the nation, and a sales tax among the highest in the country, it is no wonder that our families are searching for opportunities elsewhere.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to raise a family in Illinois when homeowners are required to pay an amount in property taxes that, in their lifetime, will eclipse the value of their home. To make matters worse, there is no certainty that those taxes won’t continue to increase, keeping families from being able to plan for the future. It’s gotten so bad that underwriters are beginning to take the potential property tax burden into account in the mortgage process, making it even more difficult for people to buy homes.
For these reasons, I am strongly in favor of implementing initiatives that will help Illinois families, some of which include:
- Initiating a property tax freeze. While I recognize that this is a band-aid measure, it is a first step in getting property taxes under control.
- Managing government spending at every level. Long-term, government spending must stop. I have led by example. Prior to taking over as Village President of Barrington Hills, the village had spent recklessly, increasing expenditures 83.5% and hiking taxes a whopping 177%. Despite a 5-1 board opposed to my reform agenda, I successfully reduced spending and cut taxes, finally giving homeowners in my village a small amount of relief.
- Investing in transportation and infrastructure improvements. This will create jobs and help spur additional economic development in the 26th District. I am in favor of completing the Route 53 expansion to spur economic growth and relieve traffic congestion. I would also be in favor of exploring an incentive for younger Illinois residents to become homeowners or entrepreneurs by giving a state credit on interest paid on student loans.