Governor Ignores Lake County Taxpayers and Local Concerns, Maintains Property Tax Status Quo

ROUND LAKE BEACH--Today, Governor Rauner issued an amendatory veto of SB2544, killing the bill and ignoring thousands of Lake County taxpayers who called him and signed petitions urging him to sign it.

If signed, the bill would have put a question on the ballot in November to let the people decide whether the position of Lake County Chief Assessment Officer, the Lake County Assessor, should be popularly elected by the people. That position is currently appointed by the Chairman of the County Board.

“Lake County homeowners pay some of the highest property taxes in the country, but today Governor Rauner denied voters the power to hold the Lake County Assessor accountable for decisions that impact how much they pay,” continued Yingling. “Appointments can be the ultimate prize in political gamesmanship, and with the Lake County property tax system in crisis, it’s important that the person whose decisions impact how much my constituents pay is accountable to my constituents —not the politically connected. With his Amendatory Veto, Governer Rauner denied the taxpayers of Lake County their right to vote this November on whether to elect the Lake County Assessor.”

“It was wrong when Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor led efforts to get the Lake County Board to thwart our grassroots campaign to increase accountability by opposing this bill in July, and it’s wrong now for Governor Rauner to side with him over us,” said Denise Neufeldt, a homeowner in Carillon North in Grayslake. “All we want is the right to vote to elect the assessor in November. Why is Governor Rauner against increasing accountability in our property tax system?”

Yingling’s measure had bi-partisan super-majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly and was supported by good government advocates, Illinois REALTORS, republicans and democrats on the Lake County Board, the Lake County Township Assessors, and thousands of Lake County residents who made phone calls, signed petitions, and testified at local hearings on the bill.

“The people of Lake County are sick and tired of Governor Rauner ignoring our local concerns,” concluded Yingling. “He ignored our historic flooding last summer, he vetoed additional education funding for our schools, and now he’s denying our right to vote to make our property tax system accountable to us in November. This is just the latest example of Bruce Rauner being an out-of-touch, failed governor who cares more about politics than the people of Lake County.”