JOLIET – Republican members of the Will County Board are pushing to freeze the county’s portion of property taxes in the upcoming fiscal year.
Finance Committee Chair Mike Fricilone, R-Homer Glen, called for a freeze in response to Illinois legislators' vote to raise income taxes while not freezing property taxes, which Gov. Bruce Rauner wanted.
“In Will County, we’re going to do what the state won’t do,” Fricilone said in a county board executive committee meeting. “Today I’m announcing the Republican majority’s intention to, at a minimum, freeze the county tax rate and strive to reduce it as we have the last two years.”
The Illinois Senate voted to override Rauner's veto of a $36 billion budget package that includes income tax increases of more than 30 percent. House lawmakers followed suit on Thursday.
The state's budget plan boosts the corporate tax rate from 5.25 to 7 percent and the personal income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. The tax hikes are expected to raise about $5 billion for state government.
Fricilone’s proposal is for the 2018 budget year, which starts in December. Republicans and Democrats on the county board will discuss the proposal in more detail in upcoming meetings, but Fricilone said he wanted to get the conversation started.
“We need to continue to provide the core services our residents require while we hold the line on our spending,” he said. “And as elected officials we need to ensure that every dollar we spend is spent wisely, especially in the face of rising costs.”
Fricilone said he and other colleagues review every one of the 4,000 budget line items to make sure the county is not wasting money.
“Maybe our legislators in Springfield can use this as an example of how to run a cost effective government,” he said.