The Turnaround Agenda had another run Wednesday evening, in an Illinois Senate committee room. The feature attraction: a property tax freeze. “Sites immediately across the county line cost half as much in property taxes,” testified site selection consultant Jason Lake. “When we look at property taxes per square foot outside of Illinois, we routinely find that the property taxes are half or less than what we find for sites available here.”
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Disagreeing: Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin, representing a coalition of mayors in the Chicago suburbs. “State-mandated pensions already require higher contributions than many municipalities can collect in property taxes,” he said. “Imposing a property tax freeze will just make that problem worse.”
Another element allows localities to roll back collective bargaining. “Items that used to be not bargained are now bargainable,” said Radogno.
There's also a waiver of prevailing wage, a cause taken up by Mike Uremovich, an employer from Manhattan, Ill. “Prevailing wage is a taxpayer rip-off,” he said. “Prevailing wage requirements eliminate competition, they drive up costs, (and) they create an administrative burden for the contractor and for the state agencies.” The prevailing wage law requires contractors on government projects to pay their workers a "prevailing wage" set by local ordinance; this prevents contractors from bidding for jobs based on who can pay their workers the cheapest.
While the committee's chairman, State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), thought the bundling of the three points was curious, he made a decision Republicans said they found curious: he said more testimony and a vote would have to wait until today, citing short tempers and the late hour: 7:30 p.m.