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By John Dempsey, WLS-AM News
(CHICAGO) Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he is committed to reaching a budget compromise, even though Democrats accuse the Governor of being too rigid, with one week remaining in the spring legislative session.
Rauner told “The Big John and Ray Show” on WLS that he cannot approve a budget unless it contains local property tax relief.
“We’re here in Springfield working hard, get a balanced budget, truly balanced, and with real property tax relief. Our property taxes are the number one problem,” said Rauner, “I will alwaysnegotiate and always compromise but we need a real deal that moves the needle and truly protects taxpayers. They have not agreed for true property tax relief. It’s the number one burden on our families in Illinois. It’s the number one tax it’s pushing our employers out and crushing our jobs and making high unemployment.”
Republican legislative leaders and Governor Dayton appeared in a joint press conference Monday night to announce a compromise agreement on all areas of the two-year state budget. The final budget will deliver nearly one billion dollars of the state surplus to tax relief and new long-term funding for roads and bridges. The $660 million tax relief package will be the largest in nearly two decades, and the $300 million transportation investment will be the largest since 2008.
The 2017 legislative session will be one of the most productive in recent history once the budget bills have been passed and signed. Earlier legislative accomplishments include health insurance premium relief, health care reform, and a REAL ID driver’s license fix.
“We reached across the table and shook hands. This is how politics should work,” said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka. “After a short special session, Minnesotans will soon benefit from an aggressive road and bridge funding package and the largest tax relief passed in nearly two decades.”
Five budget bills have already been passed and sent to Governor Dayton for his signature. The remaining five budget bills, and a bonding bill, will be passed in a short special session to take place on Tuesday, May 23.
Judy Hart gave a little “woo-hoo” from the audience when the King George Board of Supervisors broadened the county’s tax relief program for the elderly and disabled.
State promises of property tax relief tend to evaporate. Look in your wallet for the $126 in touted average savings you stashed there the last time lawmakers fiddled with property taxes, and the $2,000 boasted average savings you were supposed to get after major school tax reforms in 2006.
Taxpayers did get some relief, whether they felt it or not, from those efforts. But the savings were mostly eaten up by increasing property values and local school property tax increases driven, in large measure, by the Texas Legislature’s cuts in per-student spending on public education.
He gets some help with the garden, but after the vegetables get a good start he can tell weed from vegetable and do the weeding himself.
LINCOLN, NE — The 105th Nebraska legislature ended its first session Tuesday, four days early.
Discussion of the state budget and taxes dominated the session this year. While lawmakers passed more than 170 bills, lawmakers were unable to end the filibuster on an income and agricultural property tax relief bill.
Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley, a supporter of the bill, was disappointed lawmakers were unable to help the state’s agricultural sector.
“The governor and I travel all across the state, and we hear this everywhere we go: ‘You’ve got to fix this property tax problem. It’s killing our agricultural sector.’ We’ve got to address that. We had some very, very good legislation in the session this year. We got 27 votes for it, we needed 33 to get passed the filibuster, so we came close, and we’re going to come back to it next year.”
Governor Pete Ricketts is willing to amend the bill to get the bill across the finish line, said Foley. Some lawmakers are frustrated and are looking at other avenues to pass the bill.
“There is a great frustration, as evidence by some senators like Senator Erdman who are talking about doing a ballot initiative, because they’re just frustrated that the legislatures just can’t seem to get it done. But we’re going to come back to it next year and keep working at this thing until we get it accomplished, one way or another, because we’ve got to bring tax relief to our people.”
The next session of the Nebraska Legislature will begin in January of next year.
On the eve of the annual Senate budget debate, a group opposing tax increases is urging senators to just say no to any new taxes and to lock in the final step toward a 5 percent income tax rate.
NORWALK — Mayor Harry W. Rilling plans to roll up his sleeves on the city budget, tax relief, school overcrowding and making City Hall more efficient when he starts his second term in office.
Theres the possibility that we might be able to consolidate positions so that we reduce duplication of effort, Rilling said. We want to make sure that we are running the government as efficiently and smoothly as possible.