Jim B.: We are making plans to leave Illinois.

Jim B. owns a 2,718 square foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom Aurora home that is currently assessed at $414,840.

“[The taxes have] resulted in the decrease of our home value and it’s increased the number of sellers and a decline in buyers [in our area],” Jim said. “We refuse to continue to pay ever increasing property taxes for another five, 10, 15 or 20 years for nothing in return. We are making plans to leave Illinois.”

Jim took possession of the home in 1994 when it was worth around $270,500, or $460,760 in today’s dollars. He has paid $192,341 in property taxes since 2000, more than 71 percent of the original value of his home.

“[The taxes] are not being spent on services or improving roads or facilities,” Jim said. “They’re being spent on what I consider to be loaded, overpaid, unaccountable workers who are able to retire early with Cadillac retirement plans, ever-increasing retirement plans, pension plans and healthcare. Better than what any average system that isn’t a government worker gets—one who makes on average 40 percent less than a government worker.”

Jim is currently paying $11,918 per year in property taxes on his home, about 2.8 percent of the DuPage County Assessor claimed value of $414,840.

Indiana has a hard 1 percent cap on property taxes. This means local governments are not allowed under state law to charge homeowner’s more than 1 percent of their home’s assessed value per year. The average property tax rate for the state of Indiana is 0.89 percent. Meanwhile, the average property tax rate in Illinois is 2.3 percent.

“Sometimes you have to have a hard cap to starve the government and reign in spending,” Jim said.”There needs to be a constitutional amendment since the liberal Illinois government sided with the workers and unions on supporting the existing plans without affording sufficient changes to them to the level that we can afford.”

If Jim lived in Indiana the most he could be charged in property taxes would be $4,148 per year or $7,770 less than what he currently pays in Illinois.

“When faced with the choice of continuing to fund the…pension fund or leaving the state…we choose the latter,” Jim said.

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