Jameson says 'enough is enough' with pensions, taxes eating away at household incomes
Doug Jameson points to rising pension liabilities as the primary reason for a trend that has seen property taxes rising much more rapidly than household incomes in Illinois.
“Enough is enough with the pensions and with property taxes,” Jameson told the Metro East Sun. “Here in Belleville, we just raised taxes by another 12 percent to cover fire and police pensions. Current municipalities and state pensions are simply too high and are costing people too much of their incomes.”
The Illinois Policy Institute reports government statistics show from 2008 to 2015, average property taxes across the state grew at a rate of more than six times faster than household incomes. Making the situation all the more difficult to process, researchers noted those property tax spikes have come at a time when investment in home equity has drastically declined across the state.
According to the institute, during the recession-filled period of 2008-15, average property taxes paid in Illinois grew by nearly 48 percent, including a jump of 17 points from 2014 to 2015 alone. Meanwhile, average household incomes climbed by just 7 percent over that same period.
It all adds up to property taxes eating up a larger share of family budgets and forcing them to have to do more with less to preserve their households.
“We can’t allow things to continue they way they are,” Jameson a Belleville Republican who is vying for the seat held by Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) in the 113th District, said.
To stem the trend, Jameson is pushing a platform where all new state employees are entered into a 401(k)-style plan instead of the current, troubled pension system.
“If we can get (House Speaker Mike) Madigan out of the way, it has a chance to work,” he said.
Jameson also makes the argument that his rival is totally aligned with Madigan and thus a major part of the problem.
“He’s in leadership now, and has to be held just as accountable,” Jameson said of Hoffman. “We’ve got to level the competitive playing field here in Illinois. That’s the only way to keep people here in the state.”
The 113th House District includes all or parts of Belleville, Swansea, Fairview Heights, Washington Park, Fairmont City, Caseyville, Madison and Granite City.