It's more than money being lost by spiraling outmigration, Idstein says
Ken Idstein doesn’t think the real price exacted on the state of Illinois by the problem of spiraling outmigration can be measured in dollars and cents.
“The amount we pay in real estate taxes is certainly contributing to mortgage problems for our residents,” Idstein told the Lake County Gazette. “The bigger result is the mass exodus, and a big component of this is the impact on our retired residents -- or those considering retiring. When I have a resident looking at retirement in a couple of years and is freaking out and getting emotional because he can’t stay in Illinois near his five kids and 12 grandkids, things have to change.”
As it is, Idstein, who is challenging state Rep. Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake) in the 62nd District in November’s general election, said he’s not surprised by the findings in a new report by property data experts ATTOM Data Solutions that concludes 387,854 property owners across the state now owe mortgages of at least 25 percent more on their loans than their property is worth.
“Lower property taxes in our border county would reduce the exodus to Wisconsin,” he said. “This would certainly have a positive impact on property values.”
Among Illinois counties, Boone, Montgomery and Bond had the highest percentage of property owners saddled with mortgages of at least 25 percent more than their property is worth, with 2 in 5 Boone-area property owners impacted and an average of 38 percent of those in Montgomery and Bond.
With property tax rates being a lingering issue across the state, Idstein said there’s really only one way to remedy the situation.
“Out-of-control spending needs to be corralled,” he said. “Budgets need to be real and truly balanced. School funding needs to be moved away from property taxes.”
Idstein said he hasn’t heard any proposed solutions coming from the direction of his rival.
“I am not aware of any action taken by my opponent that has had a reduction in property taxes,” he said. “There are a lot of issues he has been in that are a great misleading smokescreen.”