Legalized real estate theft: home equities being 'stolen' Wilcox warns
Craig Wilcox fears the worse may be yet to come in regard to Illinois’ shrinking population.
“If something doesn't dramatically change, then it is clear that this trend of hard-working people leaving and taking their talents and their tax dollars with them will continue to spiral out of control,” Wilcox told the Lake County Gazette. “The property taxes that Lake and McHenry County residents have to pay are outrageous. We see the direct effect as for-sale signs sprout up on front lawns throughout the district like dandelions.”
A new Realtor.com survey recently found that Illinois residents now pay the second highest property taxes in the country, fueling a domestic migration crisis that recently saw the state losing at least one resident every 4.6 minutes and nearly 643,000 over an eight-year period.
“The ultimate consequence of this exodus is that the residents who remain are expected to shoulder the tax burden as more and more around them continue to flee,” said Wilcox, running as a Republican against Mary Mahady to replace retiring state Sen. Pam Althoff (R-McHenry) in the 32nd Senate District. “In turn, this only exacerbates the problem of trying to make Illinois attractive and competitive again.”
Illinois’ slippage comes at a time when no other neighboring state has experienced any population decline since 2011, Illinois Policy Institute states.
“It is heartbreaking to hear residents in the 32nd District tell me that it is only a matter of time before they must escape the enormously high taxes that we pay,’ Wilcox said. “Seniors talk about ‘losing ground' every year as tax increases diminish their fixed income allowances. Home equities are being stolen thanks to ballooning property tax increases that have risen at almost six times the rate that incomes have.”
Wilcox, who has made fighting for property tax reform a major part of his campaign platform, thinks he may have a solution.
“We must adopt a hard cap at one percent of the home's value that would force local governments to set fair and sustainable rates that don’t rob homeowners of their equity,” he said. “We must make the climate for individuals, families, as well as businesses attractive and competitive with the states that we are losing population too.”
Senate District 32 includes Lake and McHenry counties, Woodstock, McHenry, and Crystal Lake.