Craig Taylor: No on electing county assessor
Lake County Board member Steve Carlson insists legislation that Gov. Bruce Rauner recently rejected purporting to give voters a voice in deciding the Lake County assessment officer was not what it was billed to be.
“I have no problem with the bill itself, my issue is the story being spread about the automatic impact it would have on property taxes,” Carlson (District 7) told Lake County Gazette. “The property tax assessor only collects property taxes and never sets them. Anyone saying electing an assessor will change things is not telling the truth and only saying something for political reasons.”
Carlson said he was ecstatic to see Rauner veto the measure, which could have advanced to the Nov. 6 ballot in Lake County as a binding question if the Republican governor had signed off on it. The position would have then been up as an elective post, as opposed to appointed, starting in 2020.
According to the Daily Herald, in 2017 legislators approved a plan allowing voters to elect the county board chairman, but that measure was also vetoed by Rauner.
Supporters of the latest effort included Democratic state Rep. Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake) in the 62nd District. Yingling, on the ballot in November against Republican Ken Idstein, has described the Lake County property tax system as “dysfunctional.”
In Carlson’s mind, those pushing such legislation seem driven by other motivations.
“If you create a new county-wide elective office and you give credence to the idea that this office holder could have an effect on property taxes and it costs a great deal to get elected who do you think might be hanging around to contribute?” he said. “It’s another example of the state Legislature trying to intervene in other areas of government when they themselves have proven to be totally ineffective. My advice would be to stop messing around in government that actually works and clean up your own house.”