The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

March 29, 2014

Quinn's housing refund plan draws increased scrutiny

(Continued)

Rauner, who’s seeking public office for the first time, claims the refund is easing the tough-to-swallow news of extending the income tax increase. Lawmakers approved a roughly 67 percent increase in 2011 to help fill a budget hole. When it starts to roll back in January, there’ll be a $1.6 billion revenue dip that Quinn says will lead to deep cuts.

Quinn wants to “maintain” current income tax rates to keep from cutting school funds and says his property tax plan will help everyday people, one of his re-election themes. He’s seeking a second full term.

But Rauner, a Winnetka venture capitalist, disagrees.

“In an effort to soften the blow of his broken promise to keep the income tax hike temporary, Pat Quinn tore a page from his old failed playbook by proposing a $500 property tax rebate for homeowners, but even that promise is already being exposed as insufficient,” Rauner’s campaign said in a statement.

WHO BENEFITS?

The majority of Illinois homeowners — more than 90 percent — would get more money as the median property tax credit is $204, according to Quinn. His administration is billing the idea as the “most significant property tax relief in Illinois history.” It would cost the state about $1.3 billion.

That means the average homeowner would benefit and, possibly, the housing market in general.

“It’s psychological. When there’s positive news on the market, it gets a lot of bang for the buck,” said Jim Pomposelli of The Federal Savings Bank. He’s worked in finance for more than two decades and hosts workshops for prospective homebuyers. “It does get people to take a look who hadn’t looked before. ... It isn’t necessarily the real true cash value of the incentive, as much as it’s going to create a good buzz around the market.”

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