Caulkins: State Dems going to 'run out of other people's money'
State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) argues that many of the problems coming out of Springfield stem from the same basic flaw.
“We keep passing legislation that includes all these unfunded mandates,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “With that, we have all these units of government that are being forced to cover things that they’re not financially able to and their only recourse is to cut services or raise property taxes.”
Indeed, a new WalleHub study finds that for the second straight year Illinois has the second highest property taxes in the entire country, behind only New Jersey. Researchers conclude that Illinois taxpayers now pay nearly double the $2,279 national average on a home valued at $193,500, at $4,476. What’s more, the Illinois Policy Institute reports that local homeowners are paying those higher rates even though the average home here is only valued at $179,700, some $14,000 less than the national average.
“We put school districts, park districts and various other units in government in tenuous positions with the way we’re doing all these unfunded projects,” said Caulkins, who won the 101st District in November with nearly 70 percent of the vote. “It’s a cowardly way to do things and one of the biggest, single reasons property taxes are as high as they are across this state.”
Caulkins said all the dysfunction speaks to why the entire system in Springfield is in such desperate need of a major overhaul.
“The state should not be in the position of mandating to local governments,” he said. “Springfield is all about telling you what to do, then ordering you to pay for it. The only solution I can think of is to elect more Republicans who don’t have the mindset of needing to feel like they’re running your life. Democrats always think they know better than anyone else, but everything always comes back to spending. Sooner or later, you just run out of other people’s money.”
The 101st House District spans parts of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.