Republican Lawmakers Oppose Bill to Increase Property Taxes in McLean County

A property tax hike could be in store for residents of McLean County if a new bill becomes law. Legislation being pushed through the Illinois General Assembly would require all property taxpayers in McLean County to pay for the cost to operate the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington.

“I am opposed to this legislation as it creates a new tax for most homeowners and businesses in McLean County,” said Rep. Caulkins. “A new tax that equals a property tax hike for most taxpayers. This legislation circumvents the law by not allowing the taxpayers an opportunity to consider the creation of this new taxing body. A decision that should be made by the voters in McLean County, not the Illinois legislature.”

All House Republican lawmakers representing McLean County which include State Representatives Dan Caulkins, Jason Bunting, William Hauter, and Dennis Tipsword sent a letter to the House State Government Administration Committee to express their concerns about the legislation that will result in a property tax hike for residents forced into the new airport taxing district. The letter was read into the record during the committee hearing and the Republican lawmaker’s concerns were backed in committee by local farmers, mayors, and township officials representing McLean County.

The legislation (Senate Bill 684) amends the Airport Authorities Act to create the Central Illinois Regional Airport Authority to encompass all of McLean County. If this legislation becomes law it would dissolve the current Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority and the new authority would assume its powers, assets, and liabilities. The new airport authority powers would include a property tax levy expanded to all of McLean County and allow the newly created airport authority to issue bonds; rents, tolls, fees, and eminent domain.

The new airport taxing district in McLean County would take effect upon becoming law. SB 684 passed the House State Government Administration Committee on partisan roll call Wednesday afternoon with six Democrats voting in favor and three Republicans voting against, including Rep. Caulkins voting against the potential property tax hike. The legislation will now head to the full House for consideration.