Poll: Should Education Be Funded Primarily Through Property Taxes?
Education largely is funded through local property taxes.
Education funding in Illinois largely comes from local property taxes.
Critics of the system state that depending on property taxes creates huge disparities in how much is being spent on education from district to district. For example, a Chicago Tribune analysis found that in 2010 Taft Elementary School in Lockport spent $7,023 in operating cost per student, while Rondout Elementary near Lake Forest spent $24,244.
A recent lawsuit argued the system was unfair because people in areas with large, wealthy, property tax bases paid a lower tax rate than people who lived in less wealthy areas, the Daily Herald reported.
Another issue is that property taxes are not tied to any economic reality for the taxpayer. Property taxes rise regardless of a person's income or ability to pay. And property taxes rise, even when home values fall. State Representive Jack Franks, D-Woodstock, introduced legislation in January to prevent property taxes from rising when property values fall.
Also, if a taxpayer – homeowner, large commercial property owner – gets a tax break or their assessment is lowered, the tax burden does not go away, it simply gets pushed onto everyone else.
Property taxes do represent local funding and place some control in local residents who elect school boards and have the final say on referendums. And other funding methods, such as the state income tax, could shift control of school funding to the state legislature or the state board of education.