GOP House hopeful Ammie Kessem believes that placing a 1-percent cap on property taxes is the best way to keep residents from fleeing Illinois.
“Every day that I am out walking in my district, knocking on doors and speaking with voters, I am seeing more and more homes with ‘For Sale’ signs going up,” Kessem, who is running for the 19th House District against incumbent Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago), told the Chicago City Wire. “They know the values of their homes are not where they should be.”
Kessem, a Chicago police officer since 1999, said property taxes are the primary reason residents give for selling their homes.
Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago)
“Some of this, they feel is caused by an increase in crime, some is caused by an influx of low-income housing, but mostly they see the amount of property taxes that they are paying and they don’t see where that money is going,” she said.
Illinois’s financial troubles, coupled with local, county and city financial issues have residents concerned they will never see the fruits of the investment they made when purchasing their homes, Kessem said.
“When I discuss my proposal for a hard 1-percent cap based on the market value of their home, they tell me that is music to their ears,” she said. “They agree that this would force these political leaders to live within their means and stop bleeding the well dry and draining our pocketbooks.”
Implementing a new school annex would allow those living within that area to choose a certain percentage above and beyond the 1 percent, Kessem said.
“It makes sense to do it this way because the needs of one community may not be the same as the needs of another,” she said. “It allows the voters to be a part of the decision-making process and one of the positive repercussions of this system would most likely increase voter turnout as well.”
Along with placing a hard cap on property taxes, voting in more politicians with integrity is key, Kessem said.
“We need to do a better job of electing politicians who truly represent our community and have our best interests at heart and not those who are only in it for themselves and their politically connected friends,” Kessem said.
That is why Kessem is hoping to unseat Martwick, she said.
“It’s time for new leadership within all levels of government statewide and locally in the 19th District,” Kessem said.
The 19th District includes parts of Chicago and Harwood Heights.