Illinois REALTORS® have indicated their support of recent legislation introduced by state Rep. Sam Yingling that is awaiting action by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

If signed by Rauner, Senate Bill 2544 will add a binding question on the November ballot in Lake County, asking residents if they want the chief assessment officer of Lake County to be an elected position rather than an appointed one. The bill received bipartisan support from the Illinois House and Senate during the spring session, and last month Rep. Yingling sent Rauner more than 1,000 petition signatures from his constituents in support of the bill. In addition, the governor received thousands of phone calls from Lake County property taxpayers, urging him to sign the bill.

“The Illinois REALTORS® believe that the voters in Lake County should have the opportunity to make their voices heard on the issue of converting the office of the chief assessment officer of Lake County to an elected rather than appointed office,” said Gary Clayton, CEO Illinois REALTORS®. “This legislation simply affords the voters in Lake County the right to weigh in on whether they believe this office, like other county officials, should be an elected one.”

State Representative Sam Yingling

Rep. Sam Yingling

“I’m thrilled to have the support of the Illinois REALTORS on SB2544, and I hope Gov. Rauner signs the bill,” said Yingling. “Right now, the position of Lake County Assessor is appointed by the chairman of the County Board, and appointments can be the ultimate prize in political gamesmanship. With our property tax system in crisis, it’s important that the person whose decisions impact how much my constituents pay is accountable to my constituents – not the politically connected.

“Lake County is uniquely situated, paying some of the highest property taxes in the country. It’s clear that our property tax system is broken,” said Yingling. “Anything short of Gov. Rauner’s signature on this bill will deny the taxpayers of Lake County their right to vote this November to make the property tax system accountable to them.”