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SAFE-T Act Could Raise Property Taxes in Illinois

New concerns are being raised about the Safe-T Act and the financial costs associated with the law.

Republicans are saying those costs could lead to an increase in property taxes.

At the heart of the matter, Republicans said it is the unfunded mandates associated with the law. Costs that local police departments and courts will incur because of the law which could then fall on taxpayers.

Critics of the Safe-T Act launched a new attack on the law, which among other things eliminates cash bail starting January 1st. "This legislation doesn't just make our communities less safe," said State Rep. Chris Bos (R) Lake Zurich. "It is ultimately going to make them more expensive." Republicans contend that counties will have to raise property taxes to pay for some of the requirements of the law including police body cameras and the systems to store the video. They also said it will require additional personnel in the courts, sheriff's departments and pretrial services. DuPage County estimates that over five years, the Safe-T Act will cost $63 million to implement. "JB Pritzker and the legislative Democrats have now proven the following phrase: crime does pay to the detriment of taxpayers and law-abiding citizens," said Jim Durkin, House Republican Leader. Kane County officials are discussing its first property tax hike in a decade to fill a $3 million deficit they say are created by unfunded mandated reforms in the SAFE-T Act. During a news conference Wednesday, state Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, said changes have to be made to the law. “This is not the time to add to our highest in the nation overall tax burden,” Wheeler said. “The Democratic-majority SAFE-T Act is literally forcing our local governments to consider raising property taxes to make our communities less safe.”


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