Bob Kalnicky, GOP Candidates Talk Taxes in Plainfield

Republicans warn of “January surprise” if Gov. Pat Quinn pushes his pension cost shift plan through.

Republican candidates staged a press conference in Plainfield Thursday afternoon to voice their opposition to property tax increases and a plan by Gov. Pat Quinn to shift teacher pension costs to local school districts.

State Sen. Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) joined candidates Garrett Peck and Bob Kalnicky at the Plainfield home of Vicki and Ernie Knight.

In a press release, the candidates said Quinn’s proposal will mean higher local property taxes by shifting the state’s estimated $44 billion teachers pension burden onto school districts.

“Everyone has begun to recognize — finally — that Illinois has the worst-funded pension retirement system in the country and a comprehensive solution must be found,” Peck said. “But simply allowing state government to push its pension debt onto local property taxpayers is unacceptable. I cannot and will not support property tax increases.”

While he said he advocates pension reform, Kalnicky also opposed the shift.

“… We cannot allow the Chicago leaders to push their years of mismanagement onto the families in this area,” he said. “I’m committed to fighting for the families of this district.”

Cross and Radogno warned that history will repeat itself if Quinn’s plan goes through — raising taxes again just two years after the 67 percent state income tax hike.

“Candidates vowed to oppose tax increases, but just weeks after the election voted for the largest tax increase in Illinois history,” Radogno said. “And now Governor Quinn and his legislative allies are pushing a proposal that would raise property taxes weeks after the November elections. Remember the old saying, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’ I don’t want the taxpayers of the Illinois to be fooled twice.”

Cross said the state “cannot continue down the road we are on now. Higher income taxes are driving families and jobs out — and now we could face higher property taxes.”

Peck, a Plainfield village trustee and small business owner, faces Democrat Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant in the race for the new 49th State Senate District.

Kalnicky, who is vice president of the Fountaindale Library board and executive director of the Community Service Council of Northern Will County, is vying against Democrat Natalie Manley to represent the 98th House of Representatives District.

Both Cross and Radogno are running unopposed.

Editor's note: Editor Shannon Antinori contributed to this report. 

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