Dan Ugaste sees friendlier regulations, lower property taxes as key to change
Dan Ugaste believes Illinois is in dire straights when it comes to property taxes and underwater mortgages are only part of the problem.
“It’s not just the state having the highest property taxes that is making things so tough,” Ugaste told the Kane County Reporter. “It’s also the unfriendly business regulations, and the fact that all they can think of in Springfield is to tax, tax, tax. It’s hard for property values to go up when, as a state, you’re not keeping pace with the rest of the nation.”
To be precise, property data experts ATTOM Data Solutions recently reported that 387,854 property owners across the state now owe at least 25 percent more on their loans than their property is worth.
“Until we start bringing people back, attracting businesses, nothing's going to change,” said Ugaste, who is running against Democrat Richard Johnson to replace retiring Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) in Illinois’ 65th District. “Things will only get worse. You talk to people and almost everyone tells you property taxes are too high.”
Among Illinois counties, Boone, Montgomery and Bond had the highest percentage of property owners saddled with underwater mortgages. Forty percent of all properties in Boone County are considered seriously underwater, with 38 percent in Montgomery and 37 percent in Bond, according to the report.
“If we start doing things to lower taxes, that would certainly help the situation, mainly because not as many people would be leaving,” Ugaste said.
The Republican candidate plans to join any coalition dedicated to changing the state’s situation once he arrives in Springfield, he said.
Reducing spending has been the cornerstone of his platform since launching his campaign, something that distinguishes him from his opponent, Ugaste said.
“I haven’t heard anything from [Johnson] on this; in fact, I haven’t heard anything at all from him since February,” he said. “Back then, he showed us just how much he would be willing to sign on with the progressive tax increase J.B. Pritzker and other Democrats are pushing.”