GOP Rep. Ugaste vows to fight 'the flow of unfunded mandates'
Newly elected state Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) believes that, in some ways, Illinois has become its own worst enemy – based on the policy coming out of Springfield.
“We should be doing things like ending the flow of unfunded mandates where all the costs wind up on the backs of taxpayers,” Ugaste told the Kane County Reporter. “It’s a huge problem for the state that’s leading to more outmigration, and the more population you lose the larger the tax burden will be on the people still here in covering all the state’s fixed costs.”
Ugaste points to the findings of a new WalletHub study that concludes for the second straight year Illinois has the second highest tax burden in the country as Exhibit A for his argument. Researchers found Illinois residents, at $4,476, pay nearly double the national average of $2,279 on a home valued at $193,500. In addition, the average home in Illinois is valued at nearly $14,000 less than the national average.
Still, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, much to the chagrin of Ugaste, elected to focus on his push for a progressive income tax during his first budget address.
“We can’t afford any more taxes because we’re taxing people out of the state,” said Ugaste, who won his seat in the 65th District in November with 52 percent of the vote. “A progressive tax will only compound the problem. What we need are structural changes. Simple solutions like more tax hikes will only make our problems worse down the road.”
Ugaste said he’s dedicated to doing whatever it takes to get the state back on the right path, especially tackling the issue of unfunded mandates.
“The idea is for the government not to have to spend all this money for unfunded mandates,” he said. “That’s what I’m going to be meeting with other lawmakers about and fighting for. The fewer unfunded mandates we have, the less we will have to spend and the lower property taxes can be.”
The 65th House District includes Batavia, Burlington, Dundee, Elgin, Geneva, Grafton, Hampshire, Plato, Rutland and St. Charles.