state rep Amanda Biela

Save Our Homes–Enact 1% Property Tax Cap–Join Our Fight!

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As a small-government minded Republican, my main four policy issues are

Enact 1% Cap on Property Taxes; Eliminate Burdensome Taxation

Illinois suffers from a crippling culture of taxation. Our current leadership in Springfield believes the solution to every problem is more taxes. We do not have a revenue problem in Illinois; we have a spending problem. We are regularly abused with the highest property taxes in the nation, victimized by a 32% increase in the state income tax and most recently forced to endure the nickel and dime taxes on soda, water bottles and plastic bags. It is time to do away with the high tax environment and fight for spending reforms. The future of Illinois depends on it!

Of all taxes, property taxes are driving the most people out of our state. The median property tax rate in Illinois is 2.67% which is not only the highest in the nation but double the national median rate of 1.31%. You have people paying for their homes twice, once with their mortgage and once with taxes. I would advocate for a 1% hard cap (as a percentage of home value) on property taxes. Indiana has employed a 1% hard cap for many years to great success. If it can work there, it can work here. It would essentially handcuff the local and state governments to make different spending decision and actually push them to take up difficult issues such as pension reform.

As your State Representative, I will fight to

  • Enact a 1% hard cap on property taxes in order to save our homes.
  • Lower the state income tax back down to 3% from 4.95%. Illinoisans cannot keep working harder with less to show for it.
  • Lower the state business tax back down to 5.25% from 7%. If Illinois wants to keep and attract new businesses we must provide a more economically hospitable environment.
Amanda Biela issues
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End Political Machines and Career Politicians

I want to see a return of the Citizen Legislator. Our founders envisioned a system of government where everyday citizens would serve their peers as a privilege not a lucrative, protected career path pillaging the public trust. Representatives would meet, legislate and then return home to plow their fields, mind their stores and raise their families. It was an honor and privilege to be selected to represent their community. Holding office was not meant to be a protected career path engineered and secured by political machines and special interest groups.

Unfortunately, my opponent John D’Amico is exactly what our founders never envisioned. He and the current ruling elites are perfect examples of what is wrong with our state. Our elected officials do not hold allegiance to those they serve but their loyalties are based on hereditary claims of office determined by family name, adherence to a political machine and expected personal rewards.

I support term limits. Enacting term limits would produce a create a genuine environment for change and new ideas in state government. Term limits would help eliminate the power of special interests and its money. The power of entrenched lethargic incumbency becomes immediately impotent. Term limits would produce the before-mentioned Citizen Legislator who be independent -minded and focused on service as opposed to those attached to a political machine and only interested in establishing a self-indulgence career on the public’s dime.

I enthusiastically support a complete overhaul to the redistricting process as it exists today. I believe this issue is one of most unknown and problematic obstacles for our state. The State of Illinois needs a fair, transparent and just process for its citizens to be represented. We are at a crossroads as a state and as a people. We must do away with electoral representation dependent on the party in charge less we always run the risk of disenfranchising those who do not favor their ideological whims.

I support a full overhaul of the current process of redrawing districts based on the party in power. I would advocate for computerized redistricting. Race, color, creed, political affiliation and geographic considerations would not be part of the formula. Population density and common sense rectangular, squared areas would be my chief criteria. We are all Illinoisans. We must transcend all that separates us and know we all have more in common than our current leadership and their nonsensical lines would have us believe.

As your State Representative, I will fight to

  • Impose term limits for all elected offices in Illinois ending the reign of incumbency and career politicians.
  • End the system of allegiance to political organizations by advocating for comprehensive and transparent redistricting reforms.  “Gerrymandering must end!”
  • Reform campaign financing which currently allows special interest groups to dictate policy.

Spending Reforms

There is a simple solution to the financial woes of our state: Illinois, we need to live within our means! The State of Illinois has a serious overspending problem and the answer this problem is not more taxes. The only way to solve our excessive spending is to enact serious, effective reforms! It is imperative Springfield refocuses its attention to what really troubles our state—a culture of wasteful spending financed by constant unnecessary taxation.

Our current careless spending habits are insane. We can no longer stand idly by while our current leadership in Springfield signs off on $2.26 million on cable TV for prison inmates, $20,489 for pig racing in Rock Island County and $750,000 in unneeded governmental shrubberies.

As your State Representative, I will fight to

  • Enact a Taxpayer Bills of Rights (TABOR). In Illinois, there is nothing to stop politicians from raising and imposing taxes. A TABOR would protect taxpayers by requiring voter approval of increases in taxes and government spending.
  • Reduce the bloated overhead that plagues our state’s finances. Illinois has way too many overpaid executives, directors, deputy directors, consultants and other unnecessary positions.
  • Eliminate costly duplicate government services. Illinois has just 102 counties and 1,299 cities but nearly 7,000 local government bodies. It is essential we fight to consolidate government services lessening our State’s tax burden.
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I am the proud product of a public education. I was a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. My children all attend the local public elementary school in our neighborhood. I strongly believe in the importance of a free and quality public education for every child in this state.

The Illinois Constitution mandates that the state shall provide for an efficient system of high quality public educational institutions and services. As your State Representative, I will ensure
the education of our children will be of the highest caliber and paid for in the most fiscally responsible manner.

As a taxpayer and a parent, one of the things that bothers me most about educational funding in Illinois is that it is not transparent nor easily explained. The funding formula is incredibly complex and almost impossible for the lay person to decipher the verbiage. The most recent formula is based upon 27 evidence-based best practices shown to enhance student achievement in the classroom. Can parents and taxpayers easily find out what these 27 evidence-based best practices are? Nope. Can parents and taxpayers easily find out how their district is funded by this new formula? Nope. Can parents and taxpayers easily find out how much educational funding comes from the state vs. local property taxes? Nope.

This lack of transparency, confusing language and difficult access, leaves Illinoisans in the dark about how their tax money is being spent on education. This allows politicians of all stripes to politicize educational funding without the people knowing what the truth is. It’s easy to talk with derision or conversely how wonderful last year’s school funding bill was when constituents don’t understand how the funding works. Like so often when politicians speak, it’s all rhetoric and no substance. I would advocate for information regarding the 27 evidence-based best practices of the funding formula and how it affects funding to be more readily accessible on the Illinois State Board of Education website. Parents and taxpayers should not have to hunt down how their children’s education is being financed.

As your State Representative, I will fight to

  • Create a transparent and easily understood funding formula so parents and taxpayers understand exactly how their schools are being funded.
  • Advocates for fair and equitable funding for public school everywhere in the state.
  • Streamline educational bureaucracy. Too many school districts across our state have bloated administrations that have little or no contact with students. Educational funding belongs with the students and their teachers, not underworked, overpaid bureaucrats.
  • Consolidate low population schools. The enormous costs of administration and the increasing difficulty in providing quality curriculum demands a serious effort toward consolidating schools. Whether it be in rural or urban locales it is time to take control of our schools by reaping the benefits of consolidation.

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