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Press Release: Fledgling Advocacy Group Scores Major Victory for Taxpayers

For Immediate Release

Fledgling Advocacy Group Scores Major Victory for Taxpayers

Breakthrough Ideas Defeats 350% Tax Hike in Suburban Milton Township

April 7, 2021 - In a major victory for Milton Township taxpayers, the proposed Milton Township new property tax referendum went down in defeat. The referendum would have created an entirely new government entity and hiked the current township tax by 350 percent.

Residents currently pay the nation’s highest property taxes as a percentage of home value, one of the primary reasons people are fleeing Illinois. But local progressive activists wanted residents to pay even more. Whie local media outlets ignored the nuts and bolts information about the tax, Breakthrough Ideas, an advocacy organization that just launched in February, gave voters the relevant information they needed to reject an unnecessary tax and the expansion of government that came along with it.

“This is a big victory for local taxpayers. We believe another tax would be a financial no-win situation for families and businesses in DuPage County,” said Jeanne Ives, CEO and co-founder of Breakthrough Ideas.

“We wanted to make sure voters understood that raising taxes at any level of government without making major spending reforms would only exacerbate the fiscal crisis that is hurting residents.”

Local politicians tried to mislead voters on the tax hike

Initial support for the referendum was, in part, due to misleading rhetoric from local politicians. DuPage County Democrats, who also pushed a graduated income tax in the 2020 election, claimed the tax would benefit mental health services. But the truth is providing mental health services is the responsibility of the state and county. In fact, just a few years ago, taxpayers in DuPage County built a state-of-the-art mental health treatment center right in the heart of Milton Township at the DuPage County Government Complex. Families, businesses and other taxpayers already support mental health services through county and state taxes. Rather than duplicating services, we need governments to work smarter in Illinois.

Breakthrough Ideas launches campaign to make sure local voters know the true effects of the tax hike

Breakthrough Ideas launched a campaign to put information in front of voters and give them an accurate picture of how the tax would affect their lives.

Through blog posts, live social media videos, targeted social media ads and graphics, a shareable flyer, and a grassroots campaign, Breakthrough Ideas put the information in context and in front of Milton Township voters.

Key to Breakthrough’s success? An engaged suburban grassroots infrastructure, extensive email list and a growing social media following.

An important piece of Breakthrough Ideas’ campaign was communicating with their established audience. With over ten years working in state and local politics and policy advocacy, Breakthrough founders have built an extensive email list and social media audiences. Locally, the founders spent two years building out suburban infrastructure and grassroots networks during Ives’ congressional race (IL-06) that can be mobilized to take action on a wide range of local issues and campaigns. With this channel, Breakthrough Ideas was able to communicate directly with a significant percentage of voters about the reality of the tax hike referendum.

Even in an area that has been leaning further and further Left, and with misleading rhetoric from the referendum’s supporters, voters rejected the tax when given all the facts.

Breakthrough Ideas President Kathleen Murphy added: “The majority of voters in the suburbs are reasonable people. Our position from the beginning has been that if they are presented with the facts on an issue in a clear, consumable fashion, they will respond. Poll after poll shows that tax hikes are unpopular with suburban voters. It was simply a matter of implementing a communication plan that cut through the lies that were being told about this tax, connecting the dots on their property taxes, and giving people tools they needed to share the information in their networks. This represents a tremendous opportunity for taxpayer advocates. We look forward to building out this model heading into 2022."

To learn more and get involved, go to https://www.breakthrough-ideas.com/.


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