LAKEWOOD – More than 100 members of the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce cheered as Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana Rauner, walked into the Chamber’s annual awards gala Saturday night at Turnberry Country Club, 9600 Turnberry Trail.
In his brief acknowledgment of the business awards finalists, Rauner said that Illinois has every reason to thrive, but he said high taxes and “lots of regulations” are holding back businesses in the state.
“My No. 1 priority is to make sure that we’re helping you thrive and build your business by rolling back the regulations and cutting the taxes so you can be prosperous and boom and grow, and create a lot of good-paying jobs in the state of Illinois,” Rauner said.
Rauner said the state has challenges, such as funding state pensions and education, but he told business community members that the state’s challenges can be overcome with strong economic growth.
“Higher family incomes, greater prosperity, [a] better future for our children and grandchildren … every challenge we face comes through greater economic opportunity,” Rauner said.
Rauner said he is committed to rolling income tax back to 3 percent and helping business owners bring down property taxes by reducing mandates in Springfield.
“You control your own governments – your city governments, your villages, your municipalities, your townships – you run them; don’t let Springfield tell you how to run them,” Rauner said. “You run them yourself, and we will give you the power through a simple referendum to control your property tax levy.”
Lake in the Hills Village President Russ Ruzanski said he appreciates that the Rauners stopped at the event when they easily could have been anywhere else on a Saturday evening.
“That shows respect for everybody that is here and, in turn, I think he earns a lot of respect from the people who are here,” Ruzanski said.
After his speech, Rauner said he makes a point to go out of his way to meet small business owners and do what he can to make sure they succeed and help Illinois succeed as a whole.
“What I do is listen to them,” Rauner said. “What regulations are getting in their way? What regulations can we get rid of so that it makes it easier for them to grow, and what taxes are the most difficult for them so we can try to cut those taxes to make them more competitive and grow?”
Rauner said he has a connection with McHenry County because his godparents live in Algonquin. He said he decided to stop by the event because he was attending an event in Rolling Meadows earlier in the day.
Katrina McGuire, executive director for the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chamber, said all state representatives and leaders in local government get an invite to the gala every year.
She said 1,300 public votes were cast for the awards for local businesses that are part of the Chamber.
CHAMBER AWARD WINNERS
New Chamber Member Business winner
Butcher on the Block
Algonquin Area Public Library
Scorched Earth Brewing Co.
Large Business winner
Algonquin Bank and Trust
Home Office winner
Crystal Lake Engraving – Dawn Gilman
Personal/Home Services winner
Clarendale of Algonquin
Professional Services winner
Diamond Physical Therapy
Volunteer of the Year
Rich Peril of RVG Real Estate Services
Board Member of the Year
Russell Farnum of the village of Algonquin