Serious readers of Illinois newspapers will have seen or read recent articles about Illinois townships. Two townships in the state, Evanston and Belleville, have been dissolved within the past three years. State Rep. David McSweeney is currently working to end township government, via referendum, throughout Illinois beginning with McHenry County.
McSweeney has proposed House Bill 348, which gives McHenry County residents the option to dissolve their township and transfer operations, employees and property to McHenry County. If the bill passes, road districts that maintain fewer than 15 miles of road will automatically be eliminated. House Bill 348 passed the State House last week and was up for a vote in the Senate on April 30.
According to McSweeney, the dissolution of townships will help cities and villages realize significant tax savings, promising that property taxes will drop by at least 10%. State Rep. Steven Reick disagrees, “I believe in cutting property taxes … this bill does not do that.”
Everyone should be concerned about the consequences of eliminating townships and the apparent lack of a thoughtful “transfer of services” strategy. Before jumping on the bandwagon and dissolving your township with a referendum, make sure an impact study has been conducted and that there is a solid plan in place to continue to provide these much-needed services to the community.
To voice your support for Illinois townships, contact Governor Priztker. Once these unique township services are gone, they are gone forever.
Senior Living News Network