Back in 1978, first term Governor Jim Thompson was looking for a campaign gimmick.
He came up with an advisory referendum which asked voters if they wanted to be notified if a tax district planned to spend more than 5% more than the year before.
It is immodestly called “The Thompson Proposition.”
It would bring more revenue to newspapers and sounded good, so it naturally passed.
The result is black boxed notices about this time of year for any tax district asking for more than 105% of what they got last year.
Since then, the Tax Cap passed, which limits increased taxing abilities to the rate of inflation, as defined by the increase in the Consumer Price Index, plus new construction.
The CPI is 1.7% this time around.
A logical question is why any tax district would be asking for more than, say about 2%.
No district will get 5% because new construction was not high last year and inflation was so low.
So, why would tax districts ask for more than 5%, thus triggering the black box ads?
Beats me, but I saw my first one in the Northwest Herald Friday.
It was from the Harvard Fire Protection District.