A press release from State Rep. David McSweeney:
House Passes McSweeney’s Township Consolidation Bill
Springfield, IL – Yesterday the Illinois House overwhelmingly approved State Rep. David McSweeney’s (R-Barrington Hills) measure to allow voters in McHenry County new pathways to eliminate townships.
[Locally, State Rep. Allen Skillicorn was a joint sponsor. Steve Reick voted, “No.” Barb Wheeler and Steve Andersson did not vote.]
“Illinois has more units of local government than any other state and multiple layers of government drive up the state’s property taxes,” McSweeney said.
“Our voters should have the opportunity to do something to scale back government and bring down costs.”
House Bill 4637 voter consolidation provisions apply only to townships in McHenry County and provides a referendum process for voters to dissolve the townships.
It allows voters to force a ballot question to abolish a township as long as voters submit a petition with at least 5 percent of the number of voters who voted in a previous comparable election.
Additionally, the trustees of any township in McHenry County may submit a proposition to dissolve the township to the voters.
In both cases, if a simple majority of voters agree to abolish a township, the township would be dissolved within 90 days after the election.
The duties and assets of the township government would then be absorbed by McHenry County or municipal governments.
Residents of the dissolved township would see a property tax cut as any taxes levied by the County for that area could not exceed more than 90% of the taxes levied by the former township government.
HB 4637 further works to eliminate excessive government by requiring townships in Lake and McHenry Counties to dissolve any road districts that maintain less than 15 miles.
“Taxpayers shouldn’t be burdened with paying for redundant or unnecessary layers of government and deserve an avenue to address their concerns with township government,” McSweeney continued. “Ultimately if we want to lower property taxes in Illinois we have to give voters the ability to eliminate some of the layers of local government.”
HB 4637 passed the full House on a vote of 80-22. It now heads to the Senate where it will be sponsored by Senator Terry Link (D-Gurnee).