Bill Allowing Voters to Abolish Township Government Passes House

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.]

David McSweeney

“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).‎

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The roll call follows:


Bill Allowing Voters to Abolish Township Government Passes House — 17 Comments

  1. Now we will see if the powerful Township Officials of Illinois lobbying group still has the muscle to stop this bill in the Senate.

    If not, it could be the beginning of the end for township government in Illinois. If McHenry County can do it, why not other counties?

    Tic tock…. Tic tock…..

  2. Looking at our real estate tax bills, township government is not the problem. It is the bloated school system administration with redundancies in offices and positions and the very, very large compensation packages including pensions for administrators and many teachers.

  3. Why did Rep Reick vote in the negative? Is he out of touch or just stupid?

  4. Don’t worry bred winner, with the new revenue from the schooling formula all that money will make it worse by going to salaries…look at the salary increases in the past 12 months. I mean it’s for the kids; yeah, brainwashed…it’s for the kids.

  5. Given that the duties and assets of the township may be split up between the County and various municipalities, I have a few questions:

    1. What is the process to allocate assets and liabilities amongst the County and municipalities?
    -Who gets the Land?
    -Who gets the buildings?
    -Who gets the vehicles?
    -Who gets the machinery and equipment?
    -Who gets the computer and office equipment?
    -Who gets the CASH?
    -Who gets the employees?
    -Who absorbs the IMRF Pension Liabilities?
    -Who absorbs the costs for unemployment expense if any current township employees are terminated?
    -Who absorbs the ongoing responsibility for record keeping/FOIA, IRS payroll reporting, final audit?

    2. Given that the County and the municipalities can levy a tax at 90% of the Township’s rate, what is the mechanism by which these governmental agency’s apply a levy against ONLY the residents of the former township and NOT against every taxpayer within their boundaries (including those that do not live in the dissolved township)?

    3. How can the residents of the dissolved township be certain that the levy revenue they are being charged by the County or their municipality will be used specifically for the roads/bridges/etc. in their jurisdiction and not redeployed for use elsewhere in the County or municipality?

  6. How about legislation to abolish IL state government as well.

  7. The legislation speaks of modifying the Township Code, but it seems to be missing anything about the State of IL MFT $$$$ that go to Road Districts?

    The Municipalities are going to bid on taking over the road maintenance without wanting annexation?

    Can the Municipalities then back out after a few years like LITH is doing with the water supply deal south of Alg RD?

    What about the County’s NSR deal?

    Would it be possible to start passing around a petition now so the issue will be on the fall ballot?

  8. David? That would work great unless they get rid of the townships and cities first. That would mean we would have to default to federal. Does anyone get a glimmer of what I am talking about when I say you need to KEEP your local government? You people are blindly begging for the new world order.

  9. I like that idea, David.

    Illinois should become a territory.

    We could freeload like Puerto Rico and not pay income tax.

    We’d lose our representation in Congress and the right to vote for President, but our state votes the wrong way most of the time in presidential elections, and our congressional delegation is for the most part useless.

    Let’s do it!

  10. Reick believes consolidation/elimination efforts need to have a cost/benefit analysis before moving forward. Some view that as a taxpayer protection, others view it as a hindrance on local government’s autonomy and paternalism on the state’s part. There is merit to both sides, but if I had to choose I’d side with the latter. The question about whether CBA’s ought to be done and how they have to be done should be left to locals to figure out.

  11. Let’s face it, Reick doesn’t have a conviction about anything. He wants to delay, delay, delay and that’s exactly what would happen if a CBA was required. That way he would keep his township oficials happy. A vote of 80 to 22 speaks of representatives who want to see some positive movement in the state. If it can’t happen from the top maybe the bottom is a good place to start.

  12. Reick is GOOD

    He understands the taxpayers’ plight and refuses to be part of a scam created by Anderson to crucify the one level of government that does so very much for us!

    Reick for Governor!

  13. Skillicorn and the other dope-Republicans need to be turned out of office pronto

    James Condon is a the best public official I know of (besides Reick).

    He is McHenry Township’s Road Dist. Chief and he knows his job. So what if he hired Bob Miller for his expertize! The Taxpayers of McHenry Township have only benefitted.

    Look at your tax bills. Township government’s costs are so small, I need a magnifying glass to read it. Focus on the schools, people. Cut their waste and excess. Look at what the Superintendents take home in pensions and salaries. Townships are penny wise. Schools are pound foolish!

  14. Townships must go!

    TOI can blow!

    I can’t pay the crooks anymore!

    Iron Mike hired the crook Bob Miller in Nunda Township? Why? Can’t he do his job! I’m sick of the graft.

  15. Barb Wheeler didn’t vote again!

    Shame on 3rd Reick.

    Thank you Mr. Skillicorn and McSweeney.

    Townships have ripped me and my family off for too many years. I pay Municipal and township tax; that’s double taxation. Unfair and oppressive.

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