The Illinois General Assembly web site does not show that State Rep. David McSweeney’s House Bill 348 has been signed yet, but a phone message from the legislator says Governor JP Pritzker has made the bill law.
The bill passed the House 62-33-5 on April 4th.
The Senate followed suit with a 44-3 vote on May 16th.
The roll calls follow:
Here is the bill’s description as introduced by McSweeney:
Synopsis as Introduced
Amends the Township Code. Provides that the board of trustees of any township located in McHenry County may submit a proposition to dissolve the township to the township electors or township electors may petition for a referendum to dissolve a township. Provides for the transfer of real and personal property, and any other assets, together with all personnel, contractual obligations, and liabilities of the dissolving township to McHenry County. Provides that all road districts wholly within the boundaries of the dissolving township are dissolved on the date of dissolution of the dissolving township and the powers and responsibilities of the road district are transferred to McHenry County, and provides that municipalities within the dissolving township may elect to assume the duties and responsibilities of the road district or road districts. Limits extensions of specified property tax levies to 90% of the original property tax levy and within the boundaries of the dissolved township. Amends the Election Code and Counties Code making conforming changes. Amends the Illinois Highway Code. Provides that any township in Lake County or McHenry County shall abolish a road district of that township if the roads of the road district are less than 15 miles in length. Provides that the road district is abolished on the expiration of the term of office of the highway commissioner of the road district facing abolition following the determination by the county engineer or county superintendent of highways. Provides that the township board of trustees may enter into a contract with the county, a municipality, or a private contractor to administer the roads added to its jurisdiction. Effective immediately.
House Floor Amendment 1, which incorporated the suggestions of State Senator Craig Wilcox
Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the provisions of the introduced bill with the following changes: Amends the Motor Fuel Tax Law making conforming changes. Further amends the new Article 24 of the Township Code as follows: removes provisions regarding the scope of the Article; modifies the petition requirements to dissolve a township, including signature requirements and publication of the petition on the county’s website; modifies the referendum wording; clarifies that road districts that are to be dissolved must be wholly within the boundaries of the township; adds examples of duties that are transferred to the county; limits specified taxes and proceeds of the sale of specified properties to the use and benefit of the geographic area of the dissolved township; provides that reductions in spending within the boundaries of the former township and specified tax levies may be used to pay down liabilities of the former township; provides that if a no municipality makes an offer or a municipality doesn’t make a satisfactory offer (rather than only no offers made) to take over part of a dissolved road district, then the county may retain the powers over the road district; provides that elected and appointed township officers and road commissioners shall cease to hold office on the date of dissolution of the township and road districts, no longer be compensated, and do not have legal recourse relating to the ceasing of their elected or appointed positions upon the ceasing of their offices. Effective immediately.
The amendment added these provisions:
There is still a 10% tax cut but added are transitional sections which were not included in the original bill, e.g.,
- transferring Motor Fuel Taxes received from the state to the county or municipalities taking over the township roads
- transferring all assets to the county, plus “all personnel, contractural obligations, and liabilities” to the county
- all funds so transferred must be used to benefit the the residents of the dissolved township such as General Assistance, real estate assessments, facilities, cemetery upkeep
- salaries of the eliminated elected officials shall not be paid after dissolution
The legislation as enacted can be found here.
The following was emailed from Governor Pritzker:
Gov. Pritzker Signs Local Government Consolidation Legislation
Governor JB Pritzker signed HB 348 today to allow taxpayers to decide if they want to consolidate local governments.
“Rising property taxes overburden homeowners across the state, and this administration is committed to exploring all options to provide communities with relief,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “After hearing from local stakeholders on their desire for government consolidation, I am signing HB 348 and look forward to seeing how this bill works for the taxpayers of McHenry County.”
House Bill 348
House Bill 348 allows for the petition-initiated dissolution of any township in McHenry County. All assets and obligations of the township would be transferred to McHenry County, but all proceeds from the sale of assets coming from the dissolution of a township can only be used within the geographic boundaries of the township. All road districts wholly within the boundaries of the dissolving township are dissolved, and those powers and responsibilities would go to McHenry County. The county board cannot extend a property tax levy greater than 90% of levy extended by the dissolved township or road district, and it can only be extended on the area within the geographic boundaries of the township.
The bill also abolishes road districts with less than 15 miles of road in Lake County and McHenry County, including Avon, Benton, Newport, Shields, Vernon and Waukegan. All the rights and responsibilities of the road district are absorbed by the township, which can enter an intergovernmental agreement to administer the roads.
HB 348 takes effect immediately.
“Government works best when it delivers quality services to its residents in the most efficient way possible,” said Sen. Terry Link (D-Indian Creek). “Having a separate layer of government to take care of less than 15 miles of roadway simply doesn’t make any sense. Government consolidation is long overdue, and eliminating wasteful road districts is the perfect place to start.”
“I appreciate that the Governor signed this important consolidation bill,” said Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills). “Consolidation is one of the key components to reducing Illinois property taxes.”
“Thank you to the Governor for allowing citizens to decide how they want to structure their government,” said Jack Franks, chairman of the McHenry County Board.“This is a good step in the right direction.”
The governor also signed SB 90, legislation to consolidate drainage districts.