One Step Closer for Township Consolidation Legislation

A press release from the Illinois General Assembly:

Rep. McSweeney backed legislation enabling voters to eliminate townships in McHenry County advances

Springfield, IL – The Illinois House Government Consolidation and Modernization Committee yesterday unanimously advanced State Rep. David McSweeney-backed legislation to make it easier for voters in McHenry County to eliminate townships.

House Bill 4367 applies only to the 17 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.

David McSweeney speaks to Algonquin Township Republicans.

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.

In addition to the 17 township governments, McHenry County has many other units of local government, including 29 municipalities and numerous road districts, all to govern a population of roughly 300,000 citizens.

The majority of these units have the ability to levy taxes. 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.

“Illinois has nearly 7,000 units of local government and it is time we did something to give voters the opportunity to do something to scale back government,” McSweeney said.

“The multiple layers of often redundant local government are a bad deal for Illinois taxpayers and are a part of the reason why Illinois has the second worst property taxes in the nation.

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.”

The legislation follows on the heels of the problems that have been exposed in Algonquin Township, the largest township by population in McHenry County.

The Township has paid nearly half a million dollars in legal fees thus far due to ongoing disputes. 

It’s been reported that a former Algonquin Township official is the subject of an investigation about improper spending. Legal fees continue to mount.

“Algonquin Township is a solid example of bad government and a prime example of why this kind of legislation is necessary,” McSweeney continued.

“Taxpayers shouldn’t be burdened with paying for bad or unnecessary layers of government and deserve an avenue to address their concerns with township government.”

HB 4637 now proceeds to the House floor for a vote.‎ Representative Sam Yingling (D-Round Lake Beach) is the Chief Co-Sponsor of the bill.


One Step Closer for Township Consolidation Legislation — 22 Comments

  1. Ask yourself one question: How will this impact the public sector pension crisis?

    I can promise you this: Elimination of any township will increase the size of the public sector pension debt.

    Why? Full time County and Municipal employees ALL receive a public sector pension – most Towsnhips do not offer any publicly funded pensions.

    McSweeney wants to look like the ‘good guy’ by supporting the Anderson hate of Townships and Yingling wants Townships gone because unlike the County which does not verify legal resident status for public assistance – Townships do by law.

    McSweeney should be working on reducing the Public sector Pension debt, not working to increase the cost of government. Where is the required study as to the potential savings?

  2. Any new county or municipal employees who were not previously in a pension plan would be tier 2, so the effect on the unfunded pension liability shouldn’t be that bad.

  3. Township employees in this county are mostly enrolled in IMRF pension system.
    The difference between tier 1 and tier 2 IMRF employees pensions in the long run aren’t really that much different.
    When the state modified the system they really didn’t address the pension problem in a significant way.
    The concept of letting us vote on any gov changes is a good deal, but this house bill stinks of as the wind blows nonsense that has always increased costs, not reduced them.
    The bill should read that a petition should require at least 5% of the total voters in that township, not just 5% of those that voted last election.
    The bill should also require a 2/3 vote of approval like a amendment, not just 50.01% which stinks of as the wind blows nonsense.
    If as the wind blows keeps on being the deal in the future expect more BOcare type deals that actually have raise taxation and other related costs.
    Careful consideration should be made before the vote of a well thought out plan on what will happen after the fact.
    A 10% reduction isn’t much considering how small the township and road district levies are.
    In the last two years Alg Twh’s road levy was reduced 10% and 5%, did anybody notice?

  4. The problem with our real estate tax bills is not township government in the vast majority of townships in McHenry County. Two-thirds of our tax bills are for school districts. That is where the opportunities to reduce costs lie.

    The problem is too many school districts, redundant administrative jobs and too high salaries of administrators and some teachers.

    Taxpayers should demand that our County has a school system structure that is efficient and lean and emulates that of the best run systems with lowest costs that operate in other States of the U.S.

  5. Oh townships are the reason our taxes are so high? All this time I thought it was teacher and administrator pensions, police pensions etc. Good to know.
    I grow more suspicious everyday at this effort to eliminate townships, is this political payback, an effort to increase the tax base of municipalities so the state can cut the revenue sharing with them? Something smells bad about this.
    It’s the schools McWeeney, you should know that.
    Until all waster, pork projects, insurance and pensions for legislators is eliminated leave the townships alone, clean up your own “house” first.

  6. Conservative voter, you’ve been outed as a cheap Township hack!

    Townships in ALL collar counties ARE INDEED on publically funded pensions. You’re only right about some little podunk rural townships with less than 500 population, usually located in Central and S. IL.

    Are You James Condon or some TOI shill?

    It’s your pension that gets the whack!

  7. Tier 2 retirement age for IMRF is 7 years later, and the pension is based on the average salary over the last eight years rather than the last four.

    The COLA for tier 1 is 3%, and the COLA for tier 2 is either one half the increase in the CPI or 3%, whichever is less.

    The cap on pensionable wages is also much lower with tier 2.

    I haven’t crunched the numbers myself, but I have read that the average lifetime payout is about 40% less with tier 2.

  8. IRS Form 4797 line 11: Loss, if any, from line 7…

    I typed in ‘it’s in Illinois, take a wild guess’.

  9. ‘Conservative’ voter you’ve been outed as a Township hack!

    Are you Jimmy Condon? Or some TOI shill?

    ALL collar county townships ARE on public sector pension debt!!!

    There are a few that aren’t, but they are all podunk townships w/ less than 500 residents in rural IL, mostly central and southern IL.

    Stop lying to save YOUR gold-0plated pension! That’s what this is all about!! YOU!!!

  10. Bred you’re absolutely right about school districts, but that’s not the useless layer of gov’t the poor taxpayers can axe.

  11. All I know is my township hasn’t saved me one dime in the last 30 years, but I can show you how it’s costed me plenty!
    This rotten fruit is Ripe for the pickin and if you ask me anyone who opposes this savings is on the payroll.

  12. Can someone explain how the levy would work if the County absorbs a township?
    Does the County have an ability to pass a levy onto only those residents that live within the boundaries of the old township?
    How would the residents of the old township be protected from having the assets they bought and paid for being reassigned for use elsewhere in the County?
    Which elected officials would be accountable to the residents of the former township for: 1) Daily operational performance, 2) Levy setting, 3) Capital Expenditure decisions, 4) Budget setting, etc.? The entire County Board? Or just those County Board members that live within the boundaries of the old township? Nobody?

  13. One can tell consolidation is in the taxpayers’ favor by the number of governmental pigs asquealin’

  14. Consolidation of anything governmental is precisely agenda 21 tactics. From the looks of things, you have all bought into their new agenda. Congratulations on being completely brainwashed. You are begging for the new gulag just as planned.

  15. So Cindy you agree Joe Tirio is supporting agenda 21 because that is what I thought

  16. Right, can’t get rid of townships, or you’ll end up in gulags, just like the 30 states where townships don’t even exist…

  17. On a serious note, have people thought this bill through or is this just another example of McSweeney grandstanding?

    Where does the 90 percent figure come from? Another Republican who borrowed the number from Jack Franks? There are close to 2000 townships in the state — maybe some of them have significant road projects on the horizon. This McSweeney guy thinks he should be micromanaging local government from the state level, the irony is profound, coming from a dude who blubbers on about local control. This is a guy who can’t even keep state spending flat…

    Why does he think putting these positions under the county’s, instead of township’s, authority will save money in the long run?

    There seem to be a lot of poison pills in this bill so McSWeeny can eventually rah-rah about how Springfield shoots all his ideas down. Why not just write a bill dealing with establishing referendums to eliminate townships (although can’t that already be done?)?

  18. As Coffey and a few of us have pointed out many times, careful consideration should be given before any changes are made or voted on.
    Another couple of simple question is:
    Where will the assessors and road crew be housed since Woodstock has no room for them?
    What about extra travel times and more fuel needed?
    The northern Midwest and Eastern states have the worst of the winter weather, plus the density of population combo the other non township states don’t have.
    The Salt Belt states cost more to maintain, and McHenry County is in the absolute worst part of the Salt Belt

  19. Ask Adams why he voted himself 6 % raise last fall he just like teachers pad last years pay bigger retirement and his minions follow him and condom sickning they marching in a fool’s parade like his related employees there just tools

  20. Like I said n 4 Adams laziness almost bankrupted pioneercenter Condon bankruptcys proves no way should even have soul control over 3 million dollar levy since they came to township no less than 5 lawsuits against them costing taxpayer’s but their pay increased 35% wake up minions

  21. Another bad idea with no thought given to the consequences that all the uninformed voters will happily support because of a grudge or an absurd belief of criminal conduct “every elected official is a crook”
    Why do this with no proof of savings? Find a better solution or better candidates. – not a township employee or official

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