State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) is championing legislation this year that would provide local elected officials and voters with a method for reducing taxes through consolidation of a township that is coterminous with a municipality.
“With nearly 7,000 individual units of government in Illinois, we need to be looking for opportunities to consolidate where it makes financial sense,” said Demmer. “In instances where a township is located either entirely or almost entirely within a municipality, elected officials and taxpayers should be able to decide if both units of government are necessary.”
HB2525 is identical to legislation Demmer sponsored in the 100th General Assembly that gained nearly unanimous support in the House, but stalled in the Senate. The legislation provides for two methods through which a township consolidation question would be submitted to voters:
- If a township board or municipal board adopts an ordinance to place the question on a ballot; or
- If a petition signed by 10% of the registered voters in a township is submitted to the township board or municipal board
Upon certification of the ordinance or petition, a proposition to discontinue and abolish the township would be put before voters in the next election. If successful, all rights, powers, duties, assets, property, liabilities, obligations, and responsibilities of the township would be transferred to the coterminous municipality.
“The idea for this legislation was brought forward as part of the 2015 report by the Task Force on Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates,” Demmer said. “It’s common sense legislation that would provide local officials with the tools and resources necessary to provide tax relief to the people they serve.”
HB2525 has been assigned to the Counties and Townships Committee.