Illinois House passes bill to allow dissolution of township road districts

Illinois House passes bill to allow dissolution of township road districts

House Bill 607 would allow for the consolidation of a duplicative layer of government, something Illinois taxpayers desperately need.

The Illinois House of Representatives voted April 27 in favor of a bill to increase residents’ ability to make local government more efficient.

House Bill 607, sponsored by state Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake, would allow township boards to submit to voters a referendum to abolish township road districts and for the township to absorb the responsibilities. This is a small but positive step in the right direction toward reducing the number of redundant layers of government in Illinois, and providing property tax relief to taxpayers.

Township road districts are an outdated form of local government and often do not perform services distinct from their overlapping townships, municipalities and counties. In some cases, township road districts only add to the cost of duplicative layers of government, which costs taxpayers without providing value. These government entities come with administrative and personnel costs, which contribute to Illinoisans’ tax burdens and growing government debt.

In fact, Illinois has nearly 7,000 units of local government – more than any other state in the nation – and each of these units of government adds to Illinois’ high tax burden. The average Illinois resident lives under six layers of government, which in addition to road districts could include a county, township, city and any other special taxing district, such as a library district or a park district. Some areas have even more layers of government.

Property taxes are the main source of funding for local governments, and with so many government entities, it’s no wonder Illinois has some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

Illinois residents need more local government consolidation like HB 607 to make government more efficient and less costly and help bring property tax bills in line with what taxpayers can afford.

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