By Shaw Local News Network
May 20, 2022 at 10:08 am CDT
Please note that, while this Opinion | Letter makes some valid points, in its totality it does not represent Lake County Appeal’s views.
Townships are a political tax scam supported by the 11,500-member Township Officials of Illinois. The township empire is old and wobbly, held together by the TOI. The organization is a powerful political force in Springfield with one priority — the continuation of township government on our tax bills.
To most property-owning taxpayers, townships are an invisible layer of government. This adds up to about $750 million per year. Unlike municipal and county governments, townships are primarily supported by property taxes.
Defenders of townships are those who have held or now hold township jobs, township elected officials, and those who run for statewide offices pandering for votes from this outdated form of government. The constant drumbeat from township defenders is that we cannot do without them, but Illinois has 17 counties that do not have them and most states do not have them. Texas, California, Florida, and Iowa have no township governments.
Illinois has 1,433 township governments, 1,395 township road districts and 26 township cemetery districts, each with its own taxing authority.
If those running for the offices of governor, senator or representative are serious about property tax relief for Illinois, then our top priority on the campaign trails should be to support legislation that would eliminate or consolidate these unnecessary and wasteful township government agencies.