Legal fix sought to keep DuPage tax increases valid

Lawyers for the DuPage County Election Commission next week are expected to decide how to try fixing a clerical error that may have jeopardized the results of four November referendums.

Commission attorney Pat Bond said he spoke Friday with attorneys representing Bloomingdale Park District, Helen M. Plum Memorial Public Library in Lombard, Salt Creek Elementary District 48 in Villa Park and Elmhurst, and Hinsdale Elementary District 181.

The four taxing districts successfully asked voters for more money during the Nov. 8 election. But officials this week discovered the public was notified about the ballot questions three days too early.

Bond said officials are developing a solution to fix the problem.

"We are working with the affected taxing bodies and their bond counsels to achieve a solution that will ensure the integrity of the election results," he said.

The park district in Bloomingdale won voter approval in November to borrow $9.9 million to repair and improve three facilities.

Voters gave District 181 permission to borrow $53 million to build a new school.

District 48 was given the OK to borrow $8 million to repair three schools - Salt Creek Primary in Elmhurst, Stella May Swartz in Oakbrook Terrace and Albright Middle School in Villa Park.

Lombard voters, meanwhile, approved a property tax increase for Helen Plum library so it could replace its existing building with a new one.

However, bond attorneys working with several of the taxing districts raised concerns because local newspapers published notifications about the ballot questions 33 days before the Nov. 8 election.

By law, the notices must be published no more than 30 days and not less than 10 days before an election.

To correct the problem, the commission could ask state lawmakers to approve legislation saying it was appropriate to have the notification made three days early. It also could ask a DuPage judge for a declaratory judgment.

Whatever the commission decides to do, Bond said, "I don't see any scenario where the election results would be impacted."

Why four new DuPage County tax increases could be in jeopardy

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