Plan aimed at consolidation in McHenry, Lake counties moves to House

A proposal that would require townships in Lake and McHenry counties to dissolve road districts that maintain less than 15 miles of road is expected to come to a vote Thursday in the state House.

The plan, which was approved by the state Senate on Tuesday, would also make it easier for McHenry County voters to abolish local townships via referendum. The proposal is backed by a bipartisan group of suburban lawmakers.

"Everyone loves to talk about how Illinois has too many units of government," state Sen. Terry Link said. "This bill would help fix that. Everyone loves to complain about high property taxes. This bill would help provide property tax relief."

Link, a Vernon Hills Democrat, introduced the plan to the Senate on Tuesday, and it was approved 33 votes to 16. State Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, is the plan's chief sponsor in the House and said Wednesday that it will be voted on Thursday.

The plan would allow McHenry County voters to abolish a township via referendum as long as a petition with signatures from at least 5 percent of voters were submitted. In addition, the trustees of any township in McHenry County could submit a proposition to dissolve the township to the voters.

If a township were dissolved, the duties and assets of the township government would be absorbed by McHenry County or municipal governments.

When he introduced the measure in April, McSweeney said taxpayers shouldn't be burdened with paying for unnecessary and sometimes redundant layers of government.

"Ultimately 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," he said.

Terry Link
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