Getting rid of inefficiencies
Illinois' 7,000 units of government have created multiple layers of inefficiency that place an unnecessary financial burden on taxpayers. In an effort to reduce the size, scope and cost of local government, I have initiated legislation in Springfield that would provide DuPage County with new tools to achieve incremental reform.
Senate Bill 494 would allow county leaders to eliminate wasteful and redundant layers of government when it has been determined to be in the best interest of taxpayers. A recent assessment of county-appointed agencies revealed many opportunities for shared services, consolidation and in some cases dissolution. These 24 agencies account for nearly $300 million in tax dollars, employ approximately 900 people and provide basic public services such as sanitary, mosquito abatement and street lighting.
We found examples of obsolete taxing bodies, such as the Timberlake Estates Sanitary District that had not provided service for nearly 30 years. Even though the county took over operation in 1985, the taxing district still appeared on property tax bills with a zero levy. For two years, we worked to obtain a supermajority approval from the residents to eliminate the antiquated district. The action recently was approved by a DuPage County judge.
Meanwhile, the Century Hills Street Lighting District maintains streetlights in a subdivision near Naperville. The district's three trustees meet annually to pass a $15,000 levy; they agree the responsibilities could easily be transferred to another unit of government that provides similar services. Unfortunately, we do not have the authority to take the necessary steps to consolidate the service with another entity without passage of legislation.
Senate Bill 494 is essential to our reform agenda as we pursue new ways to reduce costs and improve efficiencies in local government.
I urge residents to contact their state representatives to request their support of Senate Bill 494.
DuPage County Board Chairman