Arlington Hts. board passes resolution against Rauner's local budget cuts
Municipal leaders have been speaking out against parts of Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget cuts since his budget address last month, but on Monday, Arlington Heights village board members put their opposition on paper.
The board unanimously passed a resolution opposing any reduction in the local government distributive fund, or the state income tax money that goes to municipalities, which Rauner proposed cutting by 50 percent. The cut would mean a $3.7 million loss to the general fund for Arlington Heights' annual budget.
"The purpose of this is to send a message to the governor and our legislators down in Springfield," said Mayor Tom Hayes. "We support their efforts to turn around the state's financial situation, but we oppose any effort to place the burden on municipalities who have relied on this money for many, many years now."
The local government distributive fund has been a part of Illinois government since 1969 and allows a portion of state income taxes to be distributed to municipalities to fund core services such as police protection, firefighting and public works, said Village Manager Randy Recklaus.
"We just don't think it's right to impose that additional tax burden on our residents who are already feeling the burden of heavy taxes," Hayes said. "We want to send that message loud and clear."
The village clerk will send a copy of the approved resolution to the legislators representing Arlington Heights, leadership in the General Assembly and the governor's office.
"I find it quite frustrating that the governor has decided to take this tack," said Trustee John Scaletta, pointing out other unfunded mandates the state requires while cutting the money municipalities receive.
Trustee Joe Farwell, who is a member of the legislative committee for the Northwest Municipal Conference, said he thinks Rauner's proposal to cut municipal funding is dead on arrival and will not be passed into law.
"But we still need to send this message," he said. "It's important for us as citizens to watch what is going on in Springfield. Contact your legislators. Let them know your opinion. Take a look at what these proposals are."