Suburban mayors launch campaign to fight state funding cuts
Suburban mayors have launched a campaign to rally residents against a cut in towns' share of income taxes.
State lawmakers are supposed to have a budget done by the end of next month, and Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed cutting in half what towns get from income taxes paid to the state.
Mayors Monday debuted ProtectMyTown.com, a site that allows people to send form letters to Rauner and lawmakers.
The effort is backed by several prominent mayors' groups statewide, including the Northwest Municipal Conference and DuPage Mayors and Managers, showing they'll be fighting the proposal hard for the next month.
They're up against dozens of other interests all working to protect their share of the state's tight budget. Mayors preserved their share in a short-term spending fix approved by lawmakers earlier this month.
But that came at the expense of schools and human services programs. Perhaps most notably, Rauner cut spending for a key autism program, a move that has been the subject of pointed questions from lawmakers.
"Overspending and insider deals put in place by career politicians have created a $6 billion budget hole while the amount of money transferred to local governments over the last decade has skyrocketed by 42 percent," Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said in a statement. "The status quo is broken and unsustainable."
Mayors argue that if Springfield takes away half their share of state income taxes, big service cuts or property tax hikes could hit back home.
The new website lets residents alter a form letter, enter their information and send it along.