Cass County GOP chair says townships should be abolished amid property tax freeze debate
The chairman of the Cass County Republican Party has spoken out against township governments and said they should be abolished as the debate continues around a property tax freeze proposal from the Illinois General Assembly.
Terry Blakeman said township governments are obsolete and that cities and villages would be right to oppose the tax freeze proposal.
“Townships need to be abolished,” Blakeman told the West Central Reporter. “Cities and villages would be right in opposing a tax freeze. Many of them are close to being broke due to reduced funding from the state.”
When asked why voters should take notice of the issue regarding the tax freeze, Blakeman said the property taxes presented a burden on the public.
“It's a burden on taxpayers that shouldn't exist,” Blakeman said.
In a memo sent to state township officials, Bryan E. Smith, executive director of the Township Officials of Illinois, told leaders to contact their state representatives and senators and oppose the property tax freeze.
The two-year property tax freeze was proposed in Senate Bill 851, which was brought to the floor on Oct. 26.
In the memo to township officials, Smith said the proposal did several things, including a two-year freeze for 2017 and 2018 in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. Smith said this would mean the extension limitation would be 0 percent for these counties unless voters were to approve an increase. For all other counties, the measure would allow county boards to put a referendum on the ballot in 2018 allowing for a property tax freeze for all local governments within that county for 2018 and 2019, Smith said in the memo.
Smith also said in the memo all local governments in the county could be subject to a property tax freeze in 2018 and 2019, along with being subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for 2020 and beyond.