To the Editor:
Illinois leads all states in government bodies. Many refer to this as “Illinois’ love affair with government.” Illinois has 7,000 governmental bodies; 1,434 are township governments. Township governments exist because of Township Officials of Illinois and TOIPAC. TOI and its PAC support and fund members of the General Assembly who are willing to support the existence of townships. There are about 11,500 township officials in Illinois.
Visualizing 7,000 governments requires imagination. Visualizing 1,434 outdated township governments takes even more imagination. Illinois is one of only 20 states that have the township level of government.
Close your eyes, picture placing a dot for each government a foot a part over the length of a mile, 5,280 feet. Not enough dots, right? It would take more than one-and-a-quarter miles of 1-foot dots to equal the government glut of 7,000 governments.
How does Illinois compare with other states? The number of local governments by state range from 7,000 (Illinois) to 20 (Hawaii).
Runner-up to Illinois is Pennsylvania with 5,200. The other three in the top five are Texas with 4,800, California with 4,400, and Kansas with 3,900. Texas, California and Kansas do not have township governments.
States in the bottom five in number of local governments are Hawaii with 20, Rhode Island with 125, Alaska with 175, Nevada with 205, and Delaware with 275. Hawaii, Alaska and Nevada do not have township governments.
For tax relief, Illinois needs to restructure and streamline its local government system. For tax relief, abolish townships.