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Big bucks from townships

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST

To the Editor:

Illinois’ nearly 13 million citizens have a shameful tax burden of supporting 7,000 units of governments, which is 2,100 more than any other state.

That is what happens when so many Springfield politicians, from both major parties, focus on primarily extending their incumbency by being township friendly, thus throwing the taxpayer under the bus.

Enough. Status quo is not an option. Illinois is in desperate need of streamlining its governments.

The best solution? Eliminate or consolidate townships. Illinois has 1,433 township governments, which represents 20 percent of Illinois’ government glut problem. Illinois’ township governments were established in 1850 as a form of local government for a few farmers and settlers. This was when life was simpler and city and county governments had their beginnings. Townships have evolved into the extra layer of taxation, funding services that are already being provided by municipal and county governments.

What’s the primary reason townships continue to exist? The unnecessary existence of townships comes from Township Officials of Illinois. TOI has a membership of about 12,000 members, forming one of Illinois’ most powerful organizations within the state. With a laser like focus, TOI, with the army clout of 12,000 township politicians, deliver political money and muscle to township friendly legislators, who then pass township protecting legislation.

Enough. Where are the change agents who are willing to rescue Illinois from TOI?

Lawmakers should openly work for a township referendum, letting the voters decide if they want to continue paying for the 1850s township government.

Bob Anderson

Wonder Lake

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