Local Editorials

Our view: McHenry Township consolidation: Yes

New stickers commemorating the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, ending women's suffrage and granting women the right to vote, await early voters as election technician Sam Lykouretzos of Wonder Lake sets up a new polling location March 2 at the Nippersink Public Library in Richmond.
New stickers commemorating the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, ending women's suffrage and granting women the right to vote, await early voters as election technician Sam Lykouretzos of Wonder Lake sets up a new polling location March 2 at the Nippersink Public Library in Richmond.

McHenry Township isn’t the first township we’d choose to eliminate.

Among the 17 townships in McHenry County, it probably is one of the better-run ones.

Voters there are faced with the question of whether they wish to continue paying property taxes to support the township, or whether it should be eliminated and its property and responsibilities turned over to McHenry County.

We support the initiative and would like to see more like it.

Property taxes in McHenry County are too high. The state of Illinois has been crippled financially because of financial obligations to current and former public employees.

Illinois has the most units of local government in the country, making it impossible for residents to effectively monitor how all of them are spending public funds.

Without a reduction in their numbers, the situation will not improve. Yet every time a particular unit of government is on the chopping block, we hear a million reasons why it is essential.

We disagree. McHenry Township residents have the opportunity to act decisively to reduce the number of local governments to which they pay taxes. Township government is an anachronism, with most of the services it provides duplicated by municipal and county government. As such, more activist townships try to find things to do that aren’t among their prescribed duties.

If you live in a city or village, chances are you don’t need township government much at all and may not be aware it even exists. But you still must support it with your property taxes.

McHenry Township probably would not be our first choice for elimination, but it is the place fate has chosen for a first decisive vote.

We recommend a yes vote to eliminate the township.

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