Letter: Townships need focus from candidates
Why do we have Illinois township governments on our nation-leading tax bills? That's a good question. Townships are a political tax scam supported by the 11,500-member Township Officials of Illinois (TOI). The township empire is old and wobbly, held together by the TOI. The TOI organization is a powerful political force in Springfield with one priority, the continuation of township government on our tax bills.
To most property-owning taxpayers, townships are an invisible layer of government that is skimming millions from their pockets, going unnoticed. This skimming adds up to millions, about $750 million per year. Unlike municipal and county governments, townships are primarily supported by property taxes. Defenders of townships are those who held or now hold township jobs, township elected officials and those who run for statewide offices pandering for votes from this outdated government. The constant drumbeat from township defenders? Can't do without them. But Illinois has 17 counties that do not have them. And most states do not have them. States like Texas, California, Florida and Iowa have no township governments.
In comparison, Illinois has 1,433 township governments, 1,395 township road districts and 26 township cemetery districts, each with its own taxing authority. If those running for the offices of governor, senator or representative are serious about property tax relief for Illinoisans, then, their top priority, on the campaign trails, should be in support of legislation that would eliminate and or consolidate these unnecessary and wasteful township government agencies.