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The following news release is from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus:
The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus is extremely disappointed in Governor Rauner’s call to reduce the local share of the State income tax by 50 percent which he announced in his Budget Address to the Illinois General Assembly Feb. 18 in Springfield.
The Caucus’ member mayors from 273 municipalities in the Chicago metropolitan area are very concerned about how this $600 million cut will affect their abilities to provide essential services to their residents. They are surprised that the Governor proposes to transfer The State’s budget problem to local government.
The local share has been an important revenue stream for municipalities since the income tax was first instituted in Illinois in 1969. Local communities have counted on it for 45 years to help fund key public services like police, fire, water and sewer treatment, infrastructure repair and construction and snow removal. A 50 percent sweep of these funds will reduce the revenues for these needed local services by nearly $50 per resident.
The City of Chicago would see its local share cut by about $135 million each year under the Governor’s proposal. A town like south suburban Sauk Village with a population of 10,000 would see an annual cut of approximately $500,000. A community of 25,000 like Batavia in Kane County would experience a cut of about $1.25 million annually. Orland Park in southwest Cook County with a population of 60,000 would see its annual local share cut by approximately $3 million. The City of Aurora with a population of 200,000 would see its annual local share reduced by about $10 million. Cuts of these proportions will undoubtedly have significant negative impacts on local services.
Local governments across Illinois are still feeling the effects of the 2008 recession. They have acted in a fiscally responsible manner during the economic downturn and have been reducing personnel, cutting services and controlling spending to balance their budgets over the last several years. The Governor’s proposed 50 percent reduction will lead to more layoffs; additional delays and cancellations of more infrastructure projects; and increase local taxes and user fees.
“I’m not sure Governor Rauner understands the affect this proposal will have on local governments,” said Daniel J. McLaughlin, Mayor of the Village of Orland Park and Chairman of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus. “Our annual budgets have already been adopted. Communities are counting on their share of the income tax to pay for local services. Reducing revenues will force communities to have to make further decisions to lay off police officers and firefighters, end repairs to critical infrastructure and cut other key services. These are real decisions that will impact the everyday lives of our citizens. They’re not just moving commas in a ledger like they may be doing in Springfield.”
During the campaign, Governor Rauner spoke about working in partnership with local governments to better serve the residents of our State. The Mayors of the Chicago region are highly disappointed that as one of his first acts, the Governor has chosen to shift the State’s budgetary problems onto local governments. This is not acting in partnership.
The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus is a membership organization of mayors from Northeastern Illinois’ 273 cities, towns, and villages. The Caucus pushes past geographical boundaries and local interests to work on public policy issues, providing a forum for metropolitan Chicago’s chief elected officials to collaborate on common problems and work toward a common goal of improving the quality of life for the millions of people who call the region home.