By Brian Costin, Illinois Policy Institute -
Many local voters didn’t realize it, but residents of Westmont, Ill., made history during last week’s election. By a vote of 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent, Westmont became the first Illinois community to repeal a municipality’s home rule power in 29 years. The last repeal happened in Rockford in 1983.
Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), has been fighting home rule in Illinois for decades. Tobin calls home rule “one of the most financially devastating schemes Illinois politicians have ever come up with. Home rule means, literally, home rule unlimited taxing power. A home rule municipality can create just about any tax under the sun and raise taxes without limit.”
Enactment of home rule powers is often shortly followed by increases to sales, utility or property tax rates. Communities often borrow against future home rule revenues to finance big projects.
The recent November election had voters in nine communities in Illinois voting on home rule referendums. Home rule was defeated in five of those communities and approved in four others. ...More HERE