On Jan. 4, the final report from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s task force on local government consolidation and unfunded mandates was made public. After 11 months of meetings, public hearings and study, the Task Force’s report outlines more than two dozen recommendations for streamlining local government, empowering communities and saving taxpayer dollars. The recommendations could become legislative proposals during the 2016 spring session, allowing lawmakers the time to give them a thorough review.
There are more local units of government in Illinois than any other state in the nation at 6,963. The Rauner Administration cites the layers of government as a reason for Illinois’ second-highest effective property tax rate in the nation.
The Task Force-endorsed 27 recommendations were the result of testimony during public hearings in 2015 from more than 30 experts representing government associations, nonprofit think tanks, researchers, and state agencies. The 29-member panel of state and local elected officials was chaired by Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti. The final report can be found at www.illinois.gov.