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Media Information

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2011
Contact:
 
Mayor Larry Hartwig
630/543-4100, ext. 7502

ADDISON FIGHTS SPRINGFIELD “STEALTH TAX”

State’s Threat to Pilfer Local Budgets Will Increase Taxes, Fees

Just months after state lawmaker increased income taxes by 66 percent, Addison residents could face devastating cuts in essential services if Springfield politicians get their way and don’t return hundreds of millions of dollars already paid by local taxpayers, that are legal owed to local communities.

One legislative proposal is threatening to cut Addison’s funding by $848,000 per year. This amounts to a “stealth tax” on local taxpayers and our communities.

Taking away this revenue, which pays for essential local programs, front-line services and critical personnel will merely shift the state’s burden onto municipal and county governments and will have a disastrous impact on local services for residents.

“Local governments have been reducing spending and balancing their budgets responsibly during these difficult economic times,” said Addison Mayor Larry Hartwig. “Springfield cannot expect local taxpayers to fix the state’s budget problems.”

Like Illinois families, cities, village and counties have been making significant sacrifices and cutting back during these tough economic times, slashing programs, curbing constituent services, delaying projects and laying off workers, including police and firefighters.

In recent years, Addison has lived within its means done more with less. The Village eliminated 24 full-time and 30 part-time positions through attrition; remaining staff has taken on additional duties to cope with these vacancies. Village employees agreed to forgo their cost of living increases for the past two years. Village equipment purchases, scheduled maintenance and capital projects have been delayed wherever possible. The Community Days festival has been cancelled for the past two years, and will not take place in 2011.

But instead of making those same difficult decisions to balance the state’s budget, some members of the Illinois General Assembly have proposed changing state law to hijack locally generated revenue. This money has been paid by local taxpayers with the understanding that it would return to their local communities to fund local services.

Mayors, Village Presidents and County Board Chairs from around Illinois are launching new efforts to stop the Springfield “stealth tax” and are calling on residents to voice their opposition and tell lawmakers to tighten their own belts without picking the pockets of local communities, they are asking residents contact their local state senators and representatives, letting them know they oppose cuts in local funding.

Local leaders across Illinois have been identifying how the cuts would impact their individual communities and are preparing for reductions if state lawmakers succeed in pilfering the funds and denying the money that legally belongs to their communities, not as a bailout for state government. One proposal is calling for Springfield to take some $300 million local funding while another proposal could eliminate more than $1 billion in local funding.

Illinois municipalities and counties rely on the Local Government Distributive Fund, which was instituted in 1969 in exchange for cities, villages and counties not imposing their own income tax. It guarantees municipalities and counties a share of state income tax receipts to help fund local services.

The legislature’s stealth tax would serve as yet another in a series of blows to local communities. In addition to residents and businesses feeling the pain of the 66 percent income tax increase, cities, villages and counties were excluded from collecting on any new revenue while experiencing lower Local Government Distributive Fund receipts due to the sluggish economy. Meanwhile, the state is now four to five months behind in disbursing payments to local governments.

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