The Task Force on Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates, led by Lt. Governor Sanguinetti and created early last year through executive order 15-15, has released their final report. The task force was created with the intention of tackling the dual problem of Illinois’ bloated local government system and high property taxes. Illinois has more local units of government than any other state in the nation at 6,963 and the second highest effective property tax rate. The task force also considered Illinois’ growing unfunded mandate burden, which the report labeled as “skyrocketing” over the past few decades.
In meetings over the past year, the task force heard testimony from those representing government associations, nonprofit think tanks, researchers, and state agencies. The final report makes 27 recommendations, approved by the task force throughout the year, for streamlining local government, empowering communities, and saving taxpayer money. Some of the recommendations have already become law, such as a ban on creating new units of government, PA 99-0353, while many others remain in legislative limbo.
“This report is an excellent first step in managing government spending and unfunded mandates, which can be unduly burdensome on our schools and towns,” State Rep McDermed stated. “Its up to us in the General Assembly now to take the hard work of this task force and act on these recommendations which can make our governments more effective and bring relief to taxpayers.”
The comprehensive report is 406 pages and includes the minutes from every meeting. The entire report can be read here.