Following Governor Bruce Rauner’s signing of legislation that expands the local government consolidation pilot program to Lake and McHenry counties, Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor and state Rep. Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo vowed to use the new law to revamp the structuring of local government.
“With over 7,000 units of local government, it is no surprise that Illinois holds the dubious distinction of having the highest property taxes in the nation,” Franks said. “We are seeing thousands of citizens fleeing McHenry County and Lake County because they can no longer afford to pay the ever-increasing property tax rates. Our communities will never be able to thrive as they once did if this trend continues unabated.”
“This legislative change helps us build on Lake County’s consolidation efforts to improve efficiency of government services and alleviate tax burdens on residents,” Lawlor said. “We recognize that in these tough times, the same old way of conducting our business just doesn’t cut it. That’s why we are leading efforts to save taxpayer money by sharing services, including contracting with municipalities for plan review and inspection service and providing police services at cost for some municipalities. We are also exploring the feasibility of consolidating 911 emergency dispatch centers in the region, which presents tremendous opportunities to improve quality, efficiency, and provide cost savings.”
“We now have the ability to choose a new path,” Franks said. “This new law begins the process of reigning in excessive government. It is now up to us to follow through on the promise to innovate local government. Working together, we can improve our communities.”