Many of the recommendations of Governor Bruce Rauner’s “Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force mirror recommendations made by Oak Lawn’s own elected officials and Village Manager over the last couple of years.
Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti chaired the task force which released its full report last week with recommendations for consideration by the Illinois General Assembly. The task force concluded that based on the tax rate compared to property values, Illinois citizens pay the second highest property taxes in the nation. Property taxes are the main source of revenue for schools in Illinois. Other local governments also levy taxes and the task force noted that Illinois has the most “local governments” with 6,963 units of local government.
Those property taxes are distributed statewide with 64% going to schools, 15% to municipalities, 11% to special districts, including park districts, 8% to counties, 2% to townships and less than 1% to the State of Illinois. In Oak Lawn, the village’s share of property taxes is 12% according to the administration.
The task force acknowledged that some of the increases are due to unfunded mandates from the State. The Illinois Association of School boards noted that there have been 145 new unfunded mandates since 1992 on school districts alone.
The task force published the following recommendations: