Our View: The best reason to vote Tuesday is your property tax bill

Take a look at your property tax bill. Go ahead, we’ll give you a moment.

Welcome back. Take a look at all the taxing bodies on the bill: School district, community college, municipality, township, library district. And maybe there is a special taxing district. There are few things in your life that aren’t affected by some local governmental body, and that all adds up to thousands of dollars to be spent on education, repairing and plowing streets, fire and police protection, and buying books. The local taxing bodies also create and enforce local ordinances.

On Election Day, Tuesday, April 6, you can vote for whom you want to make the decisions on how your tax money is spent in the next two to four years. That’s a lot of responsibility that’s placed in people who are your neighbors, so it’s important you have your say.

These local elections have more impact on your daily life and your pocketbook than any other election, including governor, Congress and president.

But when it comes to turnout on Election Day, presidential races still rule. In 2016, election turnout in Illinois was 68.9%. In 2020, it was 72.1%.

In comparison, turnout for local races ranges from 20% to 40%. When you consider what’s at stake for your daily life, that has to be disappointing and leads to a lot of excuses.

Maybe one excuse is that you haven’t paid attention to the races. We have an answer to that. We provide readers with a powerful election tool: Election Central. Election Central has information on local races on your ballot, election questionnaires answered by the candidates and how to find your local precinct, among other important information.

Readers also can find on our websites recent coverage of key issues in the campaigns, as well as candidate forums. Spend some time on Election Central and you will feel more comfortable as you head into the election booth.

And if you need another reason to vote, think about the people who fought for or still fight for your right to have a say on who represents you. Last year, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement and the 19th Amendment, which declares “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

So, please, make time to vote on Tuesday, April 6.