Illinoisans deserve a local government that is efficient, effective and taxpayer-friendly. However, that is not possible as long as Illinois continues to have a nation-leading structure of 45 types of local government, representing almost 9,000 units. Taxpayers need elected officials who can fix this serious problem, but where are they? Hundreds of candidates were involved in the November election, none made government consolidation or elimination a campaign issue. If Illinois is ever going to be a state that is competitive and viable like Texas, the cost and size of Illinois’ government glut can no longer be overlooked.
There are three types of governments in Texas: county, municipal and special districts.
The 45 types of government in Illinois, a state that has 16,312,853 fewer residents than Texas, are counties, townships, municipalities, airport authority, township cemetery districts, community college districts, conservation districts, drainage districts, electric districts, exposition and civic center authority, fire protection districts, flood prevention districts, forest preserve districts, home equity program, hospital districts, housing authority, joint action water agency, mass transit districts, mosquito abatement districts, multi-township tax assessment districts, museum districts, natural gas agency, park districts, planning districts, port districts, public building commission, public health districts, public library districts, public water districts, rescue squad districts, river conservation districts, township road and bridge districts, road districts, sanitary districts, school districts, soil and water conservation districts, solid waste districts, special recreation districts, street lighting districts, surface water districts, tuberculosis sanatorium districts, water reclamation districts, water authority, water commission and water service districts (source: Illinois’ Comptroller Office). This represents a total of 8,923 units of local government (source: Civic Federation).
Excessive layers of governments are the cause of layered property taxes, bureaucratic redundancies, excessive expenditures, political corruption, abuse of powers and public difficulties to hold officials accountable.