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Proposed Laws Would Make Taxing Bodies More Accountable to Tax Payers

State Representatives Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) and Tom Cross (R-Oswego) have introduced three pieces of legislation that would require local governments to be more transparent and accountable to tax payers.

The Village of Glen Ellyn  has recently said it is doing more to increase its transparency with tax payers and residents by updating its website and putting more information, including employee salaries, online.

Now, two legislators are introducing legislation, which would require more transparency from local governments and taxing bodies.

Last week, State Representatives Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) and Tom Cross (R-Oswego) introduced three initiatives with the goal of greater transparency and state and local government accountability to tax payers. 

“With all the well-documented fiscal problems Illinois faces, there are some easy things we can do to increase government transparency and save taxpayer money,” Sandack said in a news release.

The goal of the legislation is to provide every property taxpayer with an annual itemized breakdown of the spending outlays they are billed for to support units of local government; including school districts, municipalities, library and park districts, community colleges and more, according to a news release from the legislators. 

“By adopting these common-sense concepts, taxpayers will not only be able to see how their tax dollars are being spent today – but what their tax and government spending obligations are into the future as well,” Cross said in the release. 

The transparency initiatives would include provisions to:

  • Expand the Illinois Transparency Portal (House Bill 1555) to include all taxing bodies, levies and debts; including pension and retiree health care liabilities and government spending in Illinois;
  • Require a State Debt Impact Note (House Bill 1556) be prepared on all legislation to tax, spend or generate revenue, such as levies and fees;
  • Create an Illinois Review Board (House Bill 1557) to evaluate the taxes, spending, and debt of each taxing body and require the Board to publish the findings for taxpayer review. 

Would you support the legislation and do you think it will make governments more accountable?

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