* Carbondale prepares for the worst case scenario…
The Carbondale City Council could pass its 2016 fiscal year budget tonight.
The budget includes a 0.25 tax increase as an insurance policy against looming cuts in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed state budget. Carbondale’s budget also has an anticipatory 15 percent budget cut built into it. […]
Carbondale City Manager Kevin Baity said, if the cuts are more than 15 percent, the city must come up with more revenue. […]
Baity said the budget proposed general fund is balanced with revenues exceeding expenditures by $9,469, and it is set up so the city did not have to cut any essential services.
* Mayors all over the state are gearing up to oppose the governor’s proposed FY 16 cuts…
Mayors from Downers Grove, to Lynwood to Hanover Park, complained that they already made drastic cuts that lawmakers in Springfield failed to make in the years following the recession and the housing bubble burst.
Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully said the state now wants to dip into a $1.2 billion Local Government Distributive Fund, money that covers 10 percent to 15 percent of local municipality budgets and are dedicated to essential services such as police, fire, garbage and snow removal. They launched a new website, ProtecttMyTown.com, for residents to quickly send letters to state lawmakers or the governor’s office about the potential impact of the cutbacks. Rauner’s proposed cuts were part of his plan to deal with a $6 billion shortfall after allowing the state’s income tax increase to expire. […]
“I’m gonna tell you, it’s like the state’s failing, and they want to take the municipalities down with them,” said [Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig]. “I’m not going to stand for that.”
* The form letter…
I support ensuring that local tax dollars remain in my community to pay for essential needs like adequate police and fire protection, street repairs, snow removal, garbage collection and many more services that I rely on my municipality to provide every day.
Proposals to divert this revenue away from municipalities unfairly shift the tax burden onto my community and directly onto local taxpayers like me.
It’s a no-win situation for municipalities that don’t want to impose severe cuts in services that we have paid for and expect, or to increase property taxes to make up for the lost revenue. Either of these outcomes would negatively impact our communities and our quality of life.
Our community has been fiscally responsible and balanced its budget every year. I urge you not to shift an additional tax burden onto my community.
Thank you for your consideration and for registering my comment in opposition to reducing the Local Government Distributive Fund and other revenues rightly intended for use by local governments to provide essential services in their communities.
* Riopell has more…
The effort is backed by several prominent mayors’ groups statewide, including the Northwest Municipal Conference and DuPage Mayors and Managers, showing they’ll be fighting the proposal hard for the next month.
They’re up against dozens of other interests all working to protect their share of the state’s tight budget. Mayors preserved their share in a short-term spending fix approved by lawmakers earlier this month.
But that came at the expense of schools and human services programs. Perhaps most notably, Rauner cut spending for a key autism program, a move that has been the subject of pointed questions from lawmakers.
“Overspending and insider deals put in place by career politicians have created a $6 billion budget hole while the amount of money transferred to local governments over the last decade has skyrocketed by 42 percent,” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said in a statement. “The status quo is broken and unsustainable.”
* Charles Thomas…
Criticizing the new governor puts most of these officials in a difficult place politically. Rauner, who promised to shake up state government, won the collar counties by overwhelming margins last November.
“We want to see where this all pans out. Right now we’re facing a clear and present danger,” said Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully.