This Fourth of July, March Against Townships

Sarah Glover

This Fourth of July, patriotic Illinoisans have a chance to march against the most tyrannical form of government ever imposed on this great state: townships.

A group calling itself McHenry Citizens TaxWatch will be marching against townships in this Sunday’s Wonder Lake Fourth of July Parade.

“I just want to get out there and see what results I get,” leader Bob Anderson told the Northwest Herald. Also according to the Herald, "the dozen members who plan to show up will throw candy and hand out signs that say to stop townships."

The McHenry Citizens Tax Watch website lays out the case against townships:

Township Government in Illinois was established in the mid-1800's as a local government to serve a rural society of farmers and settlers. Now, in the 21st century, in an urban society, township government has become an extra layer of government and expense.
 One of the ways to reduce the property tax burden would be to eliminate township government. Townships receive 94% of their revenues from property taxes (as compared to city government's 10% and county government's 40%).
 Illinois has 102 counties. 85 of these have township government; the 17 that do not, are located in the rural and southern part of the state, and instead have county form of government.
 In the United States there are thirty (30) states that do not have township governments. There are no township governments in the southern or western states.

Hear that, Governor Quinn? The fastest-growing, most dynamic states don't have townships. The slowest-growing, most highly-taxed states have this unnecessary middle management layer of government. 

If townships are abolished, TaxWatch recommends transferring property assessments and road maintenance to counties, and eliminating General Assistance (TaxWatch is a conservative organization).

“Abolish Townships” is not a motto with the patriotic resonance of “Don’t Tread on Me” or “I Have Not Yet Begun To Fight,” but it’s close to “No Taxation Without Representation,” since no one who lives in a township knows the names of the trustees, or even how many sit on the board (four).

But they all get paid -- the supervisors as much as $70,000, the road commissioners as much as $87,000. Do you need any more arguments for laying them off?

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