Local pols plan strategy
WCMC wants fair share of income tax
By Steve Metsch
Several hundred elected officials gathered Feb. 8 for a breakfast meeting to discuss the West Central Municipal Conference’s legislative priorities for 2020.
The group, which includes communities in western Cook County and eastern Du Page County, met at Elmcrest Banquets in Elmwood Park. Several congressmen, like U.S. Rep Danny Davis, also attended.
Lyons Mayor and Lyons Township Supervisor Christopher Getty, who chairs the WCMC Legislative Committee, said the most pressing priority involves getting municipalities their fair share of tax revenue money.
This applies to income taxes.
“One that stands out is restoring our local government distributive fund (or LGDF) revenue. The state of Illinois reduced it and we want to fulfill it back to the 10 percent.
State Senator and Bridgeview Mayor Steve Landek has introduced legislation in Springfield designed to restore that funding to the previous 10 percent, Getty said.
“That’s vital. That will help every single community in the state of Illinois. That will help us. We’re obviously not getting the funding we should be receiving, that we once did,” Getty said.
The state several years ago decided to take a share of the 10 percent earmarked toward municipal governments statewide, Getty said.
Getty also likes a proposal to support additional Public Safety Pension Reforms aimed at reducing long-term pension costs that have been placed up on municipalities.
“A bill that would address the pensions, because we have to be 90 percent funded by 2040. We have a legislative proposal that would extend it to 2050. That would be a huge benefit to every municipality … That’s a main priority for us,” Getty said.
Master of Ceremonies Peter Silvestri, Cook County Commissioner in the 9th District, listed the other priorities.
The group wants to eliminate or reduce the administrative fee for local state taxes: “This reminds me of when you go to the ATM and they charge you for using your own money,” Silvestri said.
Also listed is
- increased funding for capital improvements, transportation and planning resources;
- Putting an end to the federal pre-emption of small-cell wireless deployment. The FCC has rules that preempt state and municipalities from regulating such deployment when placed in publicly owned right of way;
- Support non-home rule sales tax that would be in 0.25 percent increments not to exceed 1 percent without the need of referendum approval;
- enact legislation that would define and clarify catastrophic injuries.
The WCMC has 35 towns or villages, and two townships in its ranks, including Brookfield, Countryside, La Grange, La Grange Park, Lyons, McCook, Summit and Willow Springs.
There are 15 associate members, including Morton College, Brookfield Zoo and the West Suburban Water Commission.
Getty was “very happy” by the large turnout “and all the different communities represented.”
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