Merrionnette Park residents will go to the polls March 20 to cast ballots on a Home Rule ballot measure that could strip voters of the ability to have direct say on property tax levels and the implementation of new fees.
The municipality is one of three Home Rule races that Illinois REALTORS® is watching this election cycle. The association’s members are also battling referenda in Rockford and Homewood.
Mailers are asking Merrionette Park residents to closely examine the impact Home Rule could have on property taxes.
Home Rule allows elected officials to bypass voters when asking for permission to raise property taxes. Communities with more than 25,000 residents are automatically considered Home Rule communities, but municipalities such as Merrionnette Park must ask voters for permission to become Home Rule units.
Becoming a Home Rule community has resulted in higher property taxes for residents. That’s because there are no property tax caps in a Home Rule community.