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2012 General Election Ballot Guide: Illinois

ILTX

Statewide Measures

  • ( ) Illinoisans will vote on HJRCA 49, the Illinois Public Pension Amendment, which is intended to make it more difficult to increase benefits for already-generous public sector pensions. Fiscal analysts with the Illinois Policy Institute and other organizations believe that this amend- ment would have a minimal impact on the troubled Illinois pension sys- tem, which is currently plagued by $200 billion in debt. Some have referred to it as the “do nothing” amendment.

Boone County

Countywide Measures

  • ( - ) Boone County voters will decide on a measure that would increase the County’s sales tax rate from 6.75 percent to 7.75 percent. If approved, the tax hike is projected to bring an additional $2.7 million to County coffers annually, most of which would be used to pay off debt that was issued to build Belvidere High School.  These new revenues   would also be used for projects in DeKalb, Winnebago, and McHenry Counties.

Calhoun County

Countywide Measures

  • ( - ) Voters in Calhoun County will weigh in on a 0.75 percent sales tax increase that would be used to fund public safety services.

Cook County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Northfield Township voters will weigh in a measure that would encourage the ratification of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban corporate contributions and expenditures in elections. Citizen activists are concerned that weakening the ability of businesses to par- ticipate in the political process could deprive the fiscal policy debate of important views and thereby give an unfair advantage to those with agendas to expand government.
  • ( + ) Voters in Rolling Meadows City will vote on a nonbinding referen- dum that would privatize garbage and refuse collection. Privatization often results in savings for taxpayers and better delivery of services.
  • ( + ) Tinley Park voters will have an opportunity to vote on a measure that would recommend the implementation of term limits for local elected officials.
  • ( - ) In Arlington Heights, voters will decide on a measure that would issue $39 million in new debt to renovate parks.

DuPage County

Local Measures

  • ( + ) Lombard Village voters will have an opportunity to establish term lim- its for the Village President, Trustees, and Clerk. If the term limit measure passes, these officials could serve no more than 3 consecutive 4-year terms.
  • ( - ) In response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, Warrenville voters will decide on a measure that would declare that corporations do not have constitutional rights and would seek to limit corporate political contributions. Citizen activists are concerned that weakening the ability of businesses to participate in the political process could deprive the fiscal policy debate of important views and thereby give an unfair advantage to those with agendas to expand government.
  • ( - ) If approved by voters, a ballot measure in West Chicago would result in the issuance of $15 million in new debt to build a new community recreation center.
  • (+) A ballot measure in Winfield Village would require the local govern- ment to gain approval from the voters for any new project that costs more than $1 million.
  • ( - ) Winfield Village voters will decide on a measure that would raise lim- its on property taxes, thus doubling the tax rate. The funds would be used for road repairs and police pensions.
  • ( - ) In response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, Lisle Township voters will weigh in on an advisory measure that recom- mends ratification of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution asserting that only individuals are entitled to the rights enumerated by the Constitution. Citizen activists are concerned that weakening the abili- ty of businesses to participate in the political process could deprive the fiscal policy debate of important views and thereby give an unfair advantage to those with agendas to expand government.
  • (+) Voters in the Oak Brook Park District will weigh in on a question that would reduce the term of County Commissioners from 6 to 4 years.

Hancock County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Illini West voters will decide on a measure that would issue $9 million in new debt and raise property taxes to construct a new high school.

Kendall County

Countywide Measures

  • (+) Voters in Kendall County will have the opportunity to approve an advisory measure that would ask for a 20 percent across-the-board cut  in all levies assessed in the County.

Macon County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In Decatur, a measure seeks to double local property taxes to pay for government assistance for people who cannot work due to illness or other issues.

Marshall County

Countywide Measures

  • ( - ) Marshall County voters will weigh in on a proposed increase in the sales tax. If approved, the County sales tax rate would be increased to 7.25 percent to pay for local school facilities.

McLean County

Countywide Measures

  • (+) Voters in McLean County will vote on a measure that would eliminate the County Recorder position and consolidate the functions of that job into the County Clerk position. According to local sources, this could save taxpayers between $46,800 and $100,000 a year.

Peoria County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Chillicothe City voters will decide on a measure that would authorize the City to levy a new tax for ambulance services. The referendum does not specify the new tax rate that would be determined by the City Council if the measure passes.

Sangamon County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) If approved by voters, a referendum in Ball-Chatham would allow the local government to issue $35 million in new debt to pay for renova- tions at 4 schools.

Stephenson County

Countywide Measures

  • ( - ) An advisory measure in Stephenson County will ask voters if they approve of a countywide transit system, which would be funded by local, state and federal taxpayers. Such systems can require substantial taxpayer subsidies and often lead to tax increases.

Vermilion County

Countywide Measures

  • (+) Vermilion County voters will weigh in on a referendum that would authorize the County to sell its nursing home. According to local offi- cials, due to the nursing home’s high operating costs, tax increases may be necessary if this measure is rejected.

Winnebago County

Local Measures

  • Rockford voters will decide on a ballot measure that would extend property tax rates at their current level.
  • ( - ) In Rockford, voters will decide on a measure that would authorize $80 million in new debt, which would be used for school upgrades and renovations. Rejecting this measure would result in a property tax cut beginning in 2014.