Some Illinois cities could take a huge financial hit

UPDATED: May 22 at 7:15 a.m.

The Quincy City Council is holding its cash tight in anticipation of possible cuts from the State of Illinois.

Board members tabled three proposed expenditures last night including repairs to fire hydrants.

You'll recall the Illinois General Assembly is considering a bill that would highjack funds generated by the personal property replacement tax to go towards rescuing its failing pension system for teachers. That's a tax corporations pay to local governments.

That would cut nearly $3 million dollars or ten percent from Quincy's budget.

Quincy Mayor John Spring plans a second trip to Springfield tomorrow to testify against the cuts.


Original Story: May 18

Illinois lawmakers are debating a bill that could change the face of the way cities, towns, school districts and other taxing bodies get funds from the state.

What lawmakers are considering could fuel massive cuts to revenues generated by corporate personal property replacement tax or what is otherwise known as CPPRT.

"You can't keep just passing your problems onto municipalities and that's what they're doing here," Quincy Mayor John Spring said.

Spring is referring to a plan being floated by Illinois State Representative and House Speaker Mike Madigan that could drastically cut a funding source that has been around for decades.

The idea by Madigan is to plug the funding gap in the teacher retirement pension system with money that is in the CPPRT fund.

Some say the gap in the teacher retirement pension system is due partly because the state hasn't kept their end of the bargain up when it came to funding their share of the retirement plan. Other's though disagree with that idea.

But it's an idea that isn't sitting well with local political leaders.

"And to try and sweep these funds away from your cities, away from your school districts, your park districts, community colleges and counties. To solve this problem, all you're doing is shifting problem onto the local folks that are not going to be able to handle this," Spring said.

Spring said the city would lose about $3.1 million dollars in this year's budget if the State of Illinois does approve the measure to take money from the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax. If that does happen, the end result would see what some consider to be draconian cuts in city services.

" I know the importance of police and fire, but we would probably have to make changes in those departments. Probably look at closing a couple of fire stations and we would have to reduce our patrol officers as well as our firefighters," Spring said.

And that's something Spring doesn't want to do. He hopes the amendments are defeated and that lawmakers find another way to fill the pension fund shortfall.

The mayor also said if all of the amendments on House Bill 3637 become law, all of the taxing bodies in Adams County would see a cumulative funding cut of about 10 million dollars in just one year.

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