Voters in five Illinois communities soundly rejected efforts to become Home Rule units on Tuesday, underscoring voters’ anxieties that supporting the measure would bring with it higher property taxes.
Real Property Alliance worked in the communities to make sure voters knew that a vote for Home Rule on Nov. 6, 2018, could allow elected officials to raise taxes without first seeking permission from voters. The message resonated in communities which were located in a state with already high property taxes.
The defeat of the ballot initiatives on Tuesday tracks with a dozen defeats of Home Rule in the past three years in municipalities large and small in Illinois.
On Tuesday the unofficial returns showed:
- Lemont voters defeated Home Rule 2,206 to 1,615.
- Prospect Heights voters defeated the measure 2,051 to 1,585
- Beach Park, no votes were 2,828 to 1,304.
- Winthrop Harbor saw the measure squashed by a more than 4-to-1 margin, 2,358 to 526.
- Zion’s Home Rule initiative was defeated 3,780 to 1,685.
Home Rule allows smaller communities with fewer than 25,000 residents to ask voters for permission to let elected officials to make taxation decisions without going directly to voters in a referendum. This historically has allowed taxes and some fees to be implemented which makes it more expensive to live in communities.