CHICAGO—A Batavia resident supporting repeal of the municipality’s home rule taxing powers has filed a complaint with the Ill. State Board of Elections charging that some city officials used public money to attempt to persuade voters to keep home rule.
State law prohibits the use of public money to advocate political positions.
According to the October 8, 2018 edition of the Daily Herald, resident Carl Dinwiddie asked the state board to order the city to cease and desist its activities.
A four-page flyer sent to Batavia households by the city stated that 19 percent of city revenues (other than utility charges) come from taxes tied to its home-rule authority. The flyer warned that if home rule taxing powers are repealed, “…the city would need to raise real property taxes to continue funding existing services and/or discontinue some existing services.”
“This is fearmongering,” said Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of Illinois (TUA), which is working with Batavians For Responsible Government, which advocates repealing home rule.
Dinwiddie also complained that at a Sept. 17 presentation by Batavians For Responsible Government, some aldermen rudely interrupted the meeting, even after other people asked them to be quiet.
A board spokesman said that complaints about campaign financing must be made using a department form. Once a form is submitted, a hearing officer reviews it, hears from both sides and submits a recommendation to the board. The board would then consider it at a regular monthly meeting.