Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Cabello introduces home rule limits in statehouse

McNamara questions why Springfield doesn’t make same requirements of itself

ROCKFORD – State Rep. John Cabello introduced a bill which has become an annual event for the Machesney Park Republican, seeking to limit the ability of home rule cities to raise or impose new taxes.

Cabello’s bill would put any local tax plan in a home rule city up for referendum, a move state Republicans have repeatedly pushed in communities and government bodies around Illinois.

But it’s not a response to the city’s efforts to return home rule to Rockford for the first time since 1983, Cabello told the Register Star. He’s proposed similar legislation dating back five years.

None of those bills have made it out of the House Rule Committee, and it’s unlikely this year’s package will either.

Mayor Tom McNamara, reached Wednesday night, questioned Cabello’s maneuver, saying legislators in Springfield routinely impose new taxes on state residents without putting them up for a vote. Illinois saw a 60 percent uptick in its income tax as a part of last year’s budget deal, the state’s first full-year budget plan enacted since fiscal year 2015.

Critics of home rule have put forth similar proposals since the campaign to return to powers to the city began in earnest.

On Monday, council reviewed and discussed a series of self-limiting ordinances that would further define what officials could implement with home rule, assuming it passes that March 20 ballot. R.

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