Too many taxing bodies in Illinois to easily count them

How many taxing bodies are in Illinois?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Anyone who gazes at a property tax bill realizes Illinois is awash in local government: townships, school and park districts, road and bridge agencies, community colleges, police and fire departments, and a collection of water, housing, cultural, cemetery, and even mosquito abatement districts. The Cook County treasurer’s website lists eight taxing districts for Chicago, 11 for Winnetka, and 10 each for Norridge and Hodgkins.

There are so many entities that even the experts differ on their number. The Civic Federation, which charts government spending and claims to have done the most exhaustive search, says Illinois has 8,923. That’s higher than the 6,032 tally from the Illinois Policy Institute and the 6,918 listed in a 2017 U.S. Census Bureau report — 2,000 more than second-place Pennsylvania.

Americans like local government. Do they like local government this much? Perhaps the presence of this many taxing bodies in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and other states is the answer: “yes they do.”

However, it seems like it should be easier to count the number in Illinois. The state government itself does not keep track? How could the Civic Federation and the Census Bureau differ by roughly 2,000 taxing bodies? While the rest of the article goes on to detail how difficult it is to consolidate these governmental bodies or to eliminate them, having an accurate count might be an important start.

One thought on “Too many taxing bodies in Illinois to easily count them

  1. Pingback: I received no shortage of political mailers this year and the only thing they may have helped with was name recognition | Legally Sociable

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