In addition to voting for their candidates of choice, Illinois residents will have a chance to weigh in on various referendum questions using their ballots in the 2020 general election.
This election, there is one statewide vote on all ballots in Illinois as well as several referendum questions that are specific only to certain jurisdictions like townships or school districts – meaning they will appear only on ballots of voters who live in those areas.
To be prepared before you cast your ballot, here’s a look at the proposals appearing on ballots across suburban Cook County —
ALL OF ILLINOIS (AMENDMENT TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION)
- Proposed Amendment to the 1970 Illinois Constitution
Explanation of Amendment
The proposed amendment grants the State authority to impose higher income tax rates on higher income levels, which is how the federal government and a majority of other states do it. The amendment would remove the portion of the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution that is sometimes referred to as the “flat tax,” that requires all taxes on income to be at the same rate. The amendment does not itself change tax rates. It gives the State the ability to impose higher tax rates on those with higher income levels and lower tax rates on those with middle or lower income levels. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become a part of the Illinois Constitution.
SUBURBAN COOK COUNTY
- Elk Grove Township, Abolish Road District: Shall the Road District of the Township of Elk Grove be abolished with all of the rights, powers, duties, assets, property, liabilities, obligations, and responsibilities being assumed by the Township of Elk Grove?
- Lyons Township, Carbon Fee: Shall the U.S. Congress pass legislation to place a carbon fee on fossil fuel producers, where the collected revenue is given equitably to American households, incentivizing businesses and consumers to reduce climate disrupting emissions, encourage the transition to clean energy, and protect our economic well-being?
- Oak Park Township, Capital Expenditures: Shall any capital expenditure of $5 million or more by any local taxing body within Oak Park be subject to a binding referendum for approval or rejection by the voters?
- Oak Park Township, Operating Expenses: Shall the Operating Cash Balances of local Oak Park Governments be limited to one-half year’s Operating Expenses, as measured at the start of the fiscal year, with the excess returned as soon as possible to the taxpayers through temporarily lowered taxes?
- City of Calumet City, Mayoral Modifications: Shall the Municipal Code of the City of Calumet City, Cook County, Illinois be amended to adopt and incorporate the following requirement applicable to all persons seeking nomination or election to, or who hold, the office of Mayor of the City of Calumet City at the February 23, 2021 Consolidated Primary Election and each election thereafter: No person shall be eligible to seek nomination or election to, or to hold, the office of Mayor of the City of Calumet City if, at the time for filing nomination papers, that person also holds an elected, paid office created by the Constitution of the State of Illinois?
- City of Calumet City, Modify Term Limits: Shall the Municipal Code of the City of Calumet City, Cook County, Illinois be amended to adopt and incorporate the following modifications to term limits for the office of Mayor of the City of Calumet City to be effective prospectively to all persons elected to the office of Mayor at the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Election, and at each election thereafter: No persons shall be nominated or elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Calumet City after that person has held the said office for three (3) or more full, four (4) year terms?
- Village of Crestwood, Home Rule: Shall the Village of Crestwood become a Home Rule Unit?
- Elk Grove Village, Cannabis Sales: Shall the Village authorize the Sale of adult use “recreational cannabis” (marijuana) within guidelines established by the State of Illinois and the Village of Elk Grove?
- Elk Grove Village, Video Gaming: Shall the Village limit the number of video gaming locations in the Village?
- Elk Grove Village, Yard Waste Collection: In the Village’s upcoming residential waste and recycling agreement, should the Village consider charging all residents an increased rate for unlimited yard waste collection in lieu of yard waste stickers?
- Village of Flossmoor, Issue Bonds: Shall the Village of Flossmoor, Cook County, Illinois, issue General Obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $10,000,000, said bonds bearing interest at not to exceed the rate of 9.00% per annum, for the purpose of paying the costs of the following infrastructure improvements throughout the Village: street reconstruction, street resurfacing and sidewalk improvements; and storm sewer system improvements including those related to the Flossmoor Road viaduct, and expenses related thereto?
- Village of Mount Prospect, Cannabis Sales: Shall the Village of Mount Prospect allow the sale of adult use recreational cannabis and related uses within the laws established by the State of Illinois and the Village of Mount Prospect?
- City of Northlake, Alcoholic Beverages: Shall the City of Northlake allow the serving and consumption of alcoholic beverages at gas stations within the City of Northlake?
- City of Northlake, Electric Vehicles: Should the City of Northlake consider the purchase of electric vehicles provided that such purchase does not increase the cost of any vehicle by more than ten percent (10%)?
- City of Northlake, High School District: Should the City of Northlake assist with efforts to detach that portion of Northlake lying south of North Avenue from Proviso Township High School District 209 so that the entire City will be in the same high school district?
- Village of Orland Park, Term Limits: Shall the terms of office for those persons elected to the offices of Village President, Village Trustee and Village Clerk in the Village of Orland Park at the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Election and at each election for any of such offices thereafter, be limited such that no person so elected may serve more than three (3) full four (4) year terms in the same office?
- City of Park Ridge, Cannabis Sales: Shall the City of Park Ridge allow the retail sale of adult use recreational cannabis products at dispensary businesses licensed by the State of Illinois?
- Village of Richton Park, Appoint Clerk: Shall the Office of the Village Clerk for the Village of Richton Park be appointed by the Village President, with the advice and consent of the Village Board of Trustees, rather than being elected, to be effective upon the expiration of the term of office held by the current Village Clerk?
- Village of Westchester, Issue Bonds: Shall bonds in an amount not to exceed $42,000,000 be issued by the Village of Westchester, Cook County, Illinois, for the purpose of paying costs of street, alley, sewer and related improvements throughout the Village and expenses incidental thereto, said bonds bearing interest at a rate not to exceed 5% per annum?
- Village of Western Springs, Cannabis: Shall the Village of Western Springs allow cannabis businesses to operate within the Village of Western Springs?
- Village of Wilmette, Cannabis Sales: Shall the retail sale of adult use recreational cannabis be permitted within the Village of Wilmette at a business licensed by the State of Illinois?
- School District 79, Issue Bonds: Shall the Board of Education of Pennoyer School District Number 79, Cook County, Illinois, alter, repair, equip, improve and build an addition to the existing school building, including, but not limited to, constructing improvements for life safety, aging infrastructure, mechanical and plumbing systems, bathrooms and drinking fountains and constructing and furnishing a STEM lab, and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $10,900,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?
- School District 113A, Increase Limiting Rate: Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A, Cook and DuPage Counties, Illinois be increased by an additional amount equal to 0.2900% above the limiting rate for school purposes for levy year 2019 and be equal to 2.124% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2020?” 1) The approximate amount of taxes extendable at the most recently extended limiting rate is $22,112,851 and the approximate amount of taxes extendable if the proposition is approved is $25,609,431. 2) For the 2020 levy year the approximate amount of the additional tax extendable against property containing a single-family residence and having a fair market value at the time of the referendum of $100,000 is estimated to be $96.57 for DuPage County and $84.56 for Cook County. 3) If the proposition is approved, the aggregate extension for 2020 will be determined by the limiting rate set forth in the proposition, rather than the otherwise applicable limiting rate calculated under the provisions of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (commonly known as the Property Tax Cap Law).
You can also find the questions on Chicago voters’ ballots here.