Dupage Policy Journal

Dupage Policy Journal

Sunday, December 15, 2019

DuPage County board member wants to see more county-specific advisory questions on ballot


By Karen Kidd | Aug 27, 2018


DuPage County voters will see three tax-related advisory questions on the ballot this November but the District 2 representative said there should be more.

"If it were up to me I would put the below-referenced questions on the ballot," DuPage County Board Democrat Elizabeth Chaplin told DuPage County Journal.

"DuPage County elected officials are the highest paid in the state,” she said. “Should the residents of DuPage County support a 10-year salary freeze?

DuPage County Board District 2 Member Elizabeth Chaplin

"DuPage County residents pay for the pensions, health insurance and vehicles of the countywide elected officials. Should the countywide elected officials stop taking the taxpayer-funded handouts and fund their own retirement via a 401(k) and pay their own healthcare and vehicle costs?

"DuPage County Board routinely provides no-bid contracts to vendors who donate to their campaigns. Should the residents of DuPage County require that all county contracts be provided to the lowest bid offer via a multiple-vendor bidding procedure?

Those questions are not on the ballot but three other advisory questions were unanimously approved in August by the DuPage County Board.

Those questions are:

"Shall DuPage County oppose the general assembly instituting a property tax increase equivalent to 1 percent of your home's value to help retire state debt?

"Shall DuPage County oppose the creation of a statewide Vehicle Mileage Tax (VMT) which would tax DuPage County citizens based upon the number of miles driven annually?

"Shall DuPage County continue to dissolve and consolidate units of local government to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and increase accountability?"

Chaplin, a Downers Grove resident, has represented District 2 since 2012 and is up for re-election in November. Chaplin is the only Democrat running in District 2.

The Republicans seeking DuPage County District 2 seats are incumbent Peter DiCianni of Elmhurst and Steve Nero of Westmont.

DuPage County District 2 includes parts of Addison, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Villa Park, Westmont and Woodridge.

The DuPage County's ballot question regarding raising property taxes to retire state debt follows a proposal by the Chicago Civic Federation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in April, when a Chicago Federation speaker proposed an across-the-state tax levy. The levy would be a special property assessment estimated at about 1 percent of actual property value each year for the next three decades. That special property assessment would be in addition to current property taxes in Illinois.

Chaplin agrees with Rich Miller’s May 14 article in the Capital Fax where he called the 1-percent tax "political suicide" and that she is uneasy about the three advisory questions placed on the November ballot.

"I questioned the validity of the questions during the Aug. 14 meeting of the DuPage County Board," Chaplin said. "While I agree with my colleagues that allowing our residents a voice via referendum is a good public policy and I voted yes, I would have rather had questions that pertained to DuPage County Government on the ballot."

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DuPage County Board

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Elizabeth "Liz" Chaplin

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