Letter to the Editor | Suggestion to cut costs misguided

Letter to the Editor | Suggestion to cut costs misguided

As the executive director of the Township Officials of Illinois, I would like to respond to a recent editorial titled "Another shot at reducing size of government."

Suggestions that consolidating or eliminating units of township government would reduce costs are drastically misguided. Indeed, doing away with townships may result in work that is less efficient and more expensive — the exact opposite of what the taxpayers we serve deserve.

Instead of relying on rhetoric, let's look at the data. An analysis by public policy researcher Wendell Cox discovered that smaller, local governments have lower costs per capita than larger governments.

He found that in Illinois, the smallest local governments generally spent half as much per capita as those with local governments of populations between 10,000 to 250,000 residents.

If core township services, including property assessment and road maintenance, were folded into larger government units, we run the risk of increasing costs to taxpayers due to their higher cost structures.

There is no question that Illinois is facing difficult times, and reform is greatly needed to fix our state's massive budget deficit. Simply calling out random units of government for reconfiguration does not properly serve the people of Illinois and does not successfully fix any of Illinois' financial pains.

BRYAN E. SMITH

Township Officialsof Illinois

Springfield

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