Ballots across Illinois include questions about local tax hikes

Ballots across Illinois include questions about local tax hikes

ILLINOIS (IRN) — If you’re headed to the polls with one thing in mind, some county clerks say it’s better to learn what else you’ll be asked to consider, including possible tax increases.

There’s more on the ballot than who’s running for the U.S. Congress, or who is vying to be the next governor or state House representative. There are also countywide races for positions such as sheriff, circuit clerk, recorder and more.

Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray, who’s running unopposed for another term, said there are things on his county ballot that will impact taxpayers’ pocketbooks.

“Probably the two that have been most commonly talked about [in Sangamon County are] if Capital Township should pursue a full merger with Sangamon County and the one percent infrastructure sales tax increase for schools countywide,” Gray said.

Logan County Clerk Sally Turner, who’s retiring after this term, said while turnout is always bigger in presidential elections, she anticipates a slight uptick for the midterm. Turner said there’ll likely be a lot of interest in an area of her county where taxpayers are being asked for a tax increase.

“We’ll see a big turnout in that southeastern area of Logan County because of the bond referenda for Mt. Pulaski school system,” Turner said.

Voters should learn what else is on their local ballots. Another question in Logan County, for example, is a non-binding referendum that would make the county a gun-sanctuary county.

“Shall Logan County become a sanctuary county for all firearms unconstitutionally prohibited by the government of the State of Illinois, for everyone except undocumented immigrants, in that Logan County will prohibit its employees from enforcing the unconstitutional actions of the state government,” that referendum asks.

Turner said early voters have asked her office what the measure means.

“We refer them back to our county board members who were the ones that voted to put that on the ballot to ask for further explanation,” Turner said.

Logan County isn’t alone. Twenty-six of Illinois’ 102 counties have some resolution making the jurisdiction a safe haven for law-abiding gun owners, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

The efforts resemble so-called “sanctuary cities,” where officials vote on resolutions urging local law enforcement not to comply with federal immigration laws. For gun sanctuary counties in Illinois, the resolutions urge local law enforcement not to enforce state or federal gun control measures.

Other issues on ballots across the state include the retention of judges from various districts throughout the state.

Gray encouraged voters to study up and get to the polls.

“From across the board, from the federal, state and the local level there are things that impact you from a very high level, from your pocketbook to social policy,” Gray said.

Your county elections offices or websites should have complete information available about what to expect on the ballot for your precinct.

You can register to vote, and vote on the spot, at your county election office up to and on election day. On election day, more populated counties like Sangamon will have opportunities to register to vote at your polling place. Less populated counties like Logan, election day voter registration can only happen at the main county election office.