Signatures collected to have tax referendum

Thomas Czaja, Editor Homer Horizon
2:26 pm CST November 23, 2015

Beginning this past spring, Will County Board Member and Homer Glen resident Steve Balich began collecting signatures in hopes of adding a referendum to the upcoming March 15, 2016 primary ballot.

The question that Balich aimed to have placed on the ballot is “Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township be required to see voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax levy? Yes Or No”

According to Balich, who was able to gather 2,033 signatures and drop off the petitions to the Homer Township Administration Building on Tuesday, Nov. 17, it is all about ensuring the people are heard.

“We had over 97 volunteers [helping to gather signatures],” Balich said. “When I went out and got half the signatures, everyone signed it.”

Balich hopes the measure will let residents dictate their taxes to a greater extent and said many are frustrated and feel that a continuously increasing property tax levy is inevitable.

“It is your duty to represent the people,” Balich noted of his effort for the referendum. “It is a representative democracy [to represent them on property taxes].”

Balich went on to say it is a nonpartisan issue, as the matter ultimately impacts everyone.

He likewise pointed out that the referendum is also technically an advisory one — meaning taxing bodies can choose to ignore the outcome, even if a majority of voters say “yes” — but that it will nonetheless demonstrate a collective voice and increase influence on final levy decisions that are made.

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