Did you know that a portion of what you pay each year in state income tax is returned to your local municipality, in this case the City of Wheaton? For 2021 Wheaton received back from the Local Government Distributive Fund, or LGDF, almost $7.0 million, or approximately $131 per resident. Originally, with the establishment of the state income tax in 1969, 10% of income tax proceeds were to be allocated to municipalities annually through the LGDF. Since 2011, this allocation has been reduced to its current level of 6.06%. That’s a 40% reduction in the LGDF percentage. In 2021, this reduction in funding percentage has cost Wheaton—based upon current dollars—approximately $4.6 million, or roughly $86 per resident. At the same time, the state has forced cities and towns to help fund new and existing state mandates, putting an additional burden on local budgets.
Why does LGDF matter to me?
Each citizen should care about the distributions, because they are used to finance local services. These services are pillars of the community that help keep our neighborhoods safe and strong, such as fire and police protection, road maintenance, pension funding, and much more. When the distribution amount we receive from the state is reduced, these essential services have to be funded in different ways, including real estate tax increases. In effect, our residents pay twice.
What can I do to help?
This is an issue that affects every resident in every city, town and community in Illinois. Vocalize your concerns about the distributions with Illinois State Senators and State Representatives. Tell them you support restoring LGDF funding to municipalities to what it used to be—10 percent. Ask them to spread the word and encourage their colleagues to do the same. Urge them to champion local communities in Springfield. The contact information for our Wheaton representatives below.
Please help us restore the full funding of the LGDF.