Wheaton Mayor Phil Suess recently met with leaders of the regional COGs to discuss shared advocacy efforts for the final weeks of the spring legislative session. With unanimous consensus, the group drafted a letter urging legislators to support municipalities by increasing the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF). It also encourages giving permission for local governments to reinstate the grocery tax if it is eliminated. The letter was signed by the presidents of 10 COGs, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and Illinois State Association of Counties.

Since 1969, the LGDF has been there as a stable, consistent means by which essential services could be provided to the community. From 1993 through 2011, 10% of the total income tax collected was dedicated to the LGDF, but by 2017 the rate had been cut to 6.06%. This is funding that is critical to local municipalities. The Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) was increased to 6.47% in the FY2024 budget, however more needs to be done to support the needs of local governments.

At a meeting at Elmhurst University on Monday, May 20, more than four dozen mayors, village presidents, and a variety of local leaders advocated for change. The group, which represents more than 4 million suburbanites, called on the Illinois General Assembly to raise the Local Government Distributive Fund and roll back multiple unfunded mandates passed in the last decade.

“Each one of us here, and every other citizen in the State of Illinois, relies on the critical services provided by local governments,” Phil Suess, Wheaton Mayor, and President of The DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference, said during Monday’s meeting. “We are here this morning to reach out to our partners in the General Assembly and urge them to work with us to prioritize continued investment in our communities.”

See meeting video, below.