Township Duties, and why they should be Abolished

By state statutes, townships are given only three mandated duties:

  1. Property Assessment
  2. Roads
  3. General Assistance

Property Assessment

Property assessments, as it is done in most states, should be performed by county government. Township assessors are quietly elected, and once in office, have lifetime employment. Illinois has 1,433 individual township assessors where property assessments are not assessed equally from township to township. Property assessments from the county would enable the County Chief Assessment Officer to hire certified real estate appraisers who would know true property values.

Roads

Township roads should be incorporated into municipal and county road systems. Over the years, due to annexations, the number of miles in township road districts have declined. Township road crews travel over village, town, city and county roads to reach a township road. Township road districts have evolved into costly and inefficient systems.

General Assistance

General Assistance should be eliminated. There are only twenty (20) states that have township government. Of the twenty township states , Illinois, Indiana and New Jersey are the only ones who have this aid program.

Note: Townships also offer permissive but optional services. These discretionary services might include senior and youth services, garden clubs, bingo, spelling bees, computer classes and the issuing of fishing licenses or passports.

Township permissive services are not state mandated and they are one hundred (100) percent duplicative of municipal, county, and state governments in addition to the private sector. Township permissive services are "make-you-feel-good" services at high taxpayer cost and should be eliminated. For example, a few townships offer costly senior bus services. Township involvement in the "make-you-feel-good" programs and services is done to secure their existence.

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