Home Rule: Moving Matteson To A Better Tomorrow
Established by the adoption of the 1970 Illinois Constitution, Home Rule shifts greater responsibility and authority for local government decision-making from the state level to the local level. Municipalities with a population of more than 25,000 are automatically Home Rule units, which allows more flexibility in addressing "Bigger Village" matters such as financial, commercial, and industrial issues.
Home Rule is the authority granted to communities that provides a greater level of self-determination, thereby empowering citizens to address local issues at the local level. A municipality with Home Rule status can exercise power and perform most functions unless specifically prohibited by state law.
In contrast, a Non-Home Rule municipality may only exercise powers for which express authority is provided by state law. This means that non-home rule communities are dependent on obtaining grants of authority from the General Assembly and Governor.
Benefits of Home Rule
- A resolution of the Village of Matteson authorizing the elimination of all vehicle sticker fees, except for commercial vehicles, if Home Rule is approved by the electors. (Res No 1266-0322)
- A resolution of the Village of Matteson authorizing a village property tax freeze for homeowners, if home rule is approved by the electors. (Res No 1265-0322)
- A resolution of the Village of Matteson determining that no proposition will be submitted to the electors of the Village of Matteson at the June 28, 2022, General primary election or at any subsequent election, authorizing a real estate transfer tax in the Village of Matteson, if home rule is approved by the electors.
Home Rule FAQ
Q1: How will Home Rule affect property taxes?
A1: The Village Board approved Resolution #1265-0322 which states that the Village cannot increase the property tax levy on residents for 5 years, if Home Rule is passed on the June 25, 2022, Primary Election. The Village intends to use Home Rule status to diversify revenue streams in order to shift the tax burden from property taxes to other revenue sources.
Q2: Will the residential vehicle sticker fee be eliminated?
A2: Residential vehicle sticker fees are allowed under non-Home Rule authority to raise additional funding. The Village of Matteson recognizes the vehicle sticker process can be a cumbersome burden on residents and the impact of the fee is felt entirely by Village residents. Therefore, the Village has passed Resolution #1266-0322 that will eliminate the Village sticker fee, if Home Rule is passed on the June 28, 2022, Primary Election.
Q3: Will the Village impose a Real Estate Transfer Tax?
A3: Even under Home Rule an additional voter referendum is required before a community can impose a real estate transfer tax; however, on April 11th the Board will pass Resolution #1264-0322, that no proposition will be submitted to the electors authorizing a real estate transfer tax.
Q4: Do actions under Home Rule require public notification prior to board decisions?
A4: Yes. Each action requires an Ordinance that is researched, drafted by the Village Attorney, discussed by the Village Board, and then voted on at a later Board meeting.
Q5: Does the money received from property taxes provide adequate funding for streets and water infrastructures?
A5: Despite an increase in population and equalized assessed valuation (EAV) in Matteson, approximately 10% or 10 cents of every property tax dollar that is paid goes to funding the Village services such as Police, Fire, and Public Works, road and water infrastructure. The Village is reliant on many other revenues to fund operations. Home Rule authority will increase the amount of other revenue sources available to fund road and water system improvements reducing the reliance on property taxes.
Q6: Why does the Village want to be a Home Rule community?
A6: Home Rule will provide the Village access to additional tools and flexibility to address the quality of life and nuisance issues that may arise which can help reduce reliance on property taxes. The primary reason why the Village of Matteson can benefit from Home Rule is to obtain additional funding for example (hotel/motel tax fund) to ensure adequate funding for roads, water systems, and other infrastructures. The Village intends to impose a Home Rule sales tax that would be devoted to roads, water systems, and other infrastructures. Home Rule also allows the Village to increase bonding authority/Home Rule sales tax on larger distribution centers.
Q7: What are the benefits of becoming Home Rule?
A7: The following is a list of benefits that would arise from a decision to become Home Rule. These benefits would assist Matteson to reach the community needs:
1. Greater ability to improve growth for the Village.
2. Increase Village's ability to protect property values by streamlining procedures for
property maintenance concerns:
- Provide a new toolbox to create strategies for preserving resources in the "Historic Matteson" District.
- Greater ability to purchase blighted and vacant properties to renovate and sell.
- Allows the Board to consider ordinances to protect residents from unreasonable
rent increases and unfair housing practices.
3. Enhance hiring procedures to employ open positions for Police & Fire Department to
accomplish goals for achieving diversity within the ranks.
4. Increasing the Village bond rating which will reduce the Village's interest rate, thereby
saving taxpayer dollars.
5. Strengthen Matteson's ability to attract and maintain economic development, such as the
redevelopment of the former Lincoln Mall (Market Square Crossing).
Questions and Answers from the Town Hall Meeting: More to follow