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Township bill up for committee vote

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The Executive Committee of the State Senate is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on legislation that would provide a way for voters to abolish the office of township assessor.

Senate President John Cullerton filed amendments to a pending bill, SB 171, today that would let the town board of an individual township, or township residents by petition, place a referendum question on the ballot asking whether the assessor's office should be continued.

Senator Jeff Schoenberg of Evanston, who has filed more far-reaching legislation at the request of Evanston officials to authorize referenda in individual townships for the complete abolition of the township's government, is a member of the committee that's to hold the hearing at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Bryan Smith, the executive director of the Township Officials of Illinois has sent an alert to the group's membership urging them to oppose the legislation.

Cullerton's proposals would also permit the abolition of the position of township highway commissioner through a similar process. That's a position that does not exist in Evanston Township. Under SB 171, if the township assessor's office was eliminated, its duties would be taken over by the county assessor.

S.B. 171 does not address the office of Township Supervisor or its role in providing general assistance benefits.

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