River Forest will have a Home Rule referendum in November. This will occur despite the fact that there has been little public discussion of the issue and even less written in the local press. Therefore, voters will be asked to decide an important public issue about which they know little or nothing. What they don’t know is that Home Rule gives local government broad powers to tax, to incur debt, and to promote real estate development. With Home Rule powers, a municipality is not subject to state-mandated property tax caps, can impose a real estate transfer tax, a sales tax on restaurant food and beverages, a gasoline tax, an amusement tax, etc. A variety of Home Rule municipalities have imposed 10 different kinds of taxes on their communities. Citizens interested in learning more may borrow the binder of Home Rule information from the River Forest Public Library or access the library’s website, www.riverforestlibrary.org.

Al Popowits
River Forest

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