Two referenda make it on November ballot

Referenda are non-binding

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

During the Oak Park Township's annual meeting July 21, two advisory referenda regarding taxation and expenditures of Oak Park taxing bodies were added to the November ballot. Posited by citizen Kevin Peppard, the two referenda were approved by the electors, or registered voters in Oak Park.

The referenda are posed in question format, so that Oak Park voters may vote yes or no on the ballot items come voting day Tuesday, Nov. 3.

 Peppard's first referendum proposes requiring that Oak Park taxing bodies get voter approval on capital expenditures: "Shall any capital expenditure of $5 million or more by any local taxing body within Oak Park be subject to a binding referendum for approval or rejection by the voters?" 

The second proposes limiting the operating cash balance of Oak Park taxing bodies and having any excess money returned to taxpayers: "Shall the Operating Cash Balances of local Oak Park Governments be limited to one-half year's Operating Expenses, as measured at the start of the fiscal year, with the excess returned as soon as possible to the taxpayers through temporarily lowered taxes?" 

Both referenda are advisory measures. If passed, Oak Park taxing bodies are not legally bound to adhere to them. Peppard could not be reached for comment.

The annual township meeting was originally scheduled for April, per state requirements, but was canceled due to Governor J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order linked to COVID-19. 

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