Rockford voters will have a big decision to make on March 20 as they get to vote to  choose whether to bring back home rule to the Forest City.

Back in 1983, by referendum, Rockford voters took away Home Rule from Rockford City council, citing endless property tax increases.

While Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara and other politicians are endorsing the idea and encouraging a 'yes' vote, others have lined up against the plan. On Tuesday, the Rockford Area Realtors came out against the idea and are asking Rockford votes to cast a 'NO' vote.

In a statement issued,  the organization cited four reasons against Home Rule:

1. Home Rule taxes disproportionately hurt working and low income families hardest. Home Rule allows municipalities to borrow as much as needed
and raise m any taxes, all without direct voter input
This means more costs for residents, especially senior citizens and middle to low income households who struggle to pay current taxes.


2. Home Rule cities across Illinois have suffered from risky ventures. A study by the Chicago Tribune found that numerous cities have gotten deep in to “big debt”
over projects. .Home Rule “power can be used to benefit the politically connected, nearly bankrupt towns and stick a generation with IOUs for which they had no direct say”
according to the newspaper.


3. Illinois’ Home Rule lacks fundamental checks and balances. Residents in Home Rule municipalities have little chance to vet new taxes.


4. Home Rule taxation possibilities are virtually endless. Home Rule City Governments can enact a multitude of taxes including food and beverage, medical appliance,
gasoline and sales tax.

Mayor Tom McNamara, a proponent of Home rule, stopped by Q98.5 to explain the positives of bring back home rule to Rockford

Advocates on each side of the ballot measure have set up social media pages where you can get more information on Home Rule.

IN FAVOR of Home Rule, click HERE.

AGAINST Home Rule, click HERE.