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On May 24, Park Forest board members adopted a resolution objecting to proposed cuts to the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF).Just over $200,000 dollars in Park Forest taxpayer funds could be lost should state lawmakers move forward on a proposal to reduce the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF). The result could mean a property tax increase Park Forest leaders hope to avoid.“The LGDF represents 8.7% of the overall operating budget revenue stream for the village. A cut of 10% would be about a $217,000 loss which could cause an even greater tax burden on residents,” said Park Forest Mayor Jonathan Vanderbilt.The LGDF, which is a fund generated from income taxes paid for by local residents and businesses, is collected by the state before it is redistributed back to municipalities. Historically, about 10% of the dollars that go into the LGDF fund come back to municipalities to provide services like police, fire, road repairs, and recreation and parks programming. The State of Illinois enacted the state income tax in 1969. An agreement was made at that time to allow for the establishment of revenue sharing, with local governments receiving a percentage (10%) of total income tax collections through the LGDF. The agreement and percentage share of income taxes collected was in exchange for local governments agreeing not to implement separate local income taxes. In recent years however the state has reduced the LGDF share from 10 to 6.06%.To fill the gap, Park Forest would need to either raise taxes or cut services. Park Forest officials hope neither will be necessary, calling on residents to contact state representatives and senators.“What we’re really urging residents to do is to contact their elected leaders at the state level to impress upon them how critical these dollars are in our community,” said Village Manager Tom Mick. “We can’t afford to lose any dollars.”Restoring LGDF dollars to the traditional 10% level will help relieve the property tax burden in Park Forest and help ensure that basic services remain in place, Mick said.Residents with questions about the LGDF should contact Village Manager Tom Mick or Finance Director Mark Pries at 708-748-1112.
Residents seeking to contact Park Forest-area legislators can do so by calling or contacting the following district office locations:
State Representative Anthony DeLucaOffice: 195 W. Joe Orr Rd. Suite 201, Chicago Heights, IL 60411Phone: (708) 754-7900Fax: (708) 754-7904
State Representative Debbie Meyers-MartinOffice: 813 School Avenue, Matteson, IL 60443Phone: (708) 833-7010Fax: (708) 243-5346State Senator Mike HastingsOffice: 20855 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort, IL 60423Phone: (815) 464-5431State Senator Patrick JoyceOffice: 270 Main Street, Park Forest, IL 60466Phone: (708) 756-0882Fax: (708) 756-0885