News 4 Investigates: Extra layer of government in Metro East tow - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: Extra layer of government in Metro East town on way to dissolution

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

Some Metro East homeowners will get to keep more money in their pockets next year.

The board of trustees for Belleville Township has reduced the tax levy.  It’s the next step towards completely dissolving what some call a useless layer of government. Belleville Township Trustee Michael Hagberg is one of few public officials who actually wants to put himself out of job.

“It's a form of government that's not needed in today's society,” Hagberg said.

The township is a governmental body that dates back to the 1800's. It does not take care of roads or sewers or manage a police department. In fact, it does very little at all aside from administer some community-based programs.

But the township costs taxpayers big time, almost $500,000 annually. There's an unnecessary amount of overhead, Hagberg says, poured into the building, employees and perks. 

Worse, the township has been overtaxing residents and collecting a surplus.Now, that's coming to an end.

This week, the trustees voted to lower the tax levy by 29 percent.  The township supervisor had wanted to raise it, but that idea was shot down. He didn't return our calls for comment today.

Hagberg says now they'll take the next steps to get rid of the township for good.

“It's going to be a good deal for everybody,” said Hagberg.

Hagberg says they can still provide the services of the community projects, without all the extra overhead.

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