On Tuesday, November 6 Beach Park residents will have the following question on their ballot:

Ballot Question

The purpose of this web page is to provide information regarding the definition of home rule in the State of Illinois and how its status affects the Village of Beach Park. It is intended to educate rather than advocate. Visitors are strongly encouraged to check back frequently as content will change and dates for public information meetings will be posted.

What is Home Rule?
Provided in the Illinois Constitution, Home Rule shifts decision making from the State of Illinois (Springfield) to the local community (Beach Park). Home Rule gives local citizens increased ability to find local solutions to local issues. Home Rule communities may exercise a greater range of responsibilities for the welfare of their residents. Home Rule communities are exempt from many of the requirements mandated by State legislation.

How does a community become Home Rule?

  • By population: Communities in Illinois with a population greater than 25,000 automatically have Home Rule authority.
  • By referendum: Communities in Illinois with a population of less than 25,000 may become Home Rule by voter approval via a referendum.

How many communities are Home Rule?

Home Rule is prevalent in Illinois. Currently 215 Illinois communities are Home Rule and a majority of these became Home Rule by referendum. As a result, nearly 80% of all Illinois citizens live in a Home Rule community.

Which communities in our region are Home Rule?

Home Rule Communities

What are the benefits of Home Rule?

Home Rule can help preserve Beach Park's character by:

  • Maintaining and expanding the existing level of public works services
  • Allow for more flexibility with personnel policies and financial planning
  • Ability to opt-out of state legislation that is inconsistent with village needs
  • Enhance the use of Administrative Adjudication to enforce village ordinances
  • Maintaining sound infrastructure of roads, water, storm water, and sanitary systems
  • Allowing Beach Park increased authority to preserve the unique character of the Village through zoning regulations

Home Rule can enhance financial flexibility by:

  • Sustaining the village’s long-term financial stability through fiscally conservative practices
  • Diversifying the village’s revenue streams
  • Responding more quickly and flexibly to the changing market conditions
  • Providing a way for non-residents to pay for the services they utilize when in our community (sales tax, prepared food and beverage tax, gas tax)
  • Managing the village with lower general fund operating reserves
  • Improved bond ratings which lowers borrowing costs

Home Rule can provide local solutions for local needs by:

Opting out of State legislation inconsistent with our community needs

  • Affording increased responsiveness to public issues specific to Beach Park (property maintenance, vacant commercial sites, local enforcement of zoning violations, community development initiatives, flooding, crime free rental housing)
  • Providing for a stronger say in Springfield – nearly 80% of Illinois residents live in Home Rule communities
  • Providing the village with greater autonomy from Springfield

What are the disadvantages of Home Rule?

With Home Rule, local government has more discretion to generate revenue through issuing bonds and by increased taxes, including the ability to implement and raise property taxes above the tax cap.

What about my property taxes?

Unlike the surrounding communities, the Village of Beach Park levies a 0% property tax. In 1987 several people met to discuss the possibility of incorporating Beach Park. After two years of hard work and planning, this small group of people was able to work with the residents to pass a referendum and Beach Park, Illinois became a reality. In 1989 the Village was incorporated.

The village was founded upon the principal that municipal government’s mission should provide a self-sustaining, accessible, business and residential friendly government while assuring the health, safety and welfare of the village as a whole. This mission has not changed.

What about future village boards and/or Mayors? How will residents oversee the use of Home Rule?

  • Participate in village elections
    • 50% of Trustees are elected every 2 years
    • The Mayor is elected every 4 years
  • Participate in Village Board and committee meetings
    • Public comment is encouraged on all agenda and non-agenda items
    • All resolutions and ordinances are published, discussed and acted upon in open session meetings
  • Information about decisions made by the village board is available to residents on this website and at Village Hall
  • The Mayor and Trustees are Beach Park residents, serving as volunteers and personally affected by Village Board actions
  • Voters can file a petition to rescind Home Rule

Check out these other resources about Home Rule: