The ON TO 2050 vision of a prosperous, inclusive region will require renewed collaboration and focused investment for addressing today’s challenges and adapting to tomorrow's.
Each level of government has a role to play, from funding and assistance by the State of Illinois and counties, to increased coordination by transportation and stormwater management entities. Local governments are already taking steps to improve efficiency and share resources, often uniting to pursue economic development and other mutual objectives. For our region to thrive, these efforts should expand to include coordination across more issues and jurisdictions.
Implementing ON TO 2050 will depend on collaboration across jurisdictional lines, highly efficient investment based on measurable outcomes, and a focus on helping all units of local government build the capacity necessary to provide basic services and implement their plans.
State funding plays a crucial -- yet quite uncertain -- role in the region’s ability to invest in infrastructure and support local government services. A more modern tax system, a long-term plan to pay for obligations, and transparent, data-driven budgeting and programming can improve the state’s near-term fiscal condition and long-term outlook. It can also bolster local governments, whose ability to serve the public is impeded by funding constraints.
The following map shows the differences in municipal revenues across the region. Without adequate resources, many have been forced to defer projects and eliminate staff. By working together effectively across borders, the region’s governments can stretch their limited funds to provide the services and infrastructure that residents and businesses require. This can include sharing or consolidating services, as well as consolidating governments in some cases, to improve public services and increase efficiencies.
State and local governments -- along with transit agencies -- need the fiscal, technical, and administrative capacity to function effectively. With proper funding and support, the State of Illinois and local governments will be able to implement performance-based decision making, improve asset management, and leverage new technology for better services and infrastructure.
This chapter describes recommendations to promote:
- Inclusive Growth through tax policy reforms and technical assistance to communities.
- Resilience through improved long-term finances and increased collaboration across jurisdictions.
- Prioritized Investment in services and infrastructure through data-driven decision making.