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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Utility Tap-On Fee Bill Veto Update

UPDATE:  This bill died for lack of action on the amendatory veto.

Previously, we reported on a bill proposed by the legislature that would restrict the amount that municipalities are authorized to charge for utility connections.  You can review those posts here and here.  After the governor vetoed the bill, the Illinois Municipal League (IML) began working with the legislature to modify the bill.  The IML sent out a message about the status of that negotiation today, summarized below:

SB 3507 (Senator McCarter/Representative Kay) severely restricts the amount municipalities and townships may charge for connecting property to water and/or sewer services.  Specifically, the charge may only be up to 2 months of the estimated annual cost of the charge for supplying the water or sewer service. 

At the request of the IML, the Governor issued an amendatory veto to SB 3507 last August.  This amendatory veto removed municipalities from the bill and left townships as the only units of government affected by the cap.  In the amendatory veto message, the Governor recognized that forcing municipalities to lower tap-on fees would lead to an increase in rates for all users of the system.

Over the past several months, the IML assembled a working group that sought to craft compromise language with Senator McCarter. The goal was to prevent local governments from “abusing” their authority to charge tap-on fees while still preserving local control for those municipalities with “fair and reasonable” tap-on fees.  Although there was agreement on certain points, a full agreement could not be reached. 

With Veto session just days away, it is important to inform your legislators of your position on the bill.  The IML has received no indication about how Senator McCarter will proceed at this time.  If there is a motion to accept the amendatory veto for Senate Bill 3507, the IML will be supportive of this motion.  If there is a motion to override the amendatory veto for Senate Bill 3507, the IML will stand in opposition to that motion. 

Please continue to check the IML website for any updates on this issue.


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