Allows for the dissolution of drainage districts
Legislation aimed at reducing the amount of unnecessary drainage districts and saving property tax dollars passed the Senate on Wednesday, March 27. State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods), sponsor of Senate Bill 90, said his legislation provides a reasonable way for drainage districts to be absorbed by municipalities.
“What we have seen in suburban areas over the past few decades is that more and more areas that were once agricultural land are now being developed into subdivisions and commercial tracts” said Sen. McConchie. “Drainage districts served to keep ditches clear of debris and improve farm land, but now, their services could easily be merged with another unit of government.”
Sen. McConchie also noted that many of these developed residential areas are still paying taxes to a drainage district, even though they are now part of a municipality that may already be taking on the drainage responsibilities.
Senate Bill 90 outlines the petition process for a drainage district to be dissolved and allows the drainage district to be taken over by a municipality if that municipality accounts for at least 75 percent of a drainage district’s territory. SB 90 also requires both the municipality and the county in which the drainage district lies to pass an ordinance with specific criteria for carrying out the dissolution.
Current law allows drainage districts to dissolve but there is no process in place for another unit of government to take over legal responsibility for drainage.
SB 90 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.