Doubek: How Consolidation is the Answer to Fewer Taxpayers, Flat Revenues

As population drops with tax revenue, counties and other local governments increasingly need to consider consolidation options like they're doing in DuPage County.

Some Illinois government officials are facing tough budgets and flat revenues, and they know turning to taxpayers for more isn’t workable. What do they do? In many counties, the answer has been consolidation.

Somewhat under the radar, 87 out of 102 counties in Illinois have merged the recorder of deeds office with the county clerk office. Another three are working toward it, including Cook County, Winnebago County and McHenry County. Adams County did it in 2004. Tazewell in 2012. McLean in 2013 and Peoria in 2016. In all of those counties, the move was preceded by voters approving the mergers.

Both clerk and recorder offices fulfill record-keeping functions, and the recorder’s office is one of two county offices not mandated by the state constitution. The other is county auditor.

Read the rest of Madeleine Doubek's column at the Chicago Sun-Times.

About the Author

Madeleine Doubek

Madeleine Doubek is an award-winning journalist who spent 32 years covering local and state government and politics. She previously served as publisher of Reboot Illinois. She has won several regional and national journalism awards during her career.