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April 18, 2024

DuPage County Not Forthcoming On Authority To Donate $1 Million In Taxpayer Funds –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 29, 2016

DuPage County, IL. (ECWd) –

After learning of the “DuPage County Human Services Grant Fund“, I tried to find out under what statutory authority the County had to make such donations.

Thinking that Chairman Dan Cronin’s “ACT” Initiative was actually worth more than simply buzzwords (Accountability, Consolidation, Transparency), I submitted two separate Freedom Of Information Act requests (below) seeking whatever authority the county used to justify donating $1,000,000.00 to local non-governmental agencies. No responsive document were provided, instead they claimed I was seeking for them to provide research. I would think they researched everything prior to awarding monetary grants using public funds, and no further research would be required.

For the past several years, DuPage County has donated public funds that amount to around $1,000,000.00 each year. This article is not to say those non-profits are not doing good work, but rather to say we do not believe all of those non-profits are eligible to receive public funds from a county.

The source of the funding, according to page 6 of their slideshow, is sales tax.

There are several paragraphs in the Counties Code explaining what a county can donate to, and they include:

  • supportive service to prevent unnecessary institutionalization of elderly residents, or, for senior citizen services provide social services to elderly residents
  • economic development purposes and promotion of economic development
  • for taxes levied for general assistance for needy persons (placed in a special fund) and used only for the purpose levied, with excess funds allowed to go to County Nursing Home purposes (with other restrictions)
  • for taxes levied for social services of senior citizens (after referendum approval)
  • County Economic Development tax (for counties with less than 100,000 population) (with several restrictions applied)
  • Charitable donations for aid to persons in need of assistance – this is strictly to receive donations and to disperse those donations to those needy persons
  • Grants to Community Action Agencies – who serve residents of the county, with funds received from the “State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972”
  • Youth services bureaus – must be written agreement and used for those under 18 years of age (55 ILCS 5/5-1089)
  • Runaway or homeless youths – (55 ILCS 5/5-1090)

DuPage County Policy (here) and slideshow (here) on the grants explain county requirements an organization must meet prior to receiving a grant – we believe some of these requirements do not match up to the counties code, which we will explain later.

We have requested further information on the grant applications and meetings where these grants were discussed, but you have to ask yourself why they are taxing this million dollars if it is intended to be given away? Why not lower the tax?

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1 Comment
  • Rob Johnson
    Posted at 10:10h, 30 August

    Mr. Cronin’s “ACT Initiative” is simply a slight of hand to try and boost his own darling political profile. If you look into all the “initiatives” forced through by Mr. Cronin, not one of them have saved the taxpayers a dime. In fact, the so called “consolidation” of a fire district and lighting district cost the taxpayers more of their hard earned money than if he just left the districts in place. Worse yet, the “consolidations” were not consolidations at, because a new unit of government had to be formed to take-over the old unit of government.

    It is very disturbing that the people of DuPage County are being misled by the very flawed and self-serving PR Initiative. What the taxpayers want to know is how much has Mr. Cronin increased his payroll on the 3rd floor. Why are so many good employees scrambling to get out of DuPage County and away from Mr. Cronin’s control? How is any of this moving DuPage forward?