Will Co., IL. (ECWd) -
The citizens of Plainfield, Illinois are getting hosed by their Fire Department, and not by a fire hose. Their hard earned dollars collected through local taxes are now being used to buy Christmas presents. When asked what the gift was, they stumbled to answer. When asked what the gift amount was, they stumbled again. When asked who it was dispersed to, they couldn't provide an answer.
Now before anyone says it, NO, we don't hate Christmas. We do however hate the fact elected officials in our public bodies continue to violate the law and spend our tax dollars on things that have nothing to do with the public service obligation they have.
This action was taken by the Plainfield Fire Protection District BOARD OF FOREIGN FIRE TAX, which is governed by the statute below as it relates to where their funding comes from and how it can be used.
(65 ILCS 5/11-10-1) (from Ch. 24, par. 11-10-1)
Sec. 11-10-1. In each municipality or fire protection district, whether incorporated under a general or special law, which has a fire department established and maintained by municipal or fire protection district ordinances, every corporation, company, and association which is not incorporated under the laws of this state and which is engaged in effecting fire insurance in the municipality or fire protection district, shall pay to the foreign fire insurance board or to the secretary of the fire protection district for the maintenance, use, and benefit of the fire department thereof, a sum not exceeding 2% of the gross receipts received from fire insurance upon property situated within the municipality or district.
The purchase of Christmas gifts violates the law as that is not for the maintenance, use, and benefit of the fire department. And for those that will try to imply it is for the benefit of the department, such purchases cannot violate Article VIII Section 1 of our State Constitution.
SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS (a) Public funds, property or credit shall be used only for public purposes.
The purchase of gifts serves no public purpose. Any expenditure of tax dollars to buy Christmas gifts, or any other gifts, violates the law and is an abuse of the taxpayers who are already struggling under a crippling economy.
We will update this article when we receive the receipts and recipient names of these gifts.