11/28/2014 03:37 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How Can Illinois Trim Its Massive Amount of Local Government Bodies?

With 7,000 bodies of government, Illinois leads the nation by a long shot for number of taxing entities. By contrast, Texas ranks second with 5,000.

Mandy Burrell Booth of the Metropolitan Planning Council asks how the state can consolidate those numbers to be more streamlined and efficient:

How can we change this? How are some communities creatively and efficiently meeting the needs of residents? In the greater Chicago region, we have seen both an increase in collaboration between governments, as well as a growing interest in consolidation. Findings from the Illinois Local Government Consolidation Task Force suggest that consolidation does not always result in cost savings, and that collaboration is challenging to sustain. How do communities choose the best pathway? Are there other routes to improving government efficiency and service quality?

See the rest of her thoughts about government at Reboot Illinois to find out how you can get involved with discussing government consolidation in Illinois.

Beyond Illinois' many local taxing government bodies, the state government also levies an income tax, currently at 5 percent (thought it is set to roll back to 3.75 percent by Jan. 1 if the legislature doesn't extend the current rate). A new report by the National Center for Children in Poverty found that Illinois taxes its low-income residents at a higher rate than almost any other state in the country. More families of four living at the national poverty level have a high state income tax burden in Illinois than every other state besides Alabama, Hawaii and Montana. Find out how the numbers break down at Reboot Illinois.