SWANSEA, Ill. (KMOX) – It’s not exactly on the level of the South leaving the North and sparking the U.S. Civil War, but there is talk of secession in the Metro East.
The village of Swansea is threatening to excise itself from St. Clair Township.
Swansea village trustee Brian Wells pointed out that their resident pay more than a half million dollars in property tax to the Township road district, but the money goes to road repairs in unincorporated areas rather than in Swansea itself.
“And this makes about as much sense as Swansea taxing Belleville or Fairview Heights or O’Fallon for their residents driving on our roads,” according to Wells. “It doesn’t make sense that we’re paying for other people’s nice subdivisions, where they’re getting concrete and sidewalks and all this other good stuff.”
This week the Swansea village board ramped up their public relations campaign by releasing a letter to government officials asking them to either support Swansea’s efforts to secede, or failing that to permit the dissolution of townships like St. Clair.
St. Clair Township Highway Commissioner Jim Hursey said a request of this type would have to go through Illinois’ General Assembly, but he doesn’t see eye to eye with Wells’ point of view.
“I’m trying to equate that to what he’s trying to say,” Hursey told KMOX News. “I live in Swansea. My wife and I don’t have children, we’ve never had children who go to school here, yet I pay taxes that go toward the school district. So can I secede from the school taxes because I don’t have kids? No, it’s my civic responsibility to pay the taxes.”