Stephen Morris runs for City Treasurer, wants to tell public where tax dollars go

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Born and raised in Peoria, Stephen Morris said he has always been involved in the community, and now he is running for Peoria City Treasurer.

Morris said he will bring efficiency to the office.

“The county treasurer is the repository for property tax receipts. When you get your property tax bill, you see a township collector on the back and a county collector,” Morris said. “But if you send your money to the township collector, which is also the city treasurer in this case, they wire the funds over to the county collector. To me, that’s just a wasted step and that would be the first thing I’d look at fixing.”

He is concerned about the city’s financial future and how much money goes toward city pensions.

“When you reach the point where nearly 100 percent of your property tax receipts are going to public pensions, you’ve got a problem,” Morris said.

He explained if so many tax dollars go towards city pensions, they cannot then be used for things like infrastructure. He named fixing potholes and sidewalks as examples.

Morris said, if elected, he will not accept a pension or any benefits. He also said he would return his salary back to the city.

Although Morris said the duties of the office are to “receive, record and report,” he thinks there should also be an obligation to let the public know where their tax dollars go.

“The office should say ‘here’s how much we brought in in fee receipts, here’s how much we’ve spent, and here’s how much we’re short,'” Morris said.

If elected, Morris will continue to work at an attorney in Peoria.

Illinois voter registration information, including polling locations, can be found here.

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