Home Rule Authority

In 1970, by virtue of a population above 25,000 people, the Village of Palatine achieved home rule status with the passage of the revised Constitution of Illinois. As a home rule community, Palatine has the authority to exercise any power or perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs including, but not limited to, the powers to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety, morals, and welfare, and to license, tax, and incur debt.

Authority & Latitude

Home rule communities have far greater authority and latitude to make their own decisions than non-home rule municipalities. Even though the state of Illinois has granted home rule units flexibility and authority to enact taxes, borrow money, regulate local activities, alter their government structure, and seek innovative solutions to local problems, the General Assembly has imposed several restrictions on the use of home rule powers.

First and foremost, home rule units may not tax income, earnings, and/or occupations, or license for revenue unless authorized to do so by the General Assembly; define or punish for felonies; or incur debt payable from property taxes that matures more than 40 years from the date of issuance. Furthermore, the General Assembly may restrict or pre-empt home rule powers by three-fifths majority vote of the legislature.