Paying more in property taxes a disgrace
Updated: July 1, 2012 11:33AM
Now is the time of the year when we receive our property tax bill. While we have prior knowledge of the new assessed value of our property and the opportunity to challenge it, the property tax bill simply gives us the new rates of the taxing bodies with no visibility as to an explanation and justification of the changes.
Your readers and taxpayers deserve more from government officials. From my tax bill, if I’ve calculated these correctly, here are the tax rate increases of various taxing bodies:
County of Lake - +27 percent; County of Lake Pension - +4.7 percent; City of Waukegan - +14.1 percent; City of Waukegan Library - +17.7 percent; City of Waukegan Pension - +6.7 percent; Road & Bridge Libertyville - +2.1 percent; Waukegan Park District - +14.6 percent; Oak Grove School District 68 - +5.0 percent; Oak Grove School District 68 Pension - +16.7 percent; College of Lake County - +10.1 percent; Libertyville High School District 128 - +2.5 percent; Libertyville High School District 128 Pension - +39.1 percent; Forest Preserve +.005 percent; Forest Preserve Pension - +25.0 percent; Township of Libertyville - +11.8 percent; Township of Libertyville Pension - -57.2 percent.
On the surface, many of these rate increases seem ridiculous. Yes, we know that property values and assessments have gone down, and that tax dollars are still required to provide essential government services. However, in the economic times of the past few years, taxpayers have had to tighten their belts and do more with less. Property values and wealth associated with them have greatly decreased. What exactly are our elected officials doing to do economize? Taxpayers deserve clear visibility on this issue and an explanation when gigantic increases are made to such tax rates. There is no better example of why most people do not trust governmental bodies.
Michael D. Tellor,