By John Hubbuch
I got around to reading some of the comments to my column "Stop Whining about Oak Park's taxes" (July 25). I was pleased to get so many reponses. I suppose if you write a purposefully provoc ative column you will get some strong responses, but I must admit to being disappointed in the failure of almost all the comments to respond to the content of my column which sought to draw a distintion between high taxes and too high taxes. I pointed out that our taxes are high because the voters pass referenda; there are additional governmental costs due to our proximity to Chicago's west side and that the community has high expectations of its government. Our taxes have been high for a long time, and anyone that has moved here in the last ten years should have been aware of the taxes. Hardly any of the comments addressed any of my points.
Instead some were upset that I told the complainers to move if the taxes were too high, or that I was somehow interfering with their free speech rights. One person accused me of being a poor journalist. All I can say is I watched Walter Cronkite, and I am certainly no journalist.
So I still believe that our taxes are high , but not too high. So whiners I must ask: what should your property taxes be? Just like in school when you graded your own essay, I'd be interested in what you think your property taxes should be? If you pay $10,000 a year, should those taxes be $8,000? $6,000? How were they computed? Do you void referendum results? What should teacher salaries be? Where do you make cuts? And how much would those cuts reduce property taxes? What towns have the same property base, quality of services and expectations , yet have significantly lower taxes? Evanston? LaGrange? Hyde Park?
Now if you really felt strongly you could run for office or work on an anti-referendum campaign-- actually do something about your property taxes. Or you could just keep complaining about your property taxes. Along with the weather.
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