Tax caps are our only hope for limiting increases

Opinion

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On Dec. 1, I attended the tax outreach meeting at village hall to provide help in appealing our taxes. As the divorced mother of two young children, faced with their total care, I am faced with what is now a $12,000 property tax bill. As Mr. Ali ElSaffar said in your paper, our taxes have increased by 7 percent for the last five years, with no sign of abating.

The first speaker was Don Harmon, our state senator, who said he is a homeowner in Oak Park and also feels the pain. But I remember reading in your paper in the last year or so that Mr. Harmon was the author of a new law continuing the destruction of the tax caps, our only hope for tax control. Mr. Harmon's law says that, throughout Illinois, park districts, whose tax levies are subject to tax caps, can levy additional taxes beyond what the tax caps allow to pay for special recreation. An Internet search led me to find that this led to tax increases for an Oak Park homeowner paying $8,000 in taxes of $75 each year. For me it is more like $115.

In this light, Mr. Harmon's comments were a joke at best and can I use the word "hypocritical?" He's been in office for six years. Our taxes have risen by 45 percent in that time, based on Mr. ElSaffar's figures. Forget about his political allies in Chicago. What has the distinguished Mr. Harmon done for his neighbors except to help gut the tax cap legislation that we all voted for and to help raise our taxes that have made Oak Park unaffordable for people like me?

Joan Slagle
Oak Park

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