Park referendum is just 'unbelievably greedy'

Opinion

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It has apparently taken Park Commissioner Mr. Tom Philion less than 2 years to become the typical Oak Park political figure, condescending and arrogant ("Quality parks for the price of a digital camera," March 2).

Dear Mr. Philion, years ago I gave up a pizza a month for District 97. Then I gave up a movie a month for District 200. I don't own a digital camera because I can't afford one, and I certainly can't afford a new one "every year." Even if I was given one I couldn't use it because my computer is 1994 vintage. I can't afford a new computer either. As for property taxes, don't drown me in your crocodile tears. Like all my neighbors in north Oak Park I pay over $10,000 in taxes. You live in "Little Austin," a block from Chicago. Not to get personal, but according to the Cook County Treasurer website you and your board members average $6,570 in taxes. Two of the five pay less than $5,600.

You don't, you can't imagine the pain and suffering I feel when?#34;after paying property taxes, state and federal income taxes, the water bill, state license plates, Oak Park vehicle sticker, dog tags, and the 15 percent taxes on our phone, gas, and electric bills?#34;I try to find money to pay for a new pair of shoes. You are a teacher, I understand. I bet it's not in science, math, or engineering. We've heard every kind of economics argument, comparative tax rates, comparison to other towns, it's only a quarter more, no tax referendum for a dozen years, etc., but I've never heard of the "percent of your tax bill" argument. What park district administrator thought up that hogwash? Sure, we pay only 2 percent of our taxes to the park district, but that's because District 97 just soaked us for $30 million or so for new schools and the library just soaked us $60 million for a new library! I may not be a professor, but don't insult my intelligence and don't condescend to me.

The best thing I can say about your skills in economics is that you have a nice smile. There's only one number that matters. How many dollars do we pay to the park district now, and how many dollars will we pay to the park district if your tax-increase passes? It's 130 percent more! More than double! That's why your unbelievably greedy tax-increase will not get my vote.

Jack Moerschall
Oak Park

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