A few modest proposals for hiking revenue

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Since there is virtually no chance any more referenda will be approved by Broke Park voters in the next 10 years, here are some revenue enhancement and cost-control suggestions for various governmental units. 

School impact fees: 

A. New construction: occupancy permit fee of $25,000 per child under age 18.

B. Resale: If the buyer has more children under age 18 then the seller pays transfer tax of $25,000 per additional child. 

Either fee can be avoided by contracting to send the child(ren) to private school.

Traffic and parking congestion surcharge:

Village vehicle sticker price is doubled for the second car registered at a given residence and quadrupled for the third vehicle. Fifty, and only 50, additional stickers are available through an annual auction, to be sold to the highest bidders. 

Fire Department surge pricing: 

Hey, we only have so many fire trucks. 

Village employee transportation rationalization program: 

How many non-emergency, village-owned vehicles do you see around Oak Park? How many do you see idle in the village hall lot? How many of them are anywhere near as old as your car? Let's have half as many owned vehicles plus an I-Go contract. 

Also, somebody please explain to me why not one employee of a supposedly eco-leadership municipality is able to bicycle around town now and then on village business. And speaking of fire trucks, is it really necessary to drive a fire engine to Pete's for the firehouse groceries? What do they get, about two blocks to the gallon? 

Border tax: 

20 percent tax on all pizza deliveries originating outside of Broke Park. You claim you buy local — shut up and prove it. 

I have lots more ideas but too many people with arsonist tendencies know where I live. 

Bob Stigger

Oak Park

Reader Comments

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Ray Simpson  

Posted: April 20th, 2017 12:07 PM

Sell residential reserved parking places in front of your house and a $500 fine for anyone who violates the ordinance - Except for me as I am claiming "sanctuary"

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: April 13th, 2017 3:32 PM

@ Mike and Bruce: How about something along the line of Dungeon and Dragons, with evil creatures like parking enforcement officers, villain auto hijackers, high and mighty kings and queens, and serfs getting slaughtered, auto kidnapping tow truck drivers.

Mike Hanline  

Posted: April 13th, 2017 3:10 PM

I suppose one could "mine" for parking spaces, not unlike gold and diamonds. That sounds exciting and adventurous...

Bruce Kline  

Posted: April 13th, 2017 1:49 PM

Brian: I really like that permit to "hunt for parking spaces." That's sort of a two for one: you pay for the right to hunt for a space, and then once spotted you pay for the space. My only concern Brian is the we here in Oak Park are generally not the hunting type. Most of us find hunting a less than desirable activity: cruelty to animals, guns, big brawny guys who drink a lot of beer and don't like poetry, and things of that nature. So hunting for a parking space might be viewed in a similar vein. That concerns me, since you idea has otherwise enormous revenue potential. Perhaps another equally (but more correct) exciting, adventurous word could be substituted for the word "hunting."

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: April 13th, 2017 12:25 PM

@ Bruce Kline; I think the Nuclear Free Zone Surveillance and Decontamination Tax should be collected by the Health Department , not the Fire Department. The Health Dept. wanted an ordinance requiring children wear bicycle safety helmets, of course the Health Dept. did not want to enforce the Ordinance, they wanted the Police to do the enforcement, and Tanksley stated publicly that the helmet enforcement would be a low priority issue for the Police. With Easter here, we could have permits sold for citizens to find the missing heated sidewalks in Oak Park. Just like trying to find Easter Eggs. Or a permit to hunt for a parking space. And true to Oak Park, there will be no winners.

David Gullo from Oak Park  

Posted: April 13th, 2017 8:28 AM

@Nick A -- I'm an Oak Park real estate broker and the Village does have one of the higher BUT NOT the highest transfer tax in the state or in the metro area. Chicago charges $10.50 (seller pays $7/buyer pays $3.50). Berwyn charges the seller $10/$1000 + $50 inspection fee. The issue that Dan Moroney and others brought up in the recent election is WHY has Village of Oak Park increased it's revenues by 30% in the past 10 years? And yes, developer impact fees (which are common) need to be part of the equation.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: April 13th, 2017 8:21 AM

What about the Nuclear Free Zone Surveillance and Decontamination Tax? In order to make sure we maintain Broke Park as a Nuclear Free Zone we need to make sure by having an appropriate surveillance team properly equipped. And if violations are found - like construction of an occult nuclear reactor - then we need an appropriately equipped decontamination team. To save money we could roll these duties into the Fire Department. But the Department would need to have In Training on these tasks at least twice a year as well as competency tests and licensing at least once per year. We might have to hire a Director of said activities or to save monies (which we are very cognizant of here in Broke Park) contract out those supervisory / educational duties. I propose the tax be $100 per household. That's a nice round number, not too big and not too small: just right!

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: April 12th, 2017 11:15 PM

@ Nick A. Binotti: Yes, I understand the transfer tax. With the transfer tax at least you get useless transfer stamps. However that tax is for the transfer of property. The tax I propose would be just for leaving Oak Park. Just pay a tax, the canceled check is all you get in return.Therefore, a true tax on nothing. Fitting for Oak Park,

Jim Svehla  

Posted: April 12th, 2017 6:54 PM

Oak Park does impose a high real estate transfer tax on sellers at $8/$1000 of the sales price. I believe Berwyn still collects $10/$1000 of the sales price and requires a municipal inspection in addition. So, although the Oak Park transfer tax is high it isn't the highest. Small consolation, I realize.

Nick A Binotti  

Posted: April 12th, 2017 6:26 PM

@Brian - Oak Park already has the highest exit (real estate transfer) tax in the state: $8 per $1,000 of the sale price and it all falls on the seller. I suppose we could add a "renter runaway" tax in for kicks.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: April 12th, 2017 5:54 PM

I am of the opinion Oak Park should have a tax on nothing. Every resident pays $75.00 a year tax on nothing. Just pay the tax. The homeless would be exempt. Also, there should be an exit tax on everyone who leaves Oak Park.

Bill Masterson  

Posted: April 12th, 2017 4:04 PM

No I am not a Trump supporter. So please save the slings and arrows.

Bill Masterson  

Posted: April 12th, 2017 4:02 PM

Going along with the above, require Republicans pay a $50 pole tax in primaries. There are so few of us it's a waste of money for the R judges in this town and state.

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