How should we pay for flood control in River Forest?

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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The River Forest Board of Trustee must make an important decision and has requested citizen input. Trustees must decide how to pay for the flood control project being proposed for the area located between Division and North, and Harlem and Thatcher. For some time the residents living in this area have been requesting relief from periodic flooding.

The question is, "How will this project be financed?"

There are basically two ways:

1) increase real estate taxes.

2) increase the water rates.

Both options have advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side for option 1, real estate taxes are deductible from federal income taxes. However, only about 50% of real estate located in River Forest pays real estate taxes. (The other 50% is made up of tax-exempt universities, churches, high schools, etc.) Therefore, the additional tax burden would be felt by perhaps half of the residents.

The advantages of option 2 is that all properties pay for water and would all pay the increased water rate. The individual resident would also have some control over his water expenses by reducing his water usage, e.g. by watering his lawn less frequently. The disadvantage would be the inability to deduct the increased cost from federal income taxes.

More information is available on River Forest's home website. Just click on resident and flood control. There the taxpayer can receive more in-depth information and even get some cost estimates (a glance at your monthly water bill will help you estimate your water usage).

Once you have decided which option you prefer, please call River Forest Village Hall and give them your opinion.

After perusing the site, I have decided to support the increase in the water rate. The determining factor for me was sharing the bill with as many citizens as possible in order to lighten the load on any one taxpayer.

Al Popowits
River Forest

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