So much for my New Year’s resolution to not waste any more time on local politics. Mr. [Darryl] Bartelson is quoted as saying, “Revenues did not meet costs.” That’s exactly what the marketing VP at Einstein Bagels told me two months ago. In real language it means, “The property taxes are too high.”

To prevent the closing of Petersen’s restaurant, the village board should immediately pass a statute creating a new category of historical preservation, “Business institutions which have been in Oak Park for so many years that they have become part of the fabric of the village should be eligible for exemption of the village portion of their property taxes, either directly if they own their property or indirectly as a dollar-for-dollar subsidy to pay the property tax portion of their rent if they do not own their property. The determination shall be made by the village board in conjunction with an external accountant based on the financial accounting of the business.” That should give the Bartelsons some breathing space and keep alive one of the very few businesses at which Home and Studio visitors spend some dollars. Next week, if the papers allow, I’ll tell readers the many ideas that have been boiling inside me for real property relief for all Oak Parkers.

Les “Cut the Taxes” Golden
Oak Park

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