Slowing the growth of taxes should be the top issue in Oak Park’s upcoming village election, and Bridgett Baron is a candidate with a clear understanding of the challenges. She recognizes three key points:
Rising property taxes are driving some middle-class residents out of town. She has seen all the charts and graphs in the last year, and recognizes this fact: For some families the formula is becoming: Mortgage + property taxes maintenance = more than the family’s income can support.
She is not saying, “Cut taxes.” Her position is slow property tax growth. She supports capping the village’s property tax growth to 3 percent and even to the lower rate of inflation. That is not a cut. It is less ominous increase than the 5 percent growth of the recent past.
Transparency in municipal finance is an issue she sees. The village’s budget is online. But short of being a CPA, one finds it impossible to link costs and outcomes. Baron is one of the candidates who wants to add transparency to the village’s finances.
Yet, she is not a one-issue candidate. If you look at her materials, you will see an understanding of the issues seniors face. And she is not anti-development; rather, she takes the route of having master plans nudge development rather than piece-meal actions.