Taxing bodies of Oak Park are squandering a unique opportunity with the end of TIFS to bring Oak Park taxes in line with other comparable communities and I respectfully urge you to reconsider at this time how you handle TIF payments and an increase in levies.
I recall at least one study published in a local newspaper within the past few years that demonstrated how our tax increases over the past decade or longer were significantly greater than comparable communities (as I recall as much as 20-25 percent). Many homes in other communities (even communities without a large commercial tax base) are far more valuable than my own, yet pay significantly less in taxes.
In the past year I have seen at least two families turn away from buying in Oak Park because of the tax burden, and I see that selling a home in Oak Park just continues to get more difficult because of our taxes.
Taxing is a complex issue and I keep reading and talking to others to better understand it. I have worked for and supported referendums in this village for more than 30 years. But our taxes have gotten out of hand and our taxing bodies are proving to be tone deaf to what I am hearing most Oak Parkers are feeling.
We need to make up for past mistakes, and, as I understand it, we have some opportunity to do that now. Going forward, we all need to get involved in helping our taxing bodies spend judiciously.