After attending several of our taxing bodies' Budget Financial Meetings and hearing about others, it has become apparent to me that everyone in Oak Park is a victim of oppression by our taxing bodies. We have yet to hear from our school districts, but we can always count on both of them to be over the 3 percent tax levy — both have announced numbers, but numbers aren't final, see Dino Andrew's chart on Facebook in OPPTW (Oak Park Property Tax Watch).
With two TIFs expiring, the taxing bodies are poised to take their portion of new property value and add it to their baselines to help increase their levies for this year and the years to come. We can rewrite our Diversity Statements up the wazoo, but our taxing bodies have now become the "systems of oppression," with levies that are out of control and unnecessary.
One of the biggest issues facing anyone who wants to move or stay here is property taxes and the yearly increases. If you're a renter, it's just passed down to you with rent increases. As a homeowner, well, you know, it'll show up on our tax bills. Yet the people on these boards, who live here and should know better, are gearing up to stick it to us again. Even the township, the normally reasonable unit of government, voted to take the TIF value and increase their baseline. I have no problem with them taking their share of the new TIF money as a one-time distribution, but adding it to their baseline means it will be added forever. Our property values have dropped dramatically, to say the least.
Wake up everyone, property taxes are our "system of oppression;" they are one of the greatest opponents of diversity. If you have to be upper class to afford to live here, we won't be the diverse village we are now. It won't matter what the Diversity Statement says or if we have a Housing Center.
So you say, "What can we do?" Go on the taxing bodies' websites for dates and times their boards meet and show up at their meetings. Get your neighbors and friends to do the same. Pass the word. Speak in public comment. Good gosh, say something, do something. Get mad!
Answer Book 2019
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