Historic preservation or sell-out?

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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"Tired of the 25K tax bill?! Then check out some of the lowest taxes in Oak Park." This is how a home on South Scoville is being marketed. Because of a "Historic Preservation Tax Incentive," this house, which has had its interior totally gutted and stripped of its once magnificent Victorian charm, now falls under the Cook County Assessor's Office "Class L," allowing it to be assessed at just 10% of market value for the next 10 years. What a bargain!

How about the rest of us historic homeowners in Oak Park who, year after year, invest thousands of dollars, painting, roofing, maintaining and "preserving" these historic homes? Where are our Historic Preservation Tax Incentives? We have lived in our Victorian home, located on this very same block for 25 years, maintaining and caring for it without losing the original historic Victorian character. On top of our own costs and taxes, we will be forced to pay a portion of this property's taxes for the next 10 to 12 years! Where is our incentive to stay?

Is the real estate market in Oak Park in such dire straits that its historic homes need to be turned into these Naperville knock-offs?

John Kehoe

Oak Park

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