The dreaded disease “Raise my Tax it is” was cured when the City of Lockport Mayor’s proposed increase in property taxes was defeated. Steve Balich, Vivienne Porter, Samantha Neitzke, and Vicki Bozen organizers with the Homer Lockport Tea Party/ Will County Tea Party Alliance have been going to local boards asking not to raise the levy. The group has met resistance from most elected Board members, however there were a few on each Board that broke ranks and said no to increasing property taxes. On Tuesday December 21, 2011 Homer Lockport Tea Party tax payer watchdogs experienced their first victory when the Mayor of Lockport’s proposed property tax increase was defeated. Only the Mayor and one Alderman were in favor of raising property Taxes. This victory for the taxpayers of Lockport ended Raise my tax itis for the time being in the city government.
Prior to the vote the Mayor of Lockport tried to demonize Steve Balich with a 10 minute personal attack containing false and misleading statements, followed by an attack on Balich by Alderman Colarelli, avoiding the issue, stating that the problem is Township Government. Balich tried to respond but was told he could not speak. All the Alderman except Colarelli, understood the message brought by Samatha Neitzke and Steve Balich to the Board and voted not to raise the Levy (property Tax). Alderwoman Denise Maryknowski, put things into perspective saying we just voted to spend $12,000 for a party, we shouldn’t be concerned with giving the people a break. Alderman Turner followed with facts showing the decline of income and the increased foreclosures in the City of Lockport. Van Dyke, Smith, Perretta, Maryknowski, Turner, Kelly all voted not to raise your taxes. Colarelli voted to raise your taxes, and Mayor Trevedi favored his proposed tax increase but did not vote.
Homer 33C School Board Meeting Recap
The levy was approved by the board. The approval of the 2012 levy will raise our property taxes on average 2.3%. The treasurers report during the meeting showed that the average teacher’s salary in Homer 33c is $56,000, after benefits that same teach costs the tax payers $118,000. The Board approved a 4% salary increase. Teachers are allowed 15 sick day per year. To put this increase in perspective, the average raise in the public sector is currently averaging 1.04% with an average salary of $45,000. Teachers’ salaries make approximately 76% of the budget. The justification for the increase to the levy was increased enrollment. But it should be noted the Lockport High School just tabled the “survey” to explore expansion of the high school due to decreased enrollment.
The vote broke out as follows:
Yes to raising property tax: Tim Rutter, Tom Polke, Cindy Polke, Larry Mathias, Debbie Martin, Cheryl Harwath, Diana Rzepka, Michael Morrow,
No to raising property tax: Patrick Dwyer
Lockport High School District 205: The levy proposed by the board was approved with a 5.68% increase.
Yes to increased property Tax: Luckasik, Lewindowski, Johnson
No to increased Property tax: Savara, Neitzke
Will County Dist 92 meeting : The financial manager, Mr Larou, also gave a presentation about how we needed to raise this levy in order to CAPTURE this additional money from Citgo..only to present us with slides that carried false information. Citgo is challenging this reassessment in court which can take anywhere from 2 to 10 years and if Citgo wins.... all the taxing bodies will have to pay Citgo back all those taxes from all those years...the bigger problem is that these taxing bodies are not saving this money on the side they are SPENDING this windfall!!!! Watch out tax payer you are in for a rude awakening because we are on the hook.
All 7 board members were present and all 7 voted to increase our tax levy by 14.93%. These board members are: Michael Messina, Mary Jo Kobey, Elizabeth Bilotta, James Gorecki, Steve Traina, Tim Houlihan, and Tim Hartford.