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Raise my tax itis is spreading: We must stop it

The following article just touches on the problem that local taxing bodies exhibit when they get “Raise my Tax It is”. These Boards hire very expensive law firms to fight tax appeals. In the case of Citgo in Lockport, the schools are already getting a windfall and want more. My question is why do they need so much tax money. In an effort to get this money they vote to raise the levy. This means I have to pay somewhere down the line. If the appeal which could be in court is for years is lost, the taxpayer will have to pay it back. The law firms, make their money no matter what, so tax payers are on the hook for that expense as well. How much has already been paid to these law firms, and how much is still to come? What are the Reserves and Assets of our local taxing bodies? Has spending been cut? Why do local taxing bodies need to raise the levy every year? People are hurting by local tax increases. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S5EBhq62q8&feature=related

It is not sustainable to increase taxes every year. There is a point when the taxpayer will run out of money!!!!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uFnEFLSgsc&feature=related

Definition of WINDFALL: 1. something (as a tree or fruit) blown down by the wind. 2. an unexpected, unearned, or sudden gain or advantage

According to the Will County, the following taxing bodies in Lockport have received a windfall (as a sudden gain in annual tax dollars) due to the recent re-assessment of the Citgo refinery:

High School Dist 205 +$2,563,903 per year

District 92 +$4,199,973 per year

Joliet Junior College + $372,354 per year

According to my property tax bill, more than 60% of my taxes go to these schools. By my calculation, the High School windfall equals $103.00 for every man, woman and child residing in Lockport. The High School Board on Nov. 21st presented a levy increasing our tax liability based, in part, on a 5% annual growth (this outrageous projection would equal more than 450 new homes per year). In addition, they indicated that their financial reserves, or fund balance, is at a high equaling 214 days—in other words, their “bank account” for a rainy day is more than their expenditures would be for a full school year!

District 92 is actively creating a “wish list” for adding a host of expensive “projects” for the various buildings.

I have yet to hear any of these schools propose to contain or reduce expenses, only how to glean more money. Shouldn’t our property taxes be reduced by these windfall amounts?

/s/ Dick Van Dyke

Alderman, 1st Ward

City of Lockport

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