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ThemChanges
1 year ago

I just don’t think IL residents care about what is really happening and/or don’t really know. I live in the NW burbs and when I bring these things up to my neighbors, they don’t get it or don’t think this could happen in their cities; (Buffalo Grove, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, etc). Even though everyone continues to understand high property taxes they just chalk it up to the cost of living in IL with great public schools. What they don’t understand is that they are in the top 1% of taxed counties in the country and continue to assume that their home… Read more »

Steve-Oh
1 year ago

Mark: Phenominal article, I haven’t been back since the 40th Rich East reunion in ’13. I posted your article on my facebook page with this: Chicago’s southside includes Park Forest where I grew up, which is next to Olympia Fields and Flossmoor. Destruction of home values due to too much govt, govt unions, unaffordable pensions for the govt ees, and resulting, killer prop taxes. Mark Glennon runs this website, he grew up 3 blocks from me, same age (well he’s 8 days younger)– he went to the Catholic HS. He’s a good guy, very smart, runs the wirepoints website. I… Read more »

NB-Chicago
1 year ago

you would think if rauner had a clue or any competent pr campaign manager he would be down in the sw suburbs doing campaign ads featuring folks getting tax out of their homes in the epicenter of failed cc dem machine poultices. and the future of ill once its 100% controlled by the cc dem machine

Rick
1 year ago
Reply to  NB-Chicago

Rauner is a milquetoast, no backbone, no emotion, like Mark said no communication skills, no oratory skills. Add to that no ability to even notice much less argue specific situations like this to actually motivate and wake up voters. Nationally the country has been widely awakened, but in Illinois Ives was our last hope for a leader with some cojones to wake up the state. Rauner has motivated more residents to simply plan their egress rather than stay to make things better. Illinois needs a Donald at this point.

Freddy
1 year ago

It is not only a police and fire problem. There are approx 11 school districts within a 45 by 45 square block area around Harvey. Everyone there received raises-bonuses-pension spikes -almost free healthcare all the while Harvey and surrounding communities are falling into the abyss. The superintendent there makes over $222K along with many ass’t supers making in the mid $100’s(Thornton dist 205 super at $247K). Property taxes according to Zillow are close to 10% of value on many properties. School taxes are at least 50% of the tax bill Consolidating these dist’s to 1 area dist would eliminate much… Read more »

Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Freddy

You are on it, Freddy. The bureaucratic infrastructure is so heavy in Southland. We’ve covered in the past and will cover it again. Consolidation is key to getting property taxes back to normal levels. But it will take an economic recovery, too. Those houses are now worth little, so that’s pushing up effective tax rates to astronomical levels.

Anonymous
1 year ago

If the county assesor would accurately assess Harvey real estate closer to real values, they will start to come perilously close to having any taxpayers at all, with the homeowners and senior citizens exemptions that some of the remaining residents can use. Then what? Either a bailout or some assumption of costs by the other taxpayers. If that happens, other suburbs and the city become part of the downward spiral.

1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous

The assessment really wouldn’t make much of a difference in Harvey as the whole community is poor.

Joe Strzalka
1 year ago
Reply to  IHeartDP

this is not true. As long as there is assessed property, it bears the tax burden. Whether or not the owners would pay is another issue. Whether Harvey or any other municipality declares bankruptcy is secondary. If there is not tax revenue there are no services. The county, state, or federal government, take your pick, will not allow an area in Cook county to exist as a virtual lawless state without police and fire protection, or schools. Those services will be provided by someone and someone other than Harvey taxpayers will pay.

Steve-Oh
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Strzalka

Joe: So what’s your preferred answer? The “best of all the bad answers” ?

Joe Strzalka
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve-Oh

In the short term these suburbs need to be reimagined. They will never be what they were in the 60’s. State or federal government could step in and start a voluntary program to buy distressed properties for lets say $10k. This is hardly a bailout for the owners, These properties could be demolished and the land given back to adjacent homeowners or anyone willing to assume ownership. This would remove some of the blight of properties that no one wants and have little hope of generating property tax revenue. Hopefully, the prospect of more open space, larger lot sizes, and… Read more »

steve-oh
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Strzalka

Joe: No “political will to bail out a few suburbs” ? How about NO MONEY, and why should other taxpayers have their tax $ go to BUY HOUSES to then demolish, etc ? And it wouldn’t just be Harvey, it would go on and on. No, that’s not the best of the bad ideas. How about deporting illegals and stop them from taking jobs from OUR citizens, using OUR schools and hospitals……for starters ? Then reduce prop taxes HUGELY for businesses and residential ? And cut govt spending however and wherever possible, start by cutting pay and bfts, then get… Read more »

Joe Strzalka
1 year ago
Reply to  steve-oh

Steve, I pretty much agree with everything you suggested. All of those things should be done. I was only focused on what might make Harvey or some of the other southern Cook suburbs a more viable alternative to people who might consider living there.

nixit
1 year ago

At what point will the Southland politicians realize that being forbidden from filing municipal bankruptcy is the indentured servitude of the 21st century.

mark mc
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

What makes a situation like Harvey’s really dismal is that Harvey is in Illinois. There’ s no way Illinois can bail them out, because the line of other municipalities is similar circumstances is long and Illinois could not possibly help them all, even with beyond belief confiscatory taxes. There just are not enough producers to pay Illinois’ debt. I keep thinking the beginning of the end will be a bankruptcy proceeding, but I wonder given the nature of the political class in Illinois if the beginning of the end won’t simply be chaos and anarchy – something scarcely resembling a… Read more »

Steve-Oh
1 year ago
Reply to  mark mc

Mark MC: There must be an answer out there, perhaps something like this (not that any Democrat would want to consider this, but it’s almost inevitable that it must be considered). Stop making cash contributions to the Pension Plans, both ‘ee and ‘er. Let the plan assets run down to zero in 5 yrs or whatever. They become, therefore, a Pay-As-You-Go system and set a pay amount at 15% or 20% of Payroll. Cut paychecks by 20%. Right NOW, cut all prop taxes by 50% and mandate no increases. Cut post-employment HealthCare to zero for govt employees and retirees. Something… Read more »

Mr_Common_Sense
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve-Oh

The ONLY way to save Illinois is allow States to file bankruptcy. This will take an act of congress. Lobby your federal reps!!