Archive → December, 2011
Total Dollars needed (taxed) by each tax district (levy) = Total amount of dollars collected by property owners in each district
The tax rate = the percent each property owner must pay to get the money needed by each District (Based on State formulas used by the assessor called assessed value)
Not increasing the levy, = saying no to increased spending (need). Yet new dollars (New Growth) added to the amount paid by those in each district will decrease taxes in a about a year.
Boards are told by not capturing new growth, the tax money they are due is lost. They vote to raise the Levy, not lose this revenue. The problem is tax creep, the consequence of “Raise my tax itis” which keeps taxes going up each year. New Growth (additional tax dollars) are not lost forever as our elected boards think. Rather taxes are collected and the additional money goes to the district in 1 to 1 ½ years because the system is 1 year behind. By living within their means, not increasing the Levy, Elected Board Members postpone getting this new money for a short time. Boards however, prefer to give the tax district a raise by increasing the amount of tax money immediately.
As Homer Township Trustee for 8 years, I voted to increase the Levy in order to capture “New Growth”. I did not understand the levy process until 2009 when I attended training from the tea party. Understand, increasing levy dollars increases the tax on everyone. I’ve been Homer Township Clerk since 2009. This is an administrative position. I don’t vote. Homer Township and Homer Road District have not increased Levy for 3 years. Will County did not raise the Levy. City of Lockport did not raise the Levy.
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.
My name is Steve Balich. I am with the Homer Lockport tea party. I would like to thank you for your support to help stop the Mayor of Lockport’s proposed tax increase last night. The Homer Lockport tea party was successful in stopping the rate increase because of your support, and all the alderman except one. Most Alderman understood the economic hardships many of the home owners are presently experiencing, and voted accordingly. It was pointed out by Alderwoman Denise Maryknowski that since there seemed to be no problem giving $12,000 for a party, there should be no problem giving the people of Lockport a break on their taxes.
Merry Christmas and happy new year.
My name is Steve Balich. As a Homer Township Trustee for 8 years, I voted to increase the Levy in order to capture “New Growth”. I did not understand the levy process until 2009 when I attended training from the tea party. I now know that boards can levy for no increase and still get the new growth in about 1 ½ years. I now know that increasing the levy dollars increases the tax on everyone. The Rates are just part of the levy formula which determines the money needed by each taxpayer to get the dollars needed form the levy. Your assessed value goes down, and the rate goes up to get to the necessary dollar amount needed by the taxing bodies in their Levy.
In October/ November of 2008 before Obama became President, I voted to increase the salaries of the new board to be elected in April of 2009 as required by law. The New Board after the election had 4 completely new people, and 2 people at new positions. At the time of the vote the economy was not in the depression it is now. As the current Clerk I hold an administrative position. I have not voted since I took office May 2009. I do see Supervisor Meyers, Trustees: Bozen, Neitzke, Sowa, and Kruczek as doing what it takes to spend wisely. This board is working with about the same levy amounts for the last 3 years.
In around 2007 I worked with Mike Costa, and Jim Lamatta to find a way to fix the over taxation of residents of Homer Township City of Lockport concerning the Road District Levy. We were later joined by Jack Jarrett from Lockport citizens for fair taxation. Today through intergovernmental agreements, the Homer Road District gives City of Lockport substantial funds in an effort to fix some of the in inequity in the levy. The other Townships in City of Lockport do nothing to help remedy this inequity and that’s wrong.
In around 2007 the Supreme Court said government could take from a private person and give it to another private entity if it benefited government. I saw this as an attack on personal property rights, and feared the capping of wells, so I brought a resolution by Gary Yambor which was passed by the Board saying we won’t have it in Homer Township. In 2009 I wrote a resolution which passed our current board saying English is the official Language of the Township, existing immigration laws will be enforced, and schools will verify residency.
In 2009 I called Vivienne Porter and asked her to help form the Homer Lockport Tea Party. Together with our members, we became one of the top Tea Party’s in Illinois. We have held numerous rallies; conceal carry classes, town halls, and monthly educational meetings. We encourage people to get involved and even run for office. We have been going to local boards telling them not to get “raise my tax itis”, in an effort to stop them from raising the levy. With 70% of property tax going to 3 school districts, we started with the schools.
I am called a tea party nut by some, and taken to task by others for my conservative positions. I have got behind candidates that did a good job and made the mistake of backing a few that didn’t do such a good job. I am not afraid of standing firm for what I believe, and admitting when I am wrong. Bottom line is; I will to do what is right, in the best interest of everyone in the Community, to the best of my ability, with the help of God. www.electbalich.com http://www.examiner.com/will-county-libertarian-in-chicago/steve-balich https://www.facebook.com/ElectBalich
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 whydo 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
Steve Balich 815 557-7196
Will County Tea Party Organizers throw support behind
Randy Hultgren in the 14th Congressional District
Will County – Today, Will County Tea Party Alliance organizers Tim Kraulidis and Steve Balich announced their endorsement of Randy Hultgren for congress in the 14th congressional district. “As organizers we enthusiastically are throwing our support behind Congressman Hultgren. The Congressman has been a proven leader with a consistent and effective record of advocating for the conservative values we believe in ” said Kraulidis. Those opinions were shared by Balich who added “ In order to move our country forward, I believe we need civil, responsible leadership in Washington. Congressman Hultgren offers the people of the 14th congressional district the best opportunity to successfully advocate for smaller and smarter government.”
Lockport School District Proposes a 14.93%
Increase in Your Taxes
Tell Them NO, on Dec 8th
It time to show up at the Lockport School District Meeting and say no to the 14.93% increase in taxes that they are proposing. These boards have “Raise your Tax-itis” and they must hear from the tax payers that we are not a bottomless pit of funds for them to tap into. Our government must learn to work with the funds that they have and stop the reckless spending.
Video: Don’t Get Raise My Tax-itis:
Don’t Get Raise Your Taxes-itis
SAY NO on December 8 at 7:20 pm
At the District Office:
78 N. State Street, Lockport, IL
(If you can’t make it call the office and let the board know what your think! – 815.838.8031)