Friday, July 18, 2008

Give the TribLocal credit for hitting taxes on the head

TribLocal Reporter Heather MacDonald hit the nail on the taxing head in her story Thursday in the Chicago Tribune's popular weekly community newspaper insert ( The lead was right on the mark, "Orland Park grapples with budget shortfall."

But more important than the spin that Village officials have been pushing hard to sell -- arguing it's not a "shortfall" but just a budget adjustment -- is that MacDonald also nailed the real issue in the story, the FACT that the Village Board is considering revoking the annual tax rebate it gives to its citizens.

Among cutbacks and savings the village is examining closely, MacDonald writes, "One issue still on the table for the village board is whether to continue the practice of rebating Orland Park's share of the property tax collected by Cook County, which totals $5.3 million."

Not every caught that point, which village officioals are telling everyone is not an issue. (Afterall, there is a village election coming up and I don't care how many "awards" the village wins, they don't add up to the benefit of rebating property taxes, which average around $250 per homeowner.

Other cuts include not spending the $24,000 for a "new filing system" for the Village Clerk, David P. Maher's office. (I guess that means paying to have Maher attend an Illinois Open Meetings Act workshop is out of the question?)

Ray Hanania

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