Monday, November 17, 2008

Property taxes skyrocket -- local fees quietly increase too

After months of backdoor tax increases from the Village of Orland Park, my actual Water Rate did go up this last bill, 19 cents per unit of water I consume every two months, or about $1.61.

But the bulk of the increases reflect backdoor tax increases (fees) quietly approved by the Village of Orland Park while they have been telling the sympathetic local news media that they are not increasing taxes and are rebating our village taxes -- well, not all of it. But according to one paper, that's "good news."

No. It's mnot good news, especially when the other fees in our water bill, for example, increase quietly, too, with noe xplanation from Mayor McLaughlin, or, as I will be calling him from now on, King Dan. Under King Dan's Chicago Machine Manual of Politics, you don't explain anything. You just keep putting out press releases showcasing the positive news, and avoid any accountability or explanation on the bad news. And, when the media does hold his royal feet to the political fire, no wonder he is so arrogant and believes he can do whatever he wants.

Storm water and sewer service also went up. The others, went up already months ago.

On top of it all, it's just a drop int he bucket of how you, the naive sheep-like taxpayers, are being screwed. But that's the way you like, it right. Rough. And without warning or consent. Because in this Chicago Machine town, which is a satellite of the bigger Machine in Chicago and Cook County, raising taxes is just a part of the blame-game.

Have you looked at the letter from Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan this week, announcing a major increase in your property assessed valuation?

Oh yea. While your property values are dropping like federal indictments in a typical Chicago City Council year, your property assessments are skyrocketing. Most homes will increase about 15 percent in assessments, even though the actual value of the homes has dropped by as much as 30 percent and more in some regions.

Nayor Daley, Kig Dan's sponsor, says it is because of Houlihan. Daley -- I have to laugh every time I hear him speak -- says (that's being generous) that Houlihan is responsible because he is the "Assessor."

No, Mayor. The Assessor does not determine the assessments. The assessor basically translates the tax increases divide up based on the number of homes and properties being taxed, and that's how your assessment increases.

But Daley knows the blame game better than most. In reality, the reason for your property tax hike -- which will equal as much as $1,000 to $2,500 for many homes in Orland Park and across Cook County -- is that Mayor Daley has increased his budget and it is the increase in government spending that is driving up taxes. Daley's pal, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, also jacked up his own budget spending, and part of that spending will be covered by the humongous increase in the sales tax -- which combined with the King Dan .75 sales tax increase of 2001 (which King Dan said would be off-set by the village tax rebate, which is being off-set this year by his political arrogance and poor budget management to just over half of what it was promised to be) -- is making your depressed property on the free market look like a worthless piece of junk. But on the Chicago and county and Orland Park tax rolls, it looks like a mansion that has increased significantly in value.

The value of your home goes down. But not Mayor Daley's salary or Todd Stroger's salary. You pay more. And Daly and Stroger know of stupid you really are, so gullible you will believe anything they say and still vote for them in exchange for a new garbage can lid -- the bartering system set up when the Chicago Machine was first built by slaves in the 1950s.

And the taxes on your home go up.

And the lies and twist, and turns, and spin from the elected officials, including King Dan, continue. No accountability at all. They just decide they will break their promise to off-set the Orland Park home rule sales tax increase of .75 percent by rebating our full property tax. They did it just long enough to win your votes. Gain your confidence. And then. WHAM!

They shove it up your tax bill.

Merry Christmas everyone.

-- Ray Hanania


  1. your explanation of property assessments from Jim Houlihan's office is wrong. your assessment is based on your homes market value. the assessor looks at 3 years of sales (in this case, 2005, 2006, and 2007). you are right the current market doesnt support an increase but the last three years may. the local levies then determine what your tax bill is. your piece of the pie is based on the assessment, but if everyone in orland went up 20 percent, and the levies asked for the same amount as they did last year, your tax bill would stay the exact same.

  2. Government spending increases and comes from your property taxes ... if government spending increases, the levy has to increase in order to take more money from you. Even if you properties show an increase over three yearsm, the fact is natural growth in additional homes in the suburbs would create new revenues to off-set modest spending needs, but the excessive increases and spending force the government to take more. The truth is instead of increasing taxes with increased assessments, the actual tax COULD GO DOWN even with increased assessments if governments like Orland Park and Chicago spend less.

    That's a fact.

    Ray Hanania