Monday, March 7, 2011

Taxes are still a major issue in Orland Park

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Your property tax rebate is officially dead. It was born out of selfish politics and it died out of selfish politics, slain in a plan to cut it in half, and then quietly abandoned. No more property tax rebate.

Daniel J. McLaughlin

I think all of the candidates need to address this issue, but you probably won't hear a word from the incumbents.

The vehicle sticker fee has doubled from $15 to $30, valid for two years. The cost for Seniors will go from $1 to $10.

I think these are questiosn that maybe Village Trustees Pat Gira and Ed Schussler might want to explain especially since Mayor Dan McLaughlin is telling the Orland Park Chamber of commerce that despite the two worst years in a decade, Orland Park experienced a "net gain" in new businesses of 95 percent rate.

Okay, who learned me English and math? That sounds like a loss of 5 percent, not a net gain. But them, statistics are easy to mess with.
Elizabeth Ann Doody GormanImage via Wikipedia

I like Mayor McLaughlin. He's a good person. I just wish he were hanging around with some different people and maybe getting new ideas on how to trim costs. Because I don't like the fact that the village board dumped the property tax rebate which was specifically approved to off-set the .75 percent sales tax hike that Orland Park and the village board imposed 10 years ago.

So now the promise of off-setting the jacked up sales tax with a property tax rebate just fades in to the night and the shallow memories of the sheep -- Orland Park voters, baaaaaaah!

It's ironic that the property tax rebate was massacred by the Orland Park Village Board, considering that voters are in a protesting mood, awakening from their lamb-like slumber? Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman has slayed the sales tax dragon almost singlehandedly, the ONLY county board member to refuse to accept the sales tax increase by the former board President Todd Stroger. She fought and reintroduced the repeal repeatedly and din't just give up the way some village trustees are following orders. And guess what? The Stroger county sales hike has been repealed.

So why not repeal the tax hikes in Orland Park? Or, re-implement the property tax rebate program. It's a genius program. Visitors to Orland Park who shop here pay the sales tax and the village makes money. Residents who shop in Orland Park and contribute to the village sales tax would get their property taxes reduced through a rebate.

Schussler and Gira are being challenged by a slate backed by Gorman who embrace Gorman's eliminate the waste rather than increase taxes policies. They are John Brudnak, Molly McAvoy Flynn and Steven Williams.

This isn't about politics when I say this:


It's called a back door tax.

Here's an overview after piecing it all together from the village of how vehicle sticker fees are going up:

Vehicle sticker increases
Passenger/Motorcycle increases from $15 to $30
Recreation increases from $22 to $40 
Senior Citizen's Fee increases from $1 to $10
Trucks:B Plates increases from $22 to $30
D Plates increases from $30 to $40
F, H, J Plates increases from $52 to $55
K, L, N, P Plates increases from $82 to $85
Q, R, S, T, V Plates stays the same at $105X, Z Plates increases from $127 to $130
(Thank GOD we only have 26 letters in the alphabet!)
Other Vehicles
School Bus increases from $30 to $60
Antique Car increases from $7.50 to $15
Auto Dealer's First Car increases from $22 to $30
Auto Dealer's Additional Cars increases from $4 to $10
Replacement and/or Transfer stays the same at $1
But be sure that your property tax is increasing dramatically in Orland Park, in a large part due to the poor financial management of the Orland Fire Protection District.

OFPD President Pat Maher fell on his sword to save his family the campaign abuse from his past problems, but that doesn't let the Fire Protection District off the hook from imposing huge property tax hardships on residents.

We not only need a new president, we need to get rid of the trustees immediately. And that means that Trustee Salvatore Cacciato should withdraw from the election contest, too. Where was Cacciato's voice questioning Maher's past problems? Silent because of politics? Where was Cacciato's voice questioning the excessive spending and the huge budget of the Orland Fire Protection District? Silence is endorsement which means Cacciato supported the OFPD district spending.

And how about addressing the issues Cacciato?

Cacciato and Maher are being challenged by Christopher Evoy and Blair Rhode.

The Orland Fire Protection District is one of the most expensive in the state and nation, a budget of more than $28 million that should be scaled back to maybe -- maybe -- $10 million a year. How about getting rid of some of the politically clouted battalion chiefs? How about changing the policy to prevent battalion chiefs from using OFPD vehicles and property for personal use?

Orland Park once was known as a growing community with a strong retail center. Now, we're just known as that expensive place to live with little if any benefits and hugely increasing taxes? Oh. We have a lot of restaurants. But who can afford them?

-- Ray Hanania
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