Thursday, January 20, 2011

Large Tax Bills Drive Out Wilmette Area Residents

Reader, and long-time Wilmette resident, MLOR, sent us a letter that I wanted to share, comparing her property tax to a homeowner association fee. One of the greatest problems in Wilmette is that people just move away quietly at retirement or shortly after retirement, depriving the community of years of accumulated local experience and wisdom. Having seen my property tax more than double in a few short years (and ditto for the water bill), while I am sorry to see long-time residents leave the community, I feel MLOR may simply be a more realistic planner than I am. I've added a picture of those pesky municipal spending elves with their wheelbarrow at the ready, all set to haul off taxpayer cash. Her letter . . .

I consider my taxes to be HOA fees, and have been evaluating what I get for my money. District 39 wants an additional $7.6m for next year, which will increase my "fees." The Village Board appears to have become professional developers, and intend to tear down & rebuild a section of Green Bay Road buildings/businesses, which will raise my "fees" as well. And, I believe that the Park District still wants money for lakefront redevelopment.

Spending more money on teacher salaries will not improve my life. Eminent domain battles on Green Bay Road will cost big money and help cement Wilmette's reputation as anti-small business. Spending money to entice more people to visit our lakefront will certainly not enhance my experience as a resident. But, all of this will add to my tax bill.

My HOA fees are constantly increasing but the benefits I derive from living here are not. That's why we can never retire and continue to live in Wilmette. We have friends who recently bought a large place in Northbrook and their taxes will be substantially less than those on their former house in west Wilmette. There is no business base in Wilmette, so homeowners will always be squeezed for more cash.



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