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Bills, Bills, Bills

Beware the Taxman. You now have one week to submit your second property tax bill installment.

For those of us who can't, don't or just won't pay their annual property tax bills in one horrific lump sum when it arrives in the spring, the deadline for getting that dreaded second installment to the county collector looms large.

I just paid, less than three months ago, and it was a lot. But they want more. They all want more---governments, schools, pensions. So many taxing bodies that want a piece of the pie.

And while I fully recognize and understand why we need to pay property taxes, each time I pay them I can't stop thinking how I could have used that money for something tangible, like an African safari.

If we didn't have to pay taxes (there is such a thing, but it's usually accompanied by prison time) we'd all just be using that money to pay another bill, so many bills.

Bills, bills, bills.

What else do I do with my income besides pay bills? Not a whole lot unless I count my raging obsession with new beauty products.

Whether or not you have dependents, I don't believe there is such a thing as "disposable income" unless your last name is Kardashian.

Mine is Sykora, at least that's the name I signed on the check to the county collector late last night after almost, and quite unimaginably, forgetting I needed to get that sucker in the mail.

All the while, that wonderfully cheeky Beatles song was playing in my head. It's one us little people know well.

Thanks, George. I'll never be laughing all the way to the bank, but I'll have a song to sing on my way to the post office.

Lennie Jarratt August 30, 2012 at 01:02 PM
If you want to stop the ever increasing property taxes, attend your local school, park, library and village board meetings. School boards are currently in the process of approving their budgets. A question to ask them, "Did you include a levy increase in the budget?" If they did and nearly every one of them does, expect them to raise your levy (taxes) again for next year. If you want this practice to stop, you must speak up and get involved.
Local August 30, 2012 at 01:52 PM
"And while I fully recognize and understand why we need to pay property taxes" Seriously?? We pay taxes every time we turn around! Earn a dime, pay your tax, spend a dime, pay your tax!! On top of it all we pay lot rent to stay in our homes, even if the property has been paid off for years. I pay a quite a bit more than my neighbors with 5 kids in the schools, because my house is valued higher...what a system!!
Angela Sykora (Editor) August 30, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Generally speaking I do because property taxes are suppose to pay for public services like police an fire protection. On the other hand, when it comes to increasing sales tax and "made up" taxes, I could write a whole other column about my disdain for that!
Local August 30, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Property taxes do pay for police and fire, but anyone who has looked at a tax bill knows that the lions share of the money goes to the schools. I know good people, who were forced to move from they're homes of 30 years, because on a fixed income, they could no longer afford the taxes. Maybe it's just me, but that's WRONG!!
HM August 30, 2012 at 08:22 PM
What really bothers me is that my house is worth 65% of what I bought it for in 2005, yet my taxes, in the same time period, jumped from $8800 to $13,700. Something is terribly wrong with this. The montly breakdown of my tax bill is more than I pay per month for my mortgage. Given the taxes alone, I am stuck with my house for a long, long time - who would buy in Grayslake!?!? If we can get out, we will, but I don't think it can happen unless we sell for well under the appraisal. Makes me wonder how the same people are continually in power at the state and local levels. If the state were not in such bad shape, they could fund more in education, easing the burden on home owners....but I digress.
Sandra Sims August 30, 2012 at 08:28 PM
We all do need to go to the school board meetings and make our feelings clear. We also have an opportunity next year to elect new board members who do not feel it is their duty to raise the levy to the maximum level every year. Right now it is a split board 4-3 in favor of ALWAYS raising taxes. One win for fiscal sanity would do it. I hope you all are going to get out and work for this change, I certainly am.
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