More spending equals more taxes
Updated: April 2, 2012 8:03AM
I read, with disappointment, Alan Bennett’s letter “Correcting Misinformation about Elmwood Park’s Tax Levy” (Feb. 16 Elm Leaves).
The important issue is not whether the levy went up 1.9 percent, 4.43 percent, 20 percent or even 100 percent. The important issue, conveniently ignored by Mr. Bennett, is the necessity of the $45,490,095 the village intends to spend this year.
As Mr. Bennett is certainly aware, the “Truth in Taxation” law requires taxing bodies to give special notice and to hold special hearings before they can raise taxes more than 5 percent. It does not define the amount the village requires residents to pay in real estate taxes. Because money needed to pay debt is excluded from the calculation, the end result is that taxing bodies are able to raise our taxes more than 5 percent annually without having to comply with the “Truth in Taxation” notice and hearing requirements. While citing “Truth in Taxation” may now help Trustee Bennett spin the administration’s actual 4.43 percent increase into their previously advertised 1.9 percent increase, it is entirely irrelevant to their spending of our tax dollars.
These are, unfortunately, the statements we get from career politicians who pay a consultant $3,000 per month — of our tax dollars — to avoid addressing legitimate issues.
This year, Elmwood Park will spend $45,490,095 of our hard earned money. They will fund their spending by charging us $12,266,496 in real estate taxes. In addition, without really telling you, they also fund their spending by billing us millions more in hidden increases to our water and garbage bills, in vehicle sticker charges, in permit fees, etc.
If they spend more, they must ask us for more. If they spend less, we pay less. It’s that simple. Harry Truman had the courage to say it over 50 years ago: “The Buck stops here!” Elmwood Park deserves an administration with the courage to tell it like it is, no matter what the consequences to their re-election.