District 201 Attempt To Hike Property Taxes By $15 Million Is Childish
CHICAGO-The president of Illinois’ largest taxpayer group today stated that officials from J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 are acting just like the children in their schools, if not worse. When a child is told no when demanding money, they will try the other parent and then perhaps even a grandparent. Well, the voters have told District 201 NO at the last two elections. They didn’t listen to those votes and are asking for the third time in 12 months for the same $15 million they want but don’t need.
“It’s obvious these greedy government employees have no respect for the voters that pay their exorbitant salaries and benefits,” said Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI). “This latest attempt to grab $15 million from District 201 residents can only be described as childish, sneaky, and dirty.”
This is the only referendum on any ballot in Cook County for this primary election. There is nothing else for the voters in District 201 to vote on, other than Town Trustees for the Cicero residents.
“They know voter turnout is dramatically lower at the upcoming election which gives them a better chance of having more government employees show up to vote than regular property taxpayers. Think about it for a moment. What kind of an example do these tactics provide to our children?”
“District 201 Superintendent Ben Nowakowski, whose base salary just jumped to $190,000, claims in a recent District 201 newsletter they need more money so they can have more than one of each sports team. But year after year they pad their own pay instead of investing more in programs that they claim actually help the students.”
The average teacher’s salary at Morton District #201 is 39% higher than the national average and 23% above the Illinois average. Morton’s most recent salary data shows that 10% of the school district’s full-time employees-including 53 teachers and administrators-were paid more than $100,000 in 2006! 139 teachers and administrators were paid over $80,000 in 2006.
The largest expenditure for Morton is the enormous salaries and benefits for teachers and administrators. They will spend $42.3 million on salaries, $8.8 million on benefits, and another $2.6 million on retiree benefits in 2007. That equals 78% of their revenues. This is why they supposedly can’t afford more than one of each sports team.
“Taxpayers need to say ‘No’ to District 201 on February 27,” said Tobin, “and tell them to stop the wasteful spending and the exorbitant salaries and benefits for teachers and administrators. Taxpayers need accountability from District 201, not more sob stories crying for milk money after already wasting their very generous allowance selfishly.”