Suit Filed to Challenge Wilmette's April 5th Property Tax Increase Referendum
On May 16, 2011 a law suit was filed by Herbert Sorock, a property tax payer in Wilmette, and Taxpayers United of America (TUA), one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. The suit filed against the Wilmette School Board District 39 and its members, challenges the legality of the ballot used in the April 5th election. The referendum question failed to include the State multiplier in calculating the estimated property tax increase, thereby understating that increase by at least two-thirds of the actual amount.
The suit alleges the Board and its members knew before the election that the estimated tax increase was understated, but decided to go forward with the referendum regardless. Wilmette and at least nine other school districts understated the property tax increase by failing to include the equalizer applicable to all Cook County property tax bills.
TUA filed similar lawsuits against Oak Park School District 97 and Riverside-Brookfield School District 208 late last month.
“We intend to ask the Court to enjoin any attempt to impose higher property taxes based on an unconstitutional ballot,” said Christina Tobin, Vice-President of TUA. Both the School Board and its individual members are named as defendants in the law suit. The suit demands the individual Board members pay for their own legal defense and not use public funds to do so.