September 8th, 2020
Does Truth Matter?
OAK PARK—On Thursday, May 3, Taxpayers United of America (TUA) will canvass the streets of Oak Park with flyers in order to raise awareness about the deceptive referenda ballot language used by the Oak Park Government School District 97 in 2011. The district’s tactics resulted in a successful property tax increase.
TUA later filed suit on behalf of Oak Park Taxpayers, to end such deceptions.
“When we challenged the deceptive activities of the School District, we knew it wouldn’t be easy,” said Christina Tobin, vice president of TUA, and Founder of Free and Equal Elections Foundation, “But the actions of the school board were so blatant, we had no choice.”
A shocking ruling by Judge Mary Mikva, on the lawsuit, basically said it was “ok” for the district to grossly understate the amount by which property taxes would increase.
But the suit also claims that the district knew in advance that the ballot grossly understated the property tax increase.
“The board didn’t just understate the tax increase. It led voters to believe that the property tax increase would be only $37.40 per $100,000 of their property value when in reality, it would be $126.04 per $100,000! That is nearly three times more than they told taxpayers it would be,” said Tobin.
The district admitted that it did not use the state equalization factor. If it had, the factor would have accurately calculated the proposed increase’s taxpayer impact.
TUA has appealed the Mikva ruling, because if the ruling stands, taxpayers could be legally misled in future, in school districts across the State, as to estimated property tax increases. The appeal has been filed in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.
“We will take this case to the Illinois Supreme Court if necessary”, stated Tobin. “In the meantime, we are dedicated to educating the citizens of Oak Park about the issue. So expect to see a flyer in your neighborhood!”
NOTE: 80% of District 97 spending goes to salaries and benefits. All of the recent 67% state income tax increase is being used to fund the lavish pensions of retired government teachers and other employees. To view the top 100 pensions and salaries of Oak Park Government School District 97, click here.