Opposed to Homewood home rule initiative


The commentary below represents the ideas, observations and opinions of the author.

Homewood is already overtaxed and is heading towards a definitive and recognized pattern of downward spiral. Property values in Homewood are still at a fraction of what they were before the real estate market crash of 2007. Values in Homewood and other south suburbs have not recovered, while many other areas in Chicagoland have not only regained losses, but have surpassed values of the early 2000s. A quick glance at the Cook County delinquent real estate tax list reveals the massive extent of the problem in our community.
Our water rates are extraordinarily high. Other communities faced with Chicago-generated water rate increases have assisted their residents with water costs by absorbing some or all of Chicago’s (and neighboring Harvey’s) punitive suburban cost structure for Lake Michigan water. Homewood just passes the costs along to residents. Many ordinary families spend $100 to $150 dollars per month for water in Homewood, an unconscionable sum for a basic necessity.
Our schools have floated referenda and seen them passed for more tax money. The argument is always good schools increase property values. This clearly is not the case in Homewood. What we get is a perfectly serviceable high-school gym demolished and replaced at great taxpayer expense while school rankings continue to fall. The park district buys up country clubs and lumberyards at taxpayers’ expense, then charges residents high fees to use its facilities. Schools and parks will be the major recipients of the first round of tax revenues generated by a home rule Homewood government.
The village has long forfeited much of its portion of taxes to subsidize retailers on Halsted Street. Menards was given the street adjacent so it could expand. Walmart relocated from Glenwood and now Homewood is paying Glenwood by sharing revenues. The sales tax revenues should have come back to the community, not been used to enrich greedy developers. [Editor's note: The revenue sharing agreement between Homewood and Glenwood is in effect for three years from the opening of the Walmart store in Homewood. The store opened in October 2016.]

Much of the added tax revenue generated in this first round of tax increases is destined to add to the budgets of the schools and park district; these are the two biggest benefactors and from current taxes and the most irresponsible spenders of your money.Once home rule is approved, all the taxing bodies will benefit, since the village will have extraordinary ability to raise additional taxes: and raise them it will. Only we, the taxpayers, will suffer.
Do not be a masochist. Vote no to home rule in March!
Dominic Adducci

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