Wilmette School District 39 Continues to Mislead Public, Cover Up Illegal Ballot Language

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WILMETTE, IL – Despite a recent change to the property tax code that clarifies how property tax increases are calculated, Wilmette School District 39 is choosing to continue its campaign to mislead residents over the illegal ballot language they used in a recent referendum that underestimated tax increases by more than a factor of 3.
Monday, District 39 issued a media release that mischaracterized the effect of Public Act 97-1087, which modified the Illinois Property Tax Code to explicitly include the effect of the State Equalization Factor, by saying that it “…reinforced that the District’s ballot language correctly followed Illinois law as it existed at that time.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Act itself refers to its purpose as “clarification” of the very same language that Sorock’s lawsuit challenged, and insists, as did Sorock, that the State Equalization Factor must be used for tax increase calculations.
Sorock, along with Taxpayers United of America (TUA), had sued the District to reverse tax increases that were a result of illegal ballot language in an April 2011 referendum election.
“The District has all along defended its ballot language by asserting that the State Equalization Factor was not to be used,” said Sorock. “Now we have clear-as-day proof that the state legislature agrees with our position, but the District is choosing once again to cover up its miscalculation.”
While TUA recently filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit given the reluctance of the courts to enforce clear requirements of Illinois law, Sorock is heartened by Public Act 97-1087’s clarification.
“Rather than vindication for the District, the changes made by Public Act 97-1087 demonstrate that TUA and I were absolutely correct in challenging the referendum ballot for its failure to conform to requirements of Illinois law. TUA and I knew the District’s ballot language was illegal eighteen months ago; that the District still claims otherwise defies common sense and strains credulity.”
For more information, please contact h.sorock@gmail.com.

TUA Opposes 7 Tax-Increase Referenda Scheduled For March 20 Election

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CHICAGO–The president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today announced that the taxpayer organization is opposing 7 tax-increase referenda that will appear on the March 20 ballot in Illinois.
“This is the largest number of tax-increase referenda appearing on a single date we have opposed since 1982,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “Our members have defeated more than 100 home rule referenda since 1980.”
“We are opposing the home-rule unlimited-taxing-power referenda that Clarendon Hills, Itasca, Princeton, Prospect Heights, Lynwood, and Merrionette Park are attempting to con their voters into accepting.”
“These relatively small municipalities are already paying their so-called public servants huge salaries, and if voters make the mistake of adopting home-rule unlimited taxing power, homeowners would be exempt from the current 5% property tax cap, and will be subject to property tax increases of any amount, at any time. In addition, home rule would allow local governments to impose new taxes in businesses, gasoline, groceries, parking, and almost anything else.”
“These local governments want to line their employees’ pockets with even more taxpayer dollars. When these overpaid government employees retire, their generous salaries will qualify them for lavish, gold-plated pensions.”
“Voters in these municipalities need to be informed that 80% of their local tax dollars go to pay the salaries and benefits of their local government employees. That’s a huge percentage.”
“Clarendon Hills’ Fire Chief, Brian Leahy, for example, pulled in a gross salary (2010) of $199,128 a year. More than 10 police pensions are over $30,000 a year. Former Police Chief, Thomas Reasoner, receives a whopping $65,000 a year pension while at the same time getting paid for a Deputy Director position at the North East Multi-Regional Training Center.”
“Nine retired government-employees in Itasca have annual pensions of over $50,000 a year.”
“The seventh referenda TUA is opposing is a property-tax hike proposed by Evanston School Dist. 65, which would raise local property taxes to build a new palatial government-school building and add to existing schools.” TUA has defeated 192 property tax increase referenda since 1977.

TUA vs. Illinois Tollway Authority & AG Madigan: The Sequel – February 7th!

February 7, 2012: Judge Rita Novak, of the Cook County Circuit Court, will hear arguments to roll back the 90 percent January 1st toll tax increase, and end the tollway system in Illinois.
In its amended complaint, Taxpayers United of America, (“TUA”), claims the Tollway Authority violated several statuatory requirements.  If the court agrees, it could order the Tollway Authority to abandon its fifteen-year, $12 billion capital plan.
The February 7th hearing challenges the doubling of tolls for cash users, and seeks  permission to proceed as a class action on behalf of all tollway users.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is representing the Tollway. She has asked the court to throw out Tobin’s case in its entirety.
The hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2402 of the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 West Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602.