Wilmette School District 39 Fails To Provide Evidence That Its April 2011 Referendum Ballot Language "Followed Illinois Law"

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Herbert Sorock
(847) 251-8955 (h)
email: h.sorock@gmail.com
WILMETTE, IL –Wilmette School District 39 has failed to substantiate its December 3, 2012, claim in a media release that its April 2011 referendum ballot language “correctly followed Illinois law as it existed at that time.”
On January 18, 2013, Sorock submitted a written Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the District, asking for all materials “supporting, explaining, or justifying” its claim that the April 2011 referendum ballot language “followed Illinois law as it existed at that time.” The District responded to Sorock’s FOIA request with only one document—a draft version of its December 3, 2012, media release showing that one of the District’s attorneys—Ares G. Dalianis— had inserted the claim language into the release.
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. In November 2012, Sorock and TUA asked the First District Appellate Court to dismiss their suit due to the earlier reluctance of the courts to enforce the clear requirements of Illinois property tax law.”
“At the December 28, 2012, District 39 Board of Education meeting, I challenged the District to substantiate its ‘followed Illinois law’ assertion, and later followed up with a FOIA request for any information that would have supported their claim,” said Sorock. “It is now clear that the District is unable to do so. As TUA and I demonstrated in our lawsuit, the required calculation of an individual’s property tax increase was understated by more than a factor of three.
“The District has continued to blame TUA and me for the costs associated with defending the District’s April 2011 referendum language. Now that we know conclusively that the District itself allowed legally non-forming language to be placed on the ballot, the District should not look to blame those who uncovered the error, but instead those who made the flawed calculation of the tax impact in the first place,” Sorock concluded.
For more information, please contact h.sorock@gmail.com.

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.

Illinois Courts Bully Taxpayers

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Chicago – Taxpayers United of America (TUA), today submitted notice to the Illinois Court of Appeals 1st District, of their intent to withdraw their complaints against Oak Park SD 97 and Wilmette SD 39. The complaints had alleged that the two school districts intentionally understated by at least two thirds, the property-tax increase referenda passed by voters on April 5, 2011.
“This case was being bounced back and forth through every jurisdiction by judges at every level. The legal action has drained the resources of taxpayers in these communities. These taxpayers attempted to hold accountable the government bureaucrats who intentionally duped voters into passing these property tax increases,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President.
“The intransigence and deceit of these government-school bureaucrats is mindboggling. They looked taxpayers in the eye, gave them false information on which to base their votes, then fought these same taxpayers in court to hold on to their ill-gotten property tax increases.”
“Our goal in filing these lawsuits was to stop the taxpayer abuse that is perpetrated by bureaucrats who seek only to protect their own lavish salaries and pensions. 80% of this tax increase is being used to pay salaries and benefits of the government school employees. Such tax increases make the teachers and administrators even wealthier, but no benefit of any kind accrues to the students themselves.”
“The judges who rule on these cases have a vested interest in protecting the ‘tax at any cost’ attitude that prevails throughout Illinois. They get generous taxpayer-funded salaries, and when they retire, they receive huge taxpayer-funded pensions.”
(See: https://www.taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/commentary/retired-illinois-judges-raking-in-gluttonous-pensions.)
“Although we are withdrawing our complaint, we have succeeded in exposing the games these government-school bureaucrats are playing on homeowners, and we will continue to work with local taxpayer activists and groups on these issues.”