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posted: 3/14/2012 5:29 AM

Wrong time for park district tax increase in Arlington Hts.

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In the current economic environment, why ask residents to pay $48,000,000 more in taxes over a 25-year period for elaborate new park buildings?

Residents are already paying higher park district taxes through 2015 for an existing referendum that built new park pools. Residents are faced with unemployment, inflation, and raised property taxes with declining property values, as well as, struggling on fixed incomes.

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The Village of Arlington Heights is struggling with loss of businesses and a high number of home foreclosures which further burden the remaining property owners with more financial responsibility.

There just is not enough compelling evidence proving this sudden urgent need for all the proposed excessive new construction -- at an increased cost to Arlington Heights taxpayers. This plan is much more of a desire than a necessity no matter how we try to justify or simplify the cost to residents. Our parks are already of the highest quality; tearing down old buildings and replacing them with new will not raise property value to even come close to offsetting the $48,000,000 price tag.

Overall houses are currently selling at a 20-50 percent discounted cost. We are already being taxed for more than the value of our homes. How much more can we possibly squeeze the average homeowner? Furthermore, what will our property truly be worth when homes won't sell due to outrageous property taxes?

It would be more prudent to utilize a portion of the park district's $25,000,000 budget and their available $11,000,000 in tax free municipal bonds for improvements. Or wait until 2015 when the current referendum is paid in full and the economic climate has time to correct.

The concept of costly excessive expansion is a luxury that should not be considered at the financial detriment of any of our residents. The timing is not befitting to the prevailing economic circumstances, to ask residents to pay more especially when the park district is already holding a large sum of the taxpayer's money on the side.

Bart Bartell

Arlington Heights

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