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updated: 6/13/2012 5:40 PM

Gurnee resident says sanitary district property tax unfair without service

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  • A Gurnee resident is questioning why he still must pay "unfair" property taxes to the North Shore Sanitary District when the agency doesn't serve his home, which is connected to a septic system. This is the sanitary district's Zion waste water treatment plant.

      A Gurnee resident is questioning why he still must pay "unfair" property taxes to the North Shore Sanitary District when the agency doesn't serve his home, which is connected to a septic system. This is the sanitary district's Zion waste water treatment plant.
    Daily Herald file photo 2010

 
 

Gurnee resident Jerry Kolar says he's tired of paying taxes to the North Shore Sanitary District without receiving any of the agency's services.

Kolar read a prepared statement to the Gurnee-based sanitary district board Wednesday, raising concerns about paying "unfair" taxes without receiving anything in return since 1998. He said a majority of his neighborhood on Gurnee's northeast side didn't want to be in the district when the land was annexed 14 years ago.

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"The school district, the park district, library, forest preserve and the village are all available and so are other taxing bodies -- and have access to their services -- and we pay to have their services, but why be assessed and pay the tax to the (sanitary district) and have no services available?" asked Kolar, whose home is on a septic system.

Sanitary district General Manager Brian Dorn said it appears the statute of limitations has expired to do anything about the annexation of Gurnee's northeast side. But he said Kolar can ask to link to the district's service.

"It certainly is available to him and it increases the value of his property to have sewer service," Dorn said.

A homeowner in Kolar's neighborhood who wants sanitary sewer service today would pay a $1,360 annexation fee -- the same charge assessed in 1998 -- as well as a connection fee of $1,952, Dorn said.

Gurnee property owners are billed based on water usage information provided to the sanitary district by the village. Property taxes are collected for administrative costs from homeowners living east of the Tri-State Tollway. Lake County Public Works bills for sewer service to Gurnee property owners west of the tollway.

Kolar said Wednesday he's paid an average of $95 a year to the agency, about $1,235 in all since the 1998 annexation.

He said his research shows that 283 properties in an area roughly bounded by Glen Flora Avenue, Northwestern Avenue, Green Bay Road and Sunset Avenue are taxed without receiving sanitary district service.

Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik said Wednesday it seems North Shore Sanitary annexed more property than initially planned. But she said nothing improper occurred and she's explained to Kolar how to go about trying to have his land deannexed from the district, which she acknowledges would be difficult.

North Shore Sanitary is the second-largest sewage treatment agency in Illinois, behind the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Its coverage area includes all or parts of Gurnee, Waukegan, Lake Forest, Highland Park, North Chicago, Deerfield and Zion.

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