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updated: 3/18/2014 10:28 PM

Long Grove voters reject proposed property tax

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  • Long Grove voters have defeated a measure that would have allowed the village to charge the first property tax in the suburb's nearly 60-year-old history.

      Long Grove voters have defeated a measure that would have allowed the village to charge the first property tax in the suburb's nearly 60-year-old history.
    Daily Herald File Photo

 
 

Long Grove voters on Tuesday handily defeated a measure that would have paved the way for the village's first property tax.

With all precincts reporting, unofficial totals show 1,475 voters -- or 83 percent -- opposed the tax and only 300 voted in favor of it.

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Saddled with a $1.7 million funding gap for roadwork, officials say the tax would have generated a stable source of revenue -- raising about $400,000 a year -- to finance repairs to deteriorating streets.

But the ill-fated measure touched off resentment among homeowners who already pay for privately funded roads. In a self-reliant community, the property tax also challenged founding principles to resist taxes as a solution to problems, opponents say.

"People believe in tradition," said Marcia Marshall, head of opposition group Long Grove United.

The village property tax would have cost the owner of a $750,000 home an extra $166 annually. The village's share would have represented less than 1 percent of a $20,000-plus bill the average homeowner pays each year in property taxes, mostly toward schools.

"I personally assume that the message is people are just taxed to the limit," Village President Angie Underwood said of the measure's defeat.

Officials also outlined a proposal late last year to turn almost 13 miles of the village's streets private -- making those property owners pick up the tab of roadwork through special taxing districts. Neighborhoods would have to clear hurdles to create homeowners' associations that would collect fees for road upkeep.

Trustees will review their options March 25.

"We're not going to ignore the problem and pretend it's not there," Underwood said.

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