Endorsement: Yes to repair Green Oaks roads

  • Workers grade Saddle Hill Rd. just South of White Fence Lane in Green Oaks. A question on the November ballot will ask Green Oaks voters to approve the village's first property tax, with proceeds targeted for road repairs.

      Workers grade Saddle Hill Rd. just South of White Fence Lane in Green Oaks. A question on the November ballot will ask Green Oaks voters to approve the village's first property tax, with proceeds targeted for road repairs. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted10/20/2016 1:00 AM

Green Oaks voters are asked to support a first in the village's 56-year history -- a municipal property tax. It would be used to provide a steady revenue source for road maintenance and repairs to supplement state money that has been declining in recent years.

Voters will be asked to authorize a new tax of less than one tenth of 1 percent of assessed property value. The owner of a house valued at $300,000 would pay about $93 more annually. The measure would generate $235,000 annually to be added to the roughly $225,000 -- mostly state motor fuel tax funds and local vehicle sticker fees -- now spent on road work.

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That would be enough to pay for reconstruction of some of the worst roads each year and keep pace with resurfacing and maintenance on others. A real estate tax cannot be dedicated to a specific use, but village officials say the money would go to the general fund and be earmarked for roads.

In March, voters rejected a request to authorize the village to borrow $18.8 million through a bond issue to repair nearly all streets over five years. It would have cost the owner of a house valued at $300,000 about $453 per year for 20 years. A survey later showed most respondents thought that was too high. This proposal allows Green Oaks to provide safe, well-maintained roads at a reasonable cost. We recommend a "yes" vote.

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