430% property tax increase drives Maywood boyhood home of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton into foreclosure
Cook County says the Maywood boyhood home of Illinois Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton is worth $141,920.
Its tax bill: $8,430, or an effective property tax rate of about six percent.
Property tax rates that high, at more than five times the national average, have become standard in inner-ring Chicago suburbs such as Maywood. But the $700 per month tax bill has proven too rich for Hampton's son, Fred Hampton, Jr.
He's asking for donations to help him stop the county from auctioning off the home.
The tax bill at 804 S. 17th Avenue spiked more than 400 percent this year, to more than $8,000 from just $1,919. That's after its previous owner, Hampton's uncle, Bill, died and the property lost three tax exemptions, including one that freezes tax bills for seniors, according to the Cook County Treasurer.
Hampton, Jr., who in 1993, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for throwing a Molotov cocktail into a Korean-owned clothing store in Englewood (he was paroled in 2001), told the Chicago Sun-Times he "doesn't know" how he fell behind on payments for the home.
He is president of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, which has called for an end to capitalism and for white Americans to "take responsibility for the fact that white society rests on the pedestal of the oppression of African people" and pay reparations to black Americans for their "stolen wealth."
The group hosts a web site where whites can pay reparations with a credit card, presumably to be distributed by Uhuru movement leaders.
Oak Park-River Forest High School teacher and Illinois Socialist Party leader Anthony Clark has started a "Comrades for Fred Hampton Home" GoFundMe page, with a goal of $70,000. As of 9:30 p.m. on Wed. Oct 17, 80 contributors had donated $2,832.
Hampton Sr. was killed in a controversial Chicago police raid of Black Panther headquarters in 1969.