Wirepoints exec decries state's high property taxes
Ted Dabrowski was not in attendance at a recent Center for Tax and Budget (CTBA) Accountability “Property Taxes: Why Are They So High and Where Are They Going?” seminar hosted by CTBA executive director Ralph Martire in conjunction with the Palatine League of Women Voters, but he thinks he can almost hear what he is sure was said.
“I’m sure he (Martire) talked about how as a state we do not spend enough money and tried to convince everyone that taxes really aren’t that high,” Dabrowski, president of the local government watchdog group Wirepoints, told West Cook News. “I’m sure he talked about how we need a progressive tax to make the state better and how raised taxes will mean more services and more people staying in Illinois. The bottom line is Ralph Martire doesn’t represent ordinary Illinoisans. He is funded by the union interests, not to protect ordinary people.”
Dabrowski said any real plan to lower the state’s rising property tax rates has to start with doing away with some of its nearly 7,000 units of government.
“That outrageous number means a massive number of bureaucrats and staffs that are duplicative, overlapping,” he said. "Now, factor in how many of the positions have executive-level pay with pension benefits and other perks and you see why costs in those areas have grown so fast relative to what ordinary people in Illinois can afford. We are an outlier in terms of pension costs, total compensation for state workers and units of government and in how strict our elective bargaining laws are in favor of government workers.”
The Palatine League of Women Voters event was held Feb. 12 at the Palatine Library. Dabrowski said the fact that such forums are taking place all over the state speaks to how the issue of soaring property taxes has become a unifying issue among residents all across Illinois.
“To change the dynamic, two things need to happen,” he said. “We have to change pension mandates, which means adopting a constitutional amendment to reform pensions, and we need to reform collective bargaining rules so taxpayers have more leverage against all the unions.”