On Monday, the DeKalb City Council passed a proposal that amounts to a huge increase in taxes – an increase in the sales tax paired with a new gas tax. With the exception of Alderman David Baker (who voted against the sales tax increase on its first reading March 10 and was not present at Monday’s meeting), the city council seems to lack concern for the burden taxpayers have to deal with in this town.
I took the time to contact council members Kris Povlsen, Donna Gorski, Victor Wogen and Ron Naylor and asked them to consider other options (cigarette taxes, liquor taxes, higher hotel taxes), but no, they just forced through the sales tax increase and new gas tax at record speed without any real consideration of these alternatives…What happened to the old days when there was a lengthy public comment period before tax increases were passed? I asked Wogen why he and the other council members ignored the opinions of residents who spoke before the council, and he replied in writing, “The only people that show up to council meetings are the ones that like to complain.”
Revoking home rule, as was successfully done in Rockford, would force this “tax and spend” city council to come to the voters to approve tax increases. Voters, this is the first of many taxes still to come (property tax, electricity tax and another tax to fund the new police station).
It’s hard work right now, not to get all snarky on the City since it kind of pushes my buttons to hear that I am motivated to attend Council meetings only because I’m an inveterate whiner or just want to get on TV (which actually was said to my face once at City Hall, though neither by alderman nor mayor). But I will contain myself, as certainly Mr. Wogen is in a class almost by himself when it comes to disrespecting the voters. No, what I want to address is the fact that this Council is on the wrong track and they must stop listening to the staff for a moment and really hear the taxpayers, who are working themselves into a revolutionary frame of mind. Next up: open letter to the Council.
We greatly appreciate your efforts to keep everything the same, but that is not where our heads are at. Who says we desire the same levels of city services at all costs? Times are tough and going to get tougher and we just voted a big property tax increase on ourselves for the sake of our schools. To add to the burden is to chase after the wrong goal. We want cuts to the budget, big ones, as big as it takes, and no new taxes. The only people who do not want these cuts are the entrenched and pampered bureaucracy with their primo coffee service and top-of-the-line cell phones and fancy business cards and big holiday country club bashes. The same bureaucracy that’s been on a hiring spree for the past several years. The same bureaucracy that keeps the thermostat up high and still hasn’t caught onto using both sides of the copy paper. The same bureaucracy that’s going to trip you into the toilet if you don’t get harsh on their vibe real quick.
Overburdened DeKalb Residents