Tax woes in Oak Park?

You would think so:

[T]here are some legitimate reasons for the increase in taxes here: . . . .But that may not make residents of modest or fixed incomes feel any better. For them, being required to pay more in taxes may be like squeezing blood from a stone; they may not be able to afford the higher costs.

Some long-time residents are speaking openly of leaving town, saying they are being driven out by the taxes.Even residents who can afford it dont like it. Why would they? I dont like it, either.

Not quite Oak Park, however, but Falls Church City, VA, where the Falls Church Times writer says complainers should look to, yes, Oak Park:

[C]onsider the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, a community much like Falls Church City. It is close to downtown, near a highway, and has multiple train stops. It is prized for its schools and has a bit of an urban feel. It is larger than Falls Church City, which gives it more commercial tax revenue [oh?] and more economies of scale.

In theory, Oak Park should be able to have a lower tax rate than Falls Church City, assuming its property values are comparable. Making a comparison is tricky from the comfort of my living room, but Oak Park is an expensive place to live; one house with four beds and two baths featuring 2,350 square feet is under contract after two days with an asking price of $749,000. A large and old 5,000 square foot home updated with modern systems sold for $1,575,000.

Based on those data points, a picture starts to emerge that prices are comparable to Falls Church City, where the median priced single family home is about $700,000 and the top end of the market is around $1.5 million.

With that knowledge, could you guess how Oak Parks tax rate compares to Falls Church Citys $1.305? What if I told you their rate is $3.00?

“Sorry about the coffee on your keyboard,” he says, in reference to the shock he has just administered, continuing:.

. . . its true. The owner of a house assessed at $600,000 would pay $18,000 in taxes there annually. Here, the same house would be taxed $7,830.

Thinking maybe I cherry picked the most egregious example? Guilty as charged! I couldnt find one worse.

He goes on to name Evanston, with a rate “much higher” that his city’s, at “about $2.”

I would question, of course, that presumed high “commercial tax revenue” and would ask about F-Church City’s economic and racial diversity and proximity to high-crime area to the east with less close-by high-crime spillover from the west, that is, Maywood, all of which add to the costs of preserving our utopia.

Yet and still . . . We do have our revenue problems here, do we not?

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