After a repeat presentation on Government Access Programming on 6GA, I could not believe what I witnessed. President Abu-Taleb's verbal slip during the budget hearings in 2018 was interesting. He wanted to protect "consumers," er, taxpayers.
This is the problem! The village president sees us as buyers of services and "stuff," not taxpayers. The concepts are not similar. Taxes are used to provide essential services, pay salaries, cover pensions, etc. If it is a business, then we are not making a profit (surplus). Maybe the prices are too high!
In addition, a 7½ percent increase in the tax levy ($900,000) is actually going to increase another 3 to 3.5 percent (approximately 10½ percent) because of the state tax added to allow for those who do not pay their taxes. President "Tall Building" Abu Taleb's attempt to minimize the cost to taxpayers is disingenuous.
Telling taxpayers "it's just a few dollars more" is like saying a blizzard will dump just a little more snow!
In the hearing, the president showed his nastiness toward trustees Deno Andrews and Simone Boutet (who I hoped would vote no). He wants little dissension to his ideas and to the views of the secret co-president, the village manager.
What was fun to watch was Trustee Andrews and Trustee Moroney's comments questioning the tax levy increase, the failure to draw a line in the sand as to levies going up, and to the president's ridiculous rationalizations concerning picking the taxpayers' pocket.
In 2019, we need a board to look at taxpayers and say, "We will not increase your taxes in 2019 (which covers 2020), and we will use zero-based budgeting in all future budgets!"
A few trustees seem to feel the pain we feel. The problem is, as real estate values rise, due partially to high-rises being constructed, the president wants us to think this levy is a small increase. He argues either/or: police/no police; good parks/no parks (oops, that's another government, Mr. Abu Taleb), good/poor schools (oops, another taxing body). You do not control other governing bodies.
We cannot sustain the continued tax increases, and we surely cannot build our way out of the tax problem. Let's hope a new board finds some answers.
Former village trustee
Answer Book 2018
To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2018 Answer Book, please click here.
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