County Board owes the public an explanation
Like other homeowners in St. Clair County, we just got our 2016 property tax bill and discovered the tax for St. Clair County GEN increased by a whopping 113.66 percent over the 2015 rate! Then, while checking the rates for some other properties in St. Clair County, I discovered that it seems only O’Fallon homeowners contribute taxes to that St. Clair County GEN fund.
O’Fallon residents pay taxes into two St. Clair County funds – GEN and OTHER. A quick look at several other communities in St. Clair County, including Belleville, Fairview Heights, Shiloh, Smithton, Cahokia, East St. Louis, etc., showed those residents only pay into the St. Clair County – OTHER fund. Something is really screwed up here! This exploration caused me to look at the total tax rates across 10 communities in St. Clair County, and all I could do was shake my head in disbelief. The lowest total rate I saw was in Fairview Heights at 7.3082 percent, but the poor folks in Cahokia and East St. Louis are getting raped at 23.1904 percent and 17.0888 percent respectively! Looking at them, maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad with O’Fallon at 8.4597 percent even if we are paying all of the St. Clair County GEN taxes. The total tax rates for homeowners in most of the communities seem to be between 7.3082 percent (Fairview Heights) and 10.2153 percent (Belleville).
The County Board owes a public letter in the BND and Progress to the taxpayers explaining what’s going on!
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David Vail, O’Fallon
Memorial Day ceremony did not dissappoint
Those who attended the Memorial Day ceremony at the O’Fallon Veterans’ Monument were not disappointed. Mother Nature was on her best behavior, providing perfect weather conditions to pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
Long-time emcee Phil Goodwin was on his game, and gracious in introducing the new mayor, Herb Roach, who defeated him in the recent local election. The mayor being in attendance to open the event was a nice touch.
Many groups and individuals came together to make this tribute memorable.
The musical performances by the First Baptist Church adult choir, Kat Rubush, Erin Cornwall, and Kevin Belobrajdic were superb.
A special shout out is in order to the Air Force Junior ROTC cadets involved. Many of today’s youth would rather hang out in front of the TV than stand tall in the hot sun.
The keynote speaker, Brig. Gen. Stacey Hawkins, was also impressive. Decked out in his full dress blues, he remained crisp and focused despite the sun beating down.
Gen. Hawkins personalized his words with experiences as a cadet and later a junior officer assigned to the Air Force honor guard. You know it was an exceptional speech when even my teenage daughter gave it two thumbs up.
The otherwise solemn occasion was unfortunately interrupted by a yapping dog. I’m a dog lover, but this little canine’s deportment was unacceptable. Other than service dogs, maybe our four-legged friends are best left at home.
Bill Malec, O’Fallon