Letters to the Editor

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 to the taxpayers explaining what’s going on!

David Vail, O’Fallon