This afternoon, I opened my 2016 property tax bill and was disheartened to find that it surpassed $9,000 for the first time and a 5 percent increase over 2015. And for what? A junior college surrounded by an ostentatious, but useless fence and its own art gallery, potholes in front of my home that have been there for several years, a ghost town airport that just received a $900,000 federal grant to expand its parking lot (requiring 10 percent local funding), city services that are exceeded in quality by our Missouri neighbors but taxes at nearly half the rate, and a redundant township that finally will “ride off into the sunset,” but that is hitting us with one last round of taxes.
Our politicians are oblivious to the reality that their taxing policies are driving from the state the families that they spend our tax dollars to attract. Even if NGA moved here, do you think its Missouri staff would choose to double, or even triple its property tax bills by moving to Illinois? In the not too distant future the Belleville area will be left with a sizable majority of low-income families unable to afford home ownership. Who will our politicians tax then?
Our two options are to move with the NGA to Missouri or elect politicians, like Gov. Rauner, who make real their promise cut the budgets of these self-serving bureaucracies.
Ron Hindman, Belleville