Downers Grove, Illinois Commissioners Bob Barnett and Greg Hose are speaking out against a proposed $893,000 tax hike in the village.
"Whether or not it's for increased pension obligations forced upon us by Springfield, it's the largest tax increase in the Village of Downers Grove in years," a statement penned by the lawmakers said. "We believe there are alternatives that will reduce or eliminate the burden on our residents without affecting the delivery of top quality municipal services.
The commissions went on to write that a budget indicates priorities and values, and that the the village's residents already face higher taxes, higher living costs and stagnated wages.
Over a third of Downers Grove's households are home to Social Security recipients who will get no cost of living increases in 2016, the statement pointed out. The average monthly SSI payment in the village is less than $1,300.
"For many, an 8 percent increase in village property taxes is enormous," the statement said.
Barnett and Hose came up with a list of possible cost reductions that would eliminate the need for a tax increase. Those suggestions included postponing a public works parking lot paving project; putting off a sidewalk project on Ogden Avenue; reducing the general fund balance by $100,000; and the elimination of property tax transfers into the village's storm water fund.