Monday, November 15, 2010
Pulling the Wool Over Our Eyes (aka Fuzzy Math)
But that's just smoke and mirrors. We don't know how they get away with that brand of "fuzzy math." Because if you take the time to go to Cook County Clerk David Orr's website and punch in a few numbers, a very different, and more truthful, picture appears.
This is what our tax bill read as far as the TIF:
And this is what we discovered we're really paying:
COUNTY OF COOK 2.4662999524%
FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT OF COOK COUNTY 0.3067225829%
CITY OF CHICAGO 5.5523047149%
CITY OF CHICAGO LIBRARY FUND 0.6197048103%
CITY OF CHICAGO SCHOOL BLDG & IMP FUND 0.7010801895%
TIF CITY OF CHICAGO-WILSON YARD 71.0366246719%
CHICAGO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT 508 0.9389466823%
BOARD OF EDUCATION 14.8103190029%
CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT 1.8465951419%
CHICAGO PARK DIST. AQUARIUM & MUSEUM BONDS 0.0876350237%
METRO WATER RECLAMATION DIST OF GR CHGO 1.6337672273%
Total Percentage = 100.00%
Nearly three-quarters of our taxes aren't going to City services, schools, police, firefighters... all the things they've traditionally funded. Think about that the next time you hear that the City is 2300 police officers short. That City workers must take nearly a month off in unpaid furlough days. That teachers spend over $500 of their own money for school supplies because the City can't afford to supply each classroom. That libraries are closing early.
And then ask yourself why they're hiding this fact on your property tax bill. Because you're the one paying for this mess, and someone else is doing the job of allocating that money (fairly poorly, in our opinion). And then ask what our neighborhood needs more: police? teachers? or fish farms?
To check out your own secret, hidden TIF/tax liability amount, go to the County Clerk's website and plug in your property's PIN.