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UPDATE: Which Town's Residents Pay Most In Taxes and Fees?

If you think you pay a lot, see how your town ranks.

Ever been irate at how much you pay in taxes and fees to your suburb?

It's hard to get a handle on which towns charge the most, because some have lower property taxes, but they may be offset by higher fees for water, garbage, vehicle stickers and other charges. 

The City of Park Ridge has come out with its annual ranking of what residents of 13 nearby towns pay annually for their municipal services. By considering all the monies residents pay, including property taxes and fees, it attempts to create an apples-to-apples comparison and determine who gets hit hardest in the pocketbook. 

In this survey, Morton Grove residents clearly earn the most sympathy. The average Morton Grove family pays $1719.89 annually in municipal taxes and fees. 

Patch originally reported that Morton Grove did not respond to the survey, but Barb Beil, who compiles the survey for the City of Park Ridge, confirmed at about noon Thursday that Morton Grove responded late. Beil, administrative assistant to the Park Ridge finance director, sent out a revised email with Morton Grove's information to the participating villages, but when the village of Niles compiled the pink chart accompanying this story, they did not include Morton Grove's information. The blue and white .pdf contains more complete information. 

"It’s interesting to note that page 1 of the survey shows that Morton Grove is the most efficient municipality with a per capita cost of only $1,190 compared to Niles which is $2,137.34," wrote Ryan Horne, Morton Grove's finance director, in an email. 

"Unfortunately Morton Grove has limited commercial business to offset or subsidize the costs for our residents. However, our residents should know that the Village of Morton Grove’s staff are dedicated to ensuring they get the most value for their money."

Evanston came in next, with the average resident paying $1,586.21 annually. 

Des Plaines came in as the third highest, at $1,376.10. Next were Glenview, at $968,  and Skokie, at $882.15.

Niles ranked the lowest, at $818. 25, a statistic touted by its officials. 

“An efficient government structure, a solid commercial property tax base and a strong sales tax base are the major reasons Niles residents pay less,” Mayor Robert M. Callero said in a statement.

George Van Geem, the village manager for Niles, said the fact that the municipality has no sewer or garbage hauling charges saves residents money.

He agreed a key factor for the village's low charges is its large retail base, which generates sales tax revenue.

"In Illinois, we're probably ranked 12th or 13th in [sales] tax-generating communities," said Van Geem. "If you can pay police and fire out of sales tax, you don't have to have high property taxes."

Beil, of Park Ridge, said her city does not publish the results, but uses them internally when staff and officials compile the budget. 

They look at comparables to other towns, she said, to see what other towns charge for various services. 

Richard Schulte May 18, 2011 at 06:32 PM
"I always thought public officials that are paid by you and me, the tax payer’s, work for us, not the other way around?" Fuji, apparently you didn't get the memo. Public officials working for the taxpayers-what a quaint concept. I'm looking for the memo which announced that taxpayers are now the public servants and are required to serve the public officials. When I find it, I'll post of copy of the memo. Thank you for all of your hard work on our behalf. Thumbs up. Your posts are quite informative!!!! Kudos. Keep up the good work.
Frank May 18, 2011 at 08:05 PM
Mr. Schulte, you missed my point (as did a few others). Whoever took over the presidency after Bush (Repulican or Demorcrat) was going to feel the need to spend an enormous amount of money to "jump start" the economy. The majority of politicians are crooks in my eyes. That money didn't make it to everyone that it was supposed to. The point was that the Bush admin. was talking about using the money and then the Obama admin. came in and took over where they left off and spent the money. As for the health care debacle, it seems interesting how all the candidates were in favor of universial health care when they were running for office and it seemed like such a compassionate idea for politicians to want ALL of Americans to have health care! So now it hasn't gone as planned, and we all agree on that. I contend at this point that it is a lot easier to point out all the problems, but who is coming up with good solutions! Both parties have succeeded in polarizing the nation! We are so much into the whole Democrat vs. Republican debate right now and it is ridiculous! How come Dems and Rep. Senators and Congressmen don't ever cross their respective parties on issues? Politics has become a joke in this country! Obama is doing a mediorcre job, Bush did a horrible job, Reagan and Clinton did a mediocre job. Is there ever going to be a president that we all agree is doing a great job? Probably not. And... regardless of who is in the White House there is this TAXATION issue!
Frank May 18, 2011 at 08:10 PM
This is Evanston Patch right? Our school districts are Evanston/Skokie District 65 and Evanston Township High School District 202. As for attending School Board meetings, I couldn't agree more with Fuji about people attending the meetings. The only point I would like to make is that the meetings are usually broadcast on local cable networks. I don't attend the board meetings but I do watch them a few days later on cable. And as for Boards making a difference, we have two new board members in the District 202, so hopefully we will see some changes at ETHS!
Richard Schulte May 18, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Mr. Heinrich, thank you for your elaboration regarding your comments, but I beg to differ on a few points. The $800 billion stimulus did indeed make it to its intended target. The purpose of the $800 billion stimulus was to create a "slush fund" to be used to reward supporters of one particular political party. The jobs of gov't employees were indeed saved, at the expense of private sector businesses and employees. While the employment rate of the private sector was nosediving, the employment rate of public sector workers was being increased. Yes, that's correct, governments were actually adding employees while the private sector was laying off employees. This is easily seen with what's happening in the public sector now. The stimulus has been blown and now public employees, including teachers, are learning about the recession-2 years later. This was classic Chicago politics-reward your voters with money from the public trough and screw-over the voters from the other party. There is only one problem with politics as practiced in Chicago-the party in power in Chicago ran the city into the ground. Mayor Daley decided to get the hell out of Dodge before the financial disaster which he and his aldermen created blew-up. So far, Mayor Rahm seems like a breath of fresh air, but I wouldn't bet on things changing very much. The problem with politics today is that nobody seems to have the nation's best interest at heart.
Lonnie wilson May 18, 2011 at 09:58 PM
BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH, all of you no know we dont get the bang for our buck whoever is to blame, I voted for Obama and he a crook too! This story is about have and have nots and the haves have their S--t together! No why we dont ? we are all to busy pointing fingers and not working for change!! You know what the folks robbing us fear MOST ? when we start talking as if we are all in the dingy being towed by the Yacht!!

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