Aliki Marinos and her brother, Frank, run Bel-Mar Wire Products, a small-scale manufacturing business founded by their father, Tom Marinos, in 1972. In December, they got a property tax bill 3.7 times higher than it had been the year before. To pay for it, they were forced to let go about half their staff. Now, their spring tax bill is nearly double what it had been in December.
“Chicago is the founding location of our business. It’s our history. It’s our whole story. My dad was an immigrant who came here with his family and pretty much started from scratch. No help, no higher education, no connections, language barriers. Chicago is a city that’s known for that. It’s sort of like you’re taking that away.”
“We had siblings working here. Uncles, nephews, relatives that they would refer. So, we really had a tight-knit trust as far as the work ethic and family values are concerned.”
“We just went through COVID. Closures, price increases, surges of gas, of food, insurance, costs, short labor supplies. And we’re all still going through some difficulties, and now this happens?”
“It’s not possible mathematically to even derive those numbers. So, we also want answers on how these numbers have been calculated. There’s never really any clear answer on how they get to the figures they get to.”
“Chicago is our stake, right? It’s our post. We’re not here speaking just for ourselves today, we’re speaking for thousands of Chicagoans who feel the same way and who have an unjustified tax bill.”
“Hardworking Chicago citizens and citizens of Illinois are trying to feed their families, get by, send their kids to school, take care of their elderly and live their lives as they have been for so many years.”
“Why are we being punished for that?”
Co-owner, Bel-Mar Wire
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