“We’re not going to stay in Illinois now. There’s nothing here for us. It breaks our heart to see what is going on because now we want to leave. It’s bad and it’s just getting worse.

“I was born in Des Plaines and came back after college. My husband and I both work out of our house.

“Last year, I got an $800 increase in property taxes. Now this year, it’s $2,000.

“How many more times is it going to go up?

“I heard from more people, on my street and beyond and it seems this runs the gamut. Some people got big hikes like me, others none at all, and others, lesser amount increases. It doesn’t seem to follow a locational pattern, house size, etc.

“The gal behind me got the same huge hike we did. A gal on our block across the street had a decrease. Someone about 12 blocks from us had no spike.

“To go up that much is ridiculous. They have no instruction on the back as to what you can do to say, ‘Hey, I don’t think this is fair.’

“On my first 2019 installment, they lay out your taxing districts. It says pensions and health care dollars promised by your district is $29 million.

“Why am I paying for someone’s pension? No one is paying for my retirement fund.

“It breaks down my total figure to what I’m paying toward all of these things. Of the money I’m paying, $5,000 is going to schools and $1,100 to municipalities.

“How much of that amount is actually going to education? It just seems like it’s full of crap.

“[They] said the only thing I can do is file a claim for next year. [They] kind of made it sound like no matter what, I have to pay this $4,400 outstanding bill now.

“First, given the economic shutdown, all increases should be frozen! Second, more explanation other than a person from the Maine Township Assessor’s Office telling me they ‘reassessed’ last year needs to be given.

“The assessed value in 2018 was $21,586 and in 2019 its $30,933. The home values are never going to go back to where they were in 2006.

“My house dropped in value in 2008. We went through all that hell, we were just beginning to recover and now this pandemic happened. We’re self-employed, so we’re paying huge tax withholdings as it is. What do we do?

“By the time I hit 65, am I going to be paying $10,000 a year? I still have a mortgage.

“At first glance, [a progressive income tax] seems like maybe it wouldn’t be bad, until you read more. Every state that is adopting this kind of structure is taxing retirement income. That’s a killer for me.

“I don’t think I can afford to retire here with the progressive income tax. If you’re going to tax retirement income, which people have been saving all these years, why does anyone want to stay in this state anymore?

“It’s sad. It seems to me decades of mismanagement is what we’re paying for. What’s the solution? Do I really have to move across the country to have a calm, normal life and live freely?”

Joanne Rusch
Des Plaines, Illinois