Local

For the Record – Co-ops a Plus to All of Park Forest

Commentary

By John A. Ostenburg Mayor, Village of Park Forest

A letter to the editor appearing in the Sunday, October 21, edition of a local newspaper once again misrepresents the relationship of the Park Forest housing cooperatives to the remainder of the Village. Though I and others have made numerous attempts to correct the misrepresentation of facts being generated by some persons, they continue to make inaccurate statements, almost with the attitude of “Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

Let me again acknowledge, as I have in the past, that a major problem did occur in 2005 when co-op property taxes were reduced to levels far below what had been paid in years previous. The problem came about as an “unintended consequence” of legislation that had been passed by the Illinois General Assembly. Neither the Village of Park Forest nor the housing cooperatives had any role whatsoever in that legislative action and both were shocked to learn of the effect it had on Park Forest property taxes.

The Village successfully worked with the co-op boards and with the Cook County Assessor to have that issue resolved. Four of the five co-ops made voluntary payments in lieu of taxes that equaled the amount their taxes had been reduced. The Assessor’s Office corrected its processes so that the error did not occur again. The tax bills of 2006 raised co-op property taxes to a level even higher than they had been before the error of 2005.

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