Kendall County tax protesters seek 20 percent cuts in levies
By Steve Lord email@example.com July 14, 2012 7:54PM
Jan Alexander, right, of Oswego, talks to a person attending the Tax Rally Friday in downtown Oswego. Alexander, an organizer of the rally, was showing the person how to start the process to appeal tax assessments.
Updated: August 17, 2012 6:32AM
OSWEGO — Some Kendall County residents are trying to get all local governmental bodies to cut their tax levies by 20 percent. A group gathered Friday at Hudson Crossing Park in Oswego to get signatures on petitions and help people learn how to protest taxes, appeal assessments or even lower their taxes.
Among the possible taxes tactics is a referendum organizers will seek to get on the November ballot. Mark Johnson, one of the organizers of Friday’s loosely organized tax protest group, said the referendum would ask voters if they want tax levies cut by 20 percent.
“We keep saying: What’s the next step?” Johnson said. “If nothing else, this will get more people talking about it.”
Getting a countywide referendum on the ballot could be a tall order. The group would have to get almost 2,600 signatures from registered voters and file them by Aug. 6. Even then, the referendum would be non-binding. But Johnson said if such a referendum were passed, it still would send a message.
“They have to pay attention,” he said.
Other possible steps are for the protesters to attend all local governmental meetings and push for 20 percent decreases in the individual tax levies. Johnson said people might do that anyway, referendum or no referendum.
Jan Alexander, an Oswego resident who helped organize Friday’s rally, said she was happy with the turnout, despite the threat of rain all day. The rally, organized similarly to one in a Yorkville park about a month ago, ran from noon to 8 p.m.
Alexander was showing residents how to appeal their assessments, while other organizers were listening to taxpayer stories, and talking about how high they say taxes are getting.
“The big thing is the tax levies,” Alexander said. “We want to encourage people to go to meetings. We just cannot sustain this anymore.”