Letter: No deals to reduce school impact fees

By on May 17, 2012

On page 6A of last week’s Elburn Herald, there is an article of the Elburn Village Board’s consideration of a reduction in impact fees for a Shodeen construction project.

I would like to make known that I am animatedly opposed to any concession of any kind, and further believe no reasonable person could come to any other conclusion. These arrangements are poison for the community. Anyone who would complain about their property tax bill can singularly point to these agreements that are entirely the source of the problem. These agreements produce little in terms of individual cost differences and have cost the community hundreds of millions of dollars, which amount to nothing less than a cash subsidy for millionaire builders. And then, Sugar Grove and Maple Park will also feel equally compelled to join in the race to shower builders with their own deals. It’s like a bad drug.

Our property taxes are higher than any surrounding community. Over the past decade our taxes have risen at an average 11 percent a year, twice the theoretical 5 percent limit because capital expenditures are exempt from the limit.

The economy has nothing to do with this, it is quite simply a wealth transfer from the taxpayer to Shodeen. Every ounce of the reduction will wind up funded by the school district, police and fire departments, park district, library and every other local authority. It gets aggregated, and then the soccer moms get in gear and ask us to pay for it. Someone will pay for it, rest assured.

Shodeen shuttles himself around in the Gulfstream Jet, which cost something like $35 million to buy and $10,000 an hour to fly. I feel like I have paid for it. Thank you very much, but the district and the entire community should say no to all of this in no uncertain terms.

No concessions; not one dime.

I would like for the Elburn Village Board to consider delaying any decision unless it is no, until we can have a chance to generate more public comment on this subject. There isn’t even an accounting of how many housing units, number of expected school children, and aggregated financial burden which is to be absorbed by the School District published here. How can we understand it without a cost assessment? And how much more will every other municipality feel they are entitled to?

Jeff MacKenzie