I sent the following Letter-to-the-Editor to the Daily Herald on 4/21 – They never published it. The Board passed the ordinance on 4/28/2020. I’m glad they did, but disappointed in the details.
Give Taxpayers a Break.
On 4/14/2020 Robert Sanchez wrote an article titled: “DuPage County Board members appear to support a proposal to waive late fees for residents unable to pay their property taxes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Then on 4/17/2020 a follow-up titled “DuPage schools concerned about impact of potential property tax delays.” According to the second one, “A letter signed by 34 [school] superintendents asks county board members to consider ‘important facts’… Educators are concerned that removing late penalties could lead to delayed revenue for districts and force several to do short-term borrowing just to make payroll.”
That statement comes across as greedy and tone-deaf. Worse yet, I believe it is FALSE. The property tax money comes in June and September and must last all year. The low point for end-of-month cash-on-hand is normally the end of May. If they get their entire first installment on time, that is enough to last 6 months. Three months later they get the rest. So long as they get a t least half of what is due by June 1 and again half of what is due by September 1, then the rest sometime during the year, they should be fine.
This year with schools closed, less should be spent on stipends for extra-curricular, utility bills, supplies, mileage reimbursement, bus transportation… Once back in school, the districts could easily cut from their budgets items like public-relations, staff-celebrations, gifts, donations, attending conventions, etc.
Many taxpayers have been without pay or taken a cut in pay. Reading this proposal, the school districts are simply being asked to accept less interest on the reserves in the bank, while the county forgoes late penalties, and our neighbors who were hit hard by their business being ordered closed get a break.
Jan Shaw – Wheaton
p.s. Since a picture is worth a 1,000 words I attached one I create back in 2017 to include if possible.
I had emailed this information along with a chart (will post tomorrow) to the DuPage County board members on Friday 4/24.