I live in one of those unincorporated “islands” surrounded by the City of Rockford that Mayor Morrissey, Patrick Hayes, and house bill 1629 author Chuck Jefferson would like annexed into the city. I own a very modest home, and if HB 1629 passes, my property taxes will increase by a minimum of $1,000. Tax comparisons with other similar homes in the City of Rockford indicate that the increase will be closer to $1,500. For those of you who own more expensive homes, the impact will be greater. Besides a tax increase, your property value will decrease, because it will be less desirable. Have you counted the number of homes for sale in the City of Rockford? I don’t know about other “islanders,” but I do not have an extra $125 per month in my budget to give away. I have written all of the state senators and representatives in the Rockford area expressing my displeasure of being annexed, and urged them to vote against HB 1629. I chose to live outside of the City of Rockford; I do not want to reside within it. Why would anyone wish to be part of this mismanaged city? Rockford’s city government has not been good stewards of taxpayers’ money. Instead of repairing roads and providing citizens with adequate safety, they build “river walks,” purchase hockey teams and keep a dying civic center funded with tax dollars. They borrow police services from Winnebago County because they do not have enough officers to cover the city, they want to reduce the number of firefighters on a truck, and they are even considering installing a roundabout in an ambulance route! This is nonsense! If my house is annexed, I will dump it and move out of Winnebago County so I can be sure I will not be devoured by Rockford. There are plenty of nice homes for sale with a much lower tax rate in Boone and Ogle counties. If you are at all concerned about being annexed, I suggest you contact your Illinois state senator and representative and let them know your position. You should also let Chuck Jefferson know what impact his bill, HB 1629, will have on your life.
From the April 21-27, 2010 issue