Serwatka Floats Tax Retardation Referendum

In an email to Lakewood constituents, Village Trustee lays out a petition campaign to place an advisory referendum on the fall ballot:

Paul Serwatka

Paul Serwatka

Hello Everyone,

In my continued effort to hold local government accountable and to lower property tax burdens, I am currently working on an initiative to place an Advisory Referendum on the ballot for the upcoming General Election on November 8th, 2016.

This referendum will give Lakewood residents an opportunity to formally vote in the General Election, on whether or not local bodies of government – particularly our own Village Board – should be able to raise our property tax levy without first explaining why they deem it necessary and then allowing residents an opportunity to formally vote on it.

Being that this is an advisory referendum, it is technically non-binding – which means we would have no legal means of forcing our Village Board to comply. That being said, once the referendum is passed and in effect, for the board to raise the tax levy without first explaining the need and allowing residents to formally vote on it, would unequivocally constitute a deliberate, willful and wanton disregard of our formally expressed wishes – one that could not be pacified or plausibly denied.


To get this referendum on the ballot, we will need to circulate petitions and gather a minimum of 400 signatures from registered voters who reside in the Village of Lakewood. My hope is to get substantially more signatures to help withstand any legal challenges that may come about by those who may want to keep this referendum from getting on the ballot.

Once all the signatures are gathered, completed petitions must be submitted to the Board of Elections in Springfield. They must be submitted by the end of July. I will be submitting them, in Springfield, personally.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be knocking on doors asking for signatures. Because it is often difficult to catch people at home, I will also be scheduling some “petition meetings” where residents can stop by and sign. I will keep you updated on when and where these meetings will be held.

I will also be carrying petitions with me this SUNDAY, June 5th at the Celebrate Lakewood fest. I hope you will find me, say hello, sign the petition and perhaps take one with you!


Many hands always make light work and YOUR help circulating petitions will help to assure our success. If you are able to walk your block or neighborhood and gather signatures, your help will be much appreciated.

Remember, the taxes you help to save – will be your own!

Please SHARE THIS EMAIL and encourage your neighbors to join my email list, if they have not already done so.

I hope to speak with you soon!


Serwatka Floats Tax Retardation Referendum — 8 Comments

  1. Good thought, and to bad it isn’t a binding referendum.

    Any changes in tax rates and levy changes should require our vote of approval.

    A 2/3 vote would be preferred to a as the wind blows 50.1% vote.

  2. We need some government, how much will be debated till the end of the earth.

    As tax payers we must take away some of the power/decision making away from our elected officials, spending, setting tax rates, and borrowing.

    These three issues were problems that were never addressed properly when the country was formed and Constitution was written.

    They should have been, but the partisan nonsense started already way back then with over spending and borrowing to buy votes.

    Spending must always match actual revenue available at the time, ie what we are willing to give in the form of taxation.

    Borrowing should only be allowed with voter approval.

    Individual Income tax rates and Property tax rates should not be roller coasters of ever changing rates, which just leads to insecurity for the tax payer not knowing what is coming next from the elected to buy votes.

    That is called: As the wind blows nonsense.

    I would propose we force our elected by Petition, which is allowed in the constitution, to enact a Balanced Budget Amendment that has the income tax rate and/or property tax rate control tied to it.

    The Congress, State, and Local government agencies will only be allowed to adjust the income or property tax rates after a 2/3 approval vote within its legal boundary.

    Our choice, the citizens of the country, state, county, and local government, with a strong majority vote behind changes, not the Pacs controlling the over the top partisan as the wind blows hacks.

    Government agencies that use Property taxes should have no levy power or equalizer or ability to raise taxes because of inflation, whatever the home value, up or down, the rate we voted on determines what is paid in taxes.

    Not enough as most elected seem to keep saying, then come to us with your yearly or two year budget recommendations and let us vote 2/3 for any change from the year before.

    No more passing on our debt to future generations should be allowed.

    We borrow almost 40% for the Fed Gov now that must stop ASAP.

    We can budget a pay back of our various government debts, it’s time we correct our mistakes as lazy sleeping citizens and move on as a country with fiscally responsible government.

    I listening for other suggestions, got one?

  3. Thank you, Nob.

    I concur with everything you said, particularly:

    “it’s time we correct our mistakes as lazy sleeping citizens and move on as a country with fiscally responsible government.”

  4. Serwatka knows what’s up.

    Kudos to him for spearheading this initiative.

  5. County wide property taxes as a test for two years, then the State and Fed income tax.

    Reverse that order would work even better.

    Allen feel free to rewrite my rant in your words, add it to your platform.

    Offering to give up some of your power before elected would draw votes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *