A Chicago Triune editorial featured a Woodstock family who moved to Colorado:
Donald Felz, a lifelong Illinoisan who retired from a utility company in 2016, says a sinking home value and taxes drove him and his wife, Debi, out of Illinois.
The Woodstock home they built in 2006 for $390,000, into which they put another $35,000, was losing value.
This was to be the house where the Felzes would host grandchildren and putz in the yard. Instead, rather than put their retirement finances in further peril, they sold it in 2016 for $310,000.
The property tax bill had climbed from $7,658 in 2007 to $8,340 in 2015.
That’s not a huge rate of increase.
But had their housing value remained at the purchase price, the taxes would have been nearly $12,500.
A falling Illinois home value kept a high Illinois tax bill from rising higher.
The frustration, Felz said from his current home in Windsor, Colo., was more than taxes.
It was how those dollars were spent: “If I could have seen some incremental improvement that followed the increases, then OK. I get it. I see it. But the roads were not getting fixed. The schools were still struggling. I couldn’t figure it out. The money was going somewhere.”
In Colorado, taxes on their home, valued at $510,000 and climbing, are about $4,000 a year.
Earlier this year, Felz returned to Illinois to visit his father.
They spent evenings on the sofa watching TV and digesting the constant scroll of campaign ads from candidates running in the March primary election.
That gave Donald Felz one more reason to appreciate his new home in Colorado:
“We have term limits.”