Lakewood Tax Revolt?

The anonymous pale yellow leaflet urging me to attend the Lakewood Village Board meeting at 7:30 June 12th at Red Tail Golf Club doesn’t say whether to bring pitch forks, rakes or golf clubs.

It appeared on my front porch Tuesday morning, I think.

It’s addressed to “Lakewood Residents.”

It notes,

“The new tax bill has arrived and it should be noted…

“That the larges line item increase (25%) is for the Village of Lakewood.

“Why??? This increase is similar to the one we had when the village bought Red Tail Golf Course.

“The new fire department is not listed yet for 2006. That will be next year and then what?

“Let’s get some answers at the Lakewood Board meeting on June 12 at Red Tail Golf Course. 7:30.”

It is signed, “Concerned Neighbors.”

I called Wendy Gregoria, Lakewood’s Finance Director, for further information.

She told me that the village board “decided to partially abate the golf course tax this past year, so it did increase the rate from 74 to 88 cents. That brings us to 19%.

Then, she looked up the precise statistics:

“Last year’s rate was .7425. This year’s rate is .8843, which is a 19% increase from last year, but less than the rate four years ago.”

Inflation causes assessments to go up every year. This year they went up 4.88% in the Algonquin portion of Lakewood, where we live.

Combining a rate increase of 19% and an assessment hike of almost 5% gave me a 22.4% increase in Lakewood village taxes, certainly the highest percentage tax increase of any of the governments sticking their hands in my wallet. It’ll cost us an extra $210.

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On top is the broadside found on my front porch Tuesday. Below is a picture taken from the Gate 7 Beach boat pier on a misty last night of May. It helps explain why Lakewood residents are hard to rile up about local taxes. Here’s another reason.

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