Residents tell East Aurora School Board that taxes are getting out of hand
By Linda Girardi For Sun-Times Media August 20, 2013 7:36PM
District 131 school board president Annette Johnson listens as a resident of the Carillon at Stonegate 55-and-over community vents his frustrations over an increase in his taxation rate during a meeting at Hope Lutheran Church on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Johnson was chosen to host the meeting because of the large portion of property taxes that go to the school district. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 22, 2013 6:41AM
A group of taxpayers, some with their property tax bills in hand as proof, had a message for the East Aurora School Board.
“Watch your spending,” Bill Blattner said.
About 18 residents of Carillon at Stonegate crowded into Monday’s board meeting to urge the school district to be mindful of the property taxpayers that support the system.
Carillon at Stonegate is a single-family residential subdivision located west of the Stonebridge Country Club golf course in Aurora. It is designed for seniors age 55 and over.
“I don’t think there is a person living in Stonegate not willing to pay their fair share. We like to see kids get a good education and excel ... A lot of us are on fixed incomes. We hope you understand,” Blattner said.
Gary Behling said his total property tax bill increased 23 percent over the previous year.
“We were told 95 percent of the owners in Stonegate saw property tax increases of 17 percent plus (and) 57 percent of the tax bill comes right here. We are just asking you to watch it,” Behling said.
He said seniors are very concerned about the taxes being levied in the district.
“You need to be aware of not only how to save the district money, but how to help us in our tax burden. You have a good community in Stonegate that is paying a lot of taxes and homes are going up for sale because of the property tax bill. We are asking you to watch it very carefully,” Behling said.
The group said they plan to take their message to other taxing bodies, as well.
“We are appreciative that you are here. We want to hear from you,” School Board member Kristen Strand told the residents. “We are committed to doing what we can to work with you.”
School Board President Annette Johnson said the board in the last four years has “eliminated wasteful spending.”
“This budget is as lean and mean as it can become,” Johnson said. “We fought tough and hard ...We are spending your tax money wisely. We have gone over the budget line item by line item to save money. I wrote my taxes out on Sunday and it was expensive. We will continue working to save every dime possible.”
The residents said they will be paying attention to the board’s activities.
“We are going to be watching everything they are doing,” Behling said after the meeting.
He said his tax bill this year is $9,227.
“We are going to all of the taxing bodies because we can’t put up with the taxes anymore. We are going to get kicked out of our homes because of the taxes,” he said.