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Kendall tax protesters file for fall ballot

Updated: September 9, 2012 6:21AM

YORKVILLE — A Kendall County tax revolt group has successfully filed for a countywide referendum asking local governments to cut their levies by 20 percent.

The group, which includes local activists Judie Burks, Jan Alexander, Greg O’Neil and Mark Johnson, collected 2,891 signatures — almost 400 more than needed — to get the referendum on the ballot in November.

The question itself is non-binding, which means no local government has to abide by the results. But organizers are hoping if the referendum passes by a good amount, it will send a message to local governments about cutting property taxes.

“We’re just trying to do a referendum for the people, to show how it’s hurting,” said Johnson.

The group has held two well-attended events at parks in Yorkville and Oswego. Organizers collected signatures there, but the events also were considered informational about how to protest taxes and assessments.

Most of the rest of the signatures were collected by a grass-roots, door-to-door effort, with organizers standing outside of stores and attending other events.

Last weekend, the group tried to set up outside the Kendall County Fair, but they were told by fair organizers to move on. Johnson said they had hoped to get as many as 1,000 signatures outside the fair.

Still, they made their deadline by Monday; and barring any protests of the signatures, the question will be on the ballot. People have until Aug. 13 to protest the signatures.

Johnson has said that the question does not address budget priorities — the organization does not care where governments find the budget cuts. They just want levies — the amount of actual tax money a government asks for — cut.

The tax group also plans to attend local governmental meetings where officials discuss and ultimately vote on the tax levy.

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