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Grayslake Business Owners Plead with D46 to Stop Raising Taxes

A group of Grayslake business owners gave a presentation before the Oct. 17 District 46 board meeting to express their feelings about increasing school and property taxes.

Several Grayslake small business owners addressed the District 46 School Board on Oct. 17 about increasing school expenses and property taxes, the deficit budget and how it's affecting their bottom line.

The board took a half-hour before the regularly scheduled meeting to hear the business owners' presentation.

Leading the presentation was Larry Dyer, president of Platford Commercial Realty, which has been in business throughout Lake County for 30 years. Platford owns two commercial complexes in Grayslake that are home to 68 small businesses.

Dyer said continued tax increases are hurting local businesses to the point that they have to consider relocating or going out of business. He presented several handouts (see attached PDFs) reflecting school tax increases and their effect on commercial property owners.

For example, out of seven townships, said Dyer, Avon has the highest percentage (73 percent) of its total property tax bill going toward educational expenses.

By passing a 2012-13 budget that includes a $1.2 million deficit, said Dyer, "District 46 appears to be on a path to once again raise the local tax levy at its December meeting to make up for the deficit."

"We are vehemently opposed to such action. The business community cannot continue to absorb these kind of real estate tax increases largely driven by increased educational cost overruns."

If this trend continues, said Dyer, business will start moving out of the township in search of more business-friendly environments.

"If you lose the business community, the residents who live here in Avon and do have children to educate will be forced to pay even more taxes to make up for the loss," said Dyer.

Joann Alam, owner of the Gymnastics Factory in Grayslake, was one of Dyer's first tenants. Her combined warehouse space encompasses 11,000 square-feet.

Alam's total annual property tax bill of $29,000 for 2011 has increased about $10,000 since 2005. Her taxes for District 46 alone have increase nearly $4,000 since 2005.

If she has to pass these increases on to her customers, said Alam, she risks losing business or is forced to make program cuts.

"I do not want to have to do that to these kids," she said.

Grayslake painter Jim Stried, who has been in business for 28 years and has a staff of 13, said he is paying about $2,100 more a year in property taxes than he did in 2005.

He said he is worried because the painting business has been "so-so" at best.

"This is a lot of money for a small business," said Stried. "Stop coming back to the taxpayers. Do what you can to help us so I can keep my staff employed."

Mark Schroeder's family owns the Canny Group, which includes Canny Tool and Mold Corp. and Canny Innovative Solutions, Inc.. He said his father has put his life's blood, sweat, tears and savings into the business and is still struggling as a result of increased taxes.

"We don't have the money to throw into the fire anymore. We need to start sacrificing a little more," said Schroeder to the school board.

"When I take over the business, my goal is to move from Grayslake."

The school board thanked the business owners but had little response. The district disputed some of the numbers the business owners obtained from the Illinois State Board of Education related to the district's income and expenses (see attached PDFs).

District 46 Board President Ray Millington said loss of state funding ($1.45 million) was the biggest "hit" to the district.

"We're trying as hard as we can to make up for the reduction in state revenues," he said.

LMJ October 21, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Interesting you have such a low opinion of business that aren't in the area anymore. Does this also include Pat's Pizza and The Country Squire?
Sandra Sims October 21, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I have often wondered who voted the D46 gang of 4 into office, now I have my answer. Brad Faxton and others like him. Perhaps Brad would like to write a check to cover everyone elses yearly property tax increase? And to cover the loss of all those "crappy businesses" that "we" don't want? Sheesh.
Softball Jim October 21, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Brad, Remember just because it is in Grayslake does not mean the tax revenue goes to D46. Fairgrounds used to pay to D50, now I believe they are in Freemont District 76. FedEx is also in Freemont. Almost the entire Central Range is in Freemont. There are few buisness in Grayslake that pay D46 taxes. It is on the homeowners of Grayslake. RLB and R.L. both have some buisness in D46 but as I stated before, they were in TIF districts and moved when they were up instead of paying fully on the property taxes. LMJ - Pat's pizza? it was a great place, however, service, quality and inconsistent pizza is whey I no longer went there. Not to mention they raised the prices as well. (Yes taxes have a part of that). I was one of the first customers of theres when they moved into Grayslake, Was sad to see it go. As far as the Country Squire goes, well it was a place for blue hairs to go unless there was a wedding to go to. Food was mediocare (spelling) at best. The building was old. (orginally Sears Mansion) and was becoming run down. Also D50 Taxes. Remember the Dividing line between D50 & D46 is Atkinson Rd.
Terri October 21, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Regardless of district, didn't FedEx get tax abatement?
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