Taxes pay for stuff – part I

So I received my property tax bill the other day. I always love getting the statement. It’s a great reminder that those dastardly taxes that conservative and Republicans like to complain about actually pay for – you know – stuff.

I’m not going to post the bill itself. (I guess I’m still trying to hold the line against that whole “the Internet means no privacy” thing.) But here’s the breakdown of my Tazewell County and Morton property taxes:

  • 70% goes to the local public schools
  • 6.7% goes to Illinois Central College
  • 2.4% goes to the local library
  • 4.4% goes to local parks
So, more than three-quarters of my property taxes go to education. Gosh darn those kids (and young and older adults at ICC) and their schooling!
Add in the library and parks, and fully 83.5% of my property tax bill goes to education and quality of life in Morton. Darn that quality of life!
Two percent is specifically broken out for roads. I like roads. They help people get to places in cars and trucks, you know. Places like work, stores, customers, hospitals, etc.
So that leaves just 14.5% of my property taxes going to “guv-mint”. Just 14.5%, covering all of this, including things like law enforcement, courts, and public health.

Putting this another way:

Next up, state taxes.

Democracy in Morton (and many other places, I would imagine)

About a year-and-a-third ago, I moved to Morton – a village of about 16,000 people, southeast of Peoria.

The other day I got a flyer from Morton Township listing the candidates for the local elections in April.

Not one of the races is competitive.

There are exactly the same number of candidates as there are slots to fill.

I called the County Clerk, and apparently write-in candidates can run, but they have to register a couple of months before the election. So, no luck there.

Maybe this is why voter participation rates are so low.