We hear about corporate greed, but when is the last time anyone editorialized about or campaigned on government greed? Never, or at least not that I can recall. If anything, we regularly hear about how broke government is. Even the state of Illinois, which just got an income tax increase of 67 percent, and apparently has already spent it, still can’t pay their bills. I saw a report that public pensions and retiree benefits are under-funded by $203 billion, and the state is pushing some of this back to the local governments and schools after making a mess of things. And, guess what that means to local taxpayers?
Meanwhile, I just looked at my latest property tax bill. It arrived with an increase of 9.6 percent over last year. This, with a decrease in the assessed value of my property. What is it about government that demands increases in their budgets and spending that far exceeds the increase in the rate of inflation? Last year’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase was around 2 percent. Most people that I talked to received salary increases of nothing, or 2 or 3 percent. For people on Social Security, the increase was 2 percent.
Looking at my property tax bills since 2006, I see that what I’ve paid has gone up 44 percent in six years. Contrast that with an increase in the CPI of about 13 percent for the same six years, and you get an idea of just how far out of touch our public sector and school leaders are with the taxpayers they serve. I suppose it is always easier to spend other peoples money.
I can only conclude that if the government and school budgets that collect my property taxes have increased at a rate that is anything like my tax bill, they are out of control. This is disheartening. And, can best be described as Government Greed. Outrageous!