Are You Getting a Rebate on Your Property Taxes?
“A rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.” --Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823. ME 15:491
I save information of interest. A few years ago I ran across an interesting newspaper article written by James McCandlish about a town in Crestwood, Illinois being billed as the best run town in America because it operates like a business. This article pointed out that Crestwood, Illinois, with a population of about 12,000, is run so efficiently that the citizens that year were to receive a 26% rebate on their property taxes. Wow! The town is so well off that residents over age 55 get free household repairs, their shrubs cut for free and the goal of this super efficient government was to one day totally eliminate property taxes altogether.
“I’ve had my business in Crestwood for eight years and it’s the best town in the U.S.” declared restaurant owner Joe Cistaro. “Mayor Chester Stranczek’s philosophy is simple - he contracts out everything and our police are under orders not to clog our court system chasing after speeders hoping to get a $50 fine.
They’re told to give speeders a severe warning and then get on with the business of fighting serious crime, so there is almost no crime.”
Mayor Stranczek, a trucking company owner, has been the Mayor of Crestwood since 1969. “Businesses don’t become successful by running at a loss,” said Stranczek. “When I became Mayor we scrapped the huge Public Works Department that handled water main leaks, etc. We simply contracted these problems out to private contractors. So, instead of having a bunch of workers sitting around when it was raining, collecting wages, insurance and medical benefits, plus machinery like backhoes rusting, we hired firms to do the work. The savings are fantastic. The same goes for bookkeeping. We simply pay an auditor $8,000 a year to do the work. Savings: around $35,000 a year. Thanks to efficient government, there’s plenty of money to pay for needed services.”
“We have only three full time policemen. But we have 40 part time officers who live in Crestwood and put in 10 - 12 hours a week patrolling the streets. A a result, we have one of the safest towns in America. This year alone we’ve given our taxpayers a $1,000,000 dollar rebate. When you pay your taxes in Crestwood, you get a 26% rebate. And, because of the sales taxes we’re getting from new businesses moving into this desirable area, we hope that within four years, homeowners will have NO property taxes.”
Crestwood has just 17 full time employees, compared to a near by town of the same population that has 150 full time employees. “Our budget is $2 million dollars a year while a town of similar size, with 12,000 people, might have a budget of $10 million”, said City Director Frank Gassmere. Added Mayor Stranczek: “Folks are happy here and I intend to keep them that way.”
Sound too good to be true? I did some current research and guess what? The story gets even better. After 35 years as Mayor and at age 74, Chester Stranczek is running for a tenth term and is expected to win in November. This guy hasn’t had anyone run against him since 1973! Stranczek says he would like four more years as Mayor to finish a number of long planned projects and his campaign promise to completely refund everyone’s share of property taxes. To date, the best showing has been a return of a whopping 75%!
Why not your city or town?
Here in Sacramento, California, we pay through the nose in state income taxes, property taxes and dozens of other taxes. The budget for California with a full time Marxist legislature is in excess of one billion dollars. There are 250,000 state employees. Too many of the high end paying jobs are governor appointed as political favors. It would be very difficult to get the City of Sacramento (population nearly one half million) converted to the type of sane city government as Crestwood. Our Mayor is just another politically correct animal who needs to pull over and change the air in her head. The voters don’t seem to care because too many of them are on the public payroll, so they keep reelecting this foolish woman.
I hope before another year passes, I will have permanently moved out of this police state. If the tens of millions of people who live here refuse to get rid of this legislature and continue voting in new world order lackeys like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who refuses to round up the 3 million illegals in this state costing the taxpayers $8 BILLION dollars a year - well, I refuse to stick around and continue getting whipped like a dog. As Arnold would say, Hasta la vista, baby!
While this type of government conversion would meet tremendous opposition from employees on the public payroll, it is a very doable and achievable goal for towns and cities with a population under 100,000. As our critical job bases, manufacturing, agriculture and industrial have been deliberately destroyed through unconstitutional treaties like NAFTA & GATT, more and more Americans are going for those city, county, state and federal jobs for security and decent pay. Nothing will destroy private enterprise quicker than the largest portion of working people getting a paycheck from government. Most of these jobs produce nothing. They are there to enforce the gazillion laws on the books passed by rotten, corrupt legislators and local elected public servants who only justify their existence by passing more and more laws. Congress, the state legislatures, city council and county commissioners are burying the American people in useless laws that continue to destroy our rights and reduce us to poverty in endless taxes that continue to increase every year.
City, county and state employees will fight this conversion because it means they will lose their jobs and retirement packages unless they have accumulated enough time. However, the one thing that these employees need to remember is that government isn’t there to provide jobs unless you want to live in a socialist or communist country. Smaller government at all levels means that Americans will keep more of their hard earned money and have less intrusive and outright inane, politically correct laws. Public servants are just that: they are there to carry out the limited functions of a city, county, state or federal government. Public municipalities and the federal government aren’t supposed to create useless jobs just to secure votes in the next election. That is the basis of a free enterprise system: the private sector should always employ the greatest number of people, not government. A self governed people who are strong, independent and not afraid to stand on their own two feed to earn their own bread - not have it stolen by extravagant, intrusive government at any level.
How can this be done?
Citizens in towns and cities all across the country need to get themselves, their friends and families to city council meetings. These are publicly held meetings by elected public officials and presided over by your mayor. Appoint a spokes person, prepare a statement and at the next city council meeting, bring forward how the city government in Crestwood is being run, the benefits to all citizens and you want this conversion to take place: Get rid of non essential employees and start contracting out all these necessary services when they’re needed. Cut the fat, the political appointments and run a city or town like a business, not a welfare agency.
Let your mayor and city council know that you understand all politics are local and that you (and your group or organization) will work night and day to get the mayor and the entire city council thrown out of office if they thumb their noses at you, the taxpayer. If you have recall, use it - it works. While California got a El Porko in exchange for our former Governor, Red Davis on a recall, it proves that even on a mass scale like a gubernatorial recall, it can be done.
Just think about the benefits to your city and town: attracting new businesses which provides jobs. Instead of our smaller to medium size cities and towns becoming ghost towns because of NAFTA & GATT, they would flourish. Residents would have more money to save and spend by a 60-80% reduction (via a rebate) in property taxes alone. Because new businesses flourish, they will hire and those public employees whose jobs are eliminated would then be able to find good paying jobs. The benefits are endless.
My mail box is filled daily with genuinely concerned Americans about what can they do to turn things around? In August I wrote a column titled, Born Homosexual, Prove it. I didn’t just write the article and move on. Once it was posted, I downloaded a copy and mailed one to every California supreme Court Justice. Why? Because ultimately, the question about giving Sodomites and lesbians special class distinction for the purpose of marriage will be decided by California’s highest court. I wanted these judges to get my article pointing out that there isn’t a scintilla of any credible scientific evidence that sodomy is anything other than a chosen behavior and not a genetic predisposition. Any decision the court makes to the contrary would be flat out political. Supreme Court Justices are not immune to the voice of the people if it’s loud enough.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. If people really want change, they have to give up their fun and leisure times in the evening to attend events like your city council meetings. Begin calling talk radio in your area and let listeners know about Crestwood, Illinois and wouldn’t they like to see the same happen here where they live and work? Begin building support and then go after your mayor and city council.
Once you get your city or town squared away, that’s when constitutional mayors need to band together, get up to the State House and begin raising Hell with the Governor and legislature about useless laws, taxes and the unconstitutional usurpation coming out Washington, DC.
Citizen activism works, but only if everyone gets involved. Fight smart and stay the course.
© 2004 Devvy Kidd - All Rights Reserved