POPLAR GROVE, Ill. (WTVO) — A local village president is outraged at the taxes residents are paying to the Belvidere Park District.
He says it’s hundreds of dollars, and none of that stays in the village.
The tax has been around for 100 years, and Poplar Grove residents are wondering why. Why they haven’t seen a park or facility come to their neighborhood.
Karri Anderberg lives in Poplar Grove’s Prairie Green Subdivision, but she, and neighbors, pay hundreds of dollars a year in taxes to the Belvidere Park District.
“When we got out first tax bill I realized that we were part of the park district tax,” Anderberg said.
That money adds up to over $370,000 per year.
Poplar Grove Village President Owen Costanza says there’s nothing to show for it.
“There is no active parks, there’s no active facilities yet we’re paying 8% of their total budget,” Costanza said. “That’s quite a lot of money. That is more than the entire village of Poplar Grove collects in property tax annually.”
Poplar Grove residents currently get a discount for using park district facilities.
Executive Director of the Belvidere Park District, Mark Pentecost, says the district tried to build a facility for the village five years ago, before Costanza was Village President.
“So we approached the city and tried to do a cost share to acquire it. The park district would manage it, own it, take on the liability insurance and everything else for it but it never-we never got the support,” Pentecost said.
Costanza said he’d support a new facility of some kind.
In the mean time, he wants the park district to help make it easier for his residents to access parks.
“In the minimum they’re going to need to figure out some time of shuttle service back and forth so these people can access what they’re paying for,” Costanza said.
Poplar Grove’s Village President and the park district executive director are meeting Monday to see if they can find some middle ground on the issue.
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