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  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



Forest preserves head toward raising property taxes

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON

Cook County taxpayers should brace for an increase in their property taxes, as all signs are pointing to a hike to cover a $100 million plan to improve county holdings.

A majority of the county's forest preserve commissioners say it's not asking much of taxpayers to cough up another $2 or $3 a year to cover improvements in the forest preserves and at the Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic Gardens.

That's on top of any other county property tax increases that could come with the 2005 budget.

Environmentalists and taxpayer watchdogs chastised the plan as short on details. While district administrators laid out several projects they hope to complete, no project has a dollar figure.

Monday, during a public meeting held as part of the bond issue that commissioners hope to pass next week, residents raised concerns about the proposed tax hike.

While no one spoke against spending to improve facilities, many asked what it will be spent on and what it will cost taxpayers.

Answers didn't come.

Board President John Stroger, though, said details will come later -- and board members can vote on each project as it comes up -- but first he wants the bond to pass.

 

 



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