Norridge to hike property tax levy another 32% as Chmura abandons ship

Chmura’s tax-and-run final budget shows $2.1 million property tax levy for 2020, up from $1.6 million in 2019

Buried under the announcement of Norridge Improvement Party regime leader James Chmura’s departure as Village President effective June 30th, was a line item of the Village property tax levy for 2020: $2.1 million.

That’s a 32% increase from 2019’s $1.6 million, which itself was a 35% increase over 2018’s $1.2 million levy.

Village trustees rubber stamped Chmura’s last tax increase budget without a single comment… as per usual.

Chmura will leave office in 2019 with the Village property tax levy 110% higher than it was when he took office in 2013.

The Village levies property taxes under it’s “home rule” authority, which does not require a referendum for increases beyond the rate of inflation.

The tax levy will not happen until after a formal hearing is held later in the year, followed by another Village board vote. The likelihood of NIP politicians opposing it? Pretty slim.

Why the sudden departure?

James Chmura has given various reasons for skipping out before the end of his term.

But the timing of his departure, right after shoving through two HUGE property tax increases, shows he doesn’t want to deal with the fallout from the decisions he’s made.

In an interview with the Chicago-based Tribune, Chmura denied health related reasons for his exit.

Anyone who has observed James Chmura over the past few years knows that his health has seen significant decline. His stated reasons for leaving are his choice, but it doesn’t sound very credible.

Nobody could blame Chmura for leaving on health grounds.

Given his visible health related issues for the past two years, the better choice would have been to leave in 2018, so his replacement could have been… elected… in April this year.

Now, the NIP regime will be able to appoint a new mayor and a new trustee, both of whom will enjoy the power of taxpayer-funded incumbency… giving them an unfair advantage going into the 2021 local elections.

New trustee Bill Larson did the same thing when he refused to resign his Park Distinct commissioner seat in 2018, despite knowing he was running for the Village board; his replacement will also be appointed.

Can’t even be bothered to be elected. A pattern of NIP contempt for democratic principles.

Chmura’s legacy

We can’t say we’re going to miss Chmura… his misdeeds will be felt in our Village for a long time.

He leaves a Village suffering from a crime epidemic, appalling zoning decisions that have and will continue to surge crime further, big tax increases… and the Village Board being slowly conquered by people who’s loyalty is to Chicago… rather than Norridge.

Chmura’s successor will be chosen behind closed doors at a 6:30PM special meeting on Tuesday, July 2.

If Chmura was too arrogant to resign last year, we could have expected him to serve out his term, or at least long enough to clean up some of the mess he made.

One thing’s for certain – we’ll be digging deeper into our wallets – to clean up James Chmura’s mess.

Recording of the June 26 2019 Village of Norridge Board Meeting (full video – 13 minutes)

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