The new property tax rate comparison for cities and towns in Lake County and Kenosha County has been posted - by the Zion Township Assessor's Office(assessor.ziontownship.com). And guess who's top on the list... Zion! And it's not even close.
First let's look at Kenosha and Pleasant Prairie; 9.7% and 7.1% respectivly, under 10% - where it should be! What about Lake Forest?... 5.5%. Libertyville?... 8.2%. Gurnee?... 9.8% - all under 10%. And Antioch?... 11.6%, not too bad.
Winthrop Harbor and Beach Park?... #7 and #6 at 13.3% & 13.4%. Ouch! At #4 is North Chicago, at 14.8%! #3 is Grayslake at 15%, and #2 is Waukegan at an alarming 15.6%! But like I said before, Zion is far ahead at #1, squashing the competition with 19.5%!! That is a 20% gap from #2 and a 59% gulf from #21 - Pleasant Prairie! That's crazy!! I can hardly imagine that - nearly a 20% tax rate for home owners! Many are talking about moving. Businesses in Zion are feeling it too... even worse! That is why Star Lite owners George and Bonnie Papas gave Zion a message on their sign.
According to Bonnie, their property taxes went up nearly $5,000. Now they are paying tax on their business property at Sheridan and 23rd (ready for this?)... almost $40,000 a year! What?! When she told me, I could hardly believe it!
She also went on to tell me that she and her older chidren really don't get paid, after paying for all the overhead... food, bills, labor, and of course, taxes! I asked her if they were closing up soon, but she assured me that there was no truth to those rumors. As for possibly selling the business, she told me that they were not planning to. However if there was a buyer and the price was right - sure, they would sell, and go to Arizona.
But for now they are going to stick it out here and give their customers the best possible experience they can. They don't know how long they can offer their $1.99 breakfast special with this increase of taxes, but they are going to try. I also got word that the Clark gas station that abruptly closed down is going to reopen this summer. But this time the Papas family is going to run it. No doubt, it will succeed. Help support them and tell them that you heard about them in The Town Sound! P.S. You can use the coupon at the right.