Recently, the homes in my Chicago neighborhood were reassessed at significantly higher than the $250,000 cut-off point for whom would be considered “middle-class” and eligible for the homeowner’s exemption from the announced property tax increase. This proposal will not provide the relief it promises because it never takes an owner’s current ability to pay into consideration. Personal and family financial situations change, not always for the better.
A far fairer method would be to index property tax bills by the owners’ adjusted gross incomes from their most recently filed state tax returns. This would be an honest determinant of whether a draconian increase would prove a hardship to lower middle-class homeowners.
Homes are fixed assets that acquire spendable value only when they sold. Until then, they are merely places to live.
Richard A. Kosinski, Edison Park
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Taxing homeowners right out of the city
Leave property owners alone already. Why not increase taxes on train riders who come into the city to work? That is a privilege without a price. Why not charge bike riders with a vehicle tax for the car lane they now use — and ticket them when don’t follow driving laws? Why not have major businesses pay their real share of taxes for the privilege of being in Chicago? Why not increase by a penny the tax on commonly used products fairly used by all, such as milk, sugar and candy? Why not have all city retired persons pay for their health insurance? Why not downsize city departments from the top down? There are many ways to raise money other than on the backs of property owners again and again. If not, those property owners will own property outside of Chicago. That’s a fact.
Gail Gorman, Bridgeport
A way to better care for veterans
I am disheartened that we continue to see wait times increasing for veterans at VA facilities. I see my fellow veterans waiting prolonged periods of time without the health care they need, and there is more we should be doing as a nation to address the problem.
The Veterans’ Health Administration is considering a logical step that would help with the excessive wait times. The VHA is considering a proposal that would extend full practice authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). These highly educated healthcare professionals presently serve active duty personnel, and it is just common sense that they should be able to treat veterans to the same extent they treat active troops.
If we don’t do something soon, the problem will only get worse. Already, hundreds of thousands of veterans are forced to wait a month or longer just to get an appointment at a veterans’ hospital. Without action, we will see longer wait times for the men and women who deserve much better from our nation.
Allowing full practice authority for APRNs at VA facilities is the right move for veterans. I hope our elected officials and leaders in Washington will rally behind this proposal.