Entire property tax system ‘absurd’

Businesses and family continue to leave Illinois because of the state’s high property taxes, which have no connection to a person’s ability to pay.

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Cook County assessor Fritz Kaegi.

Cook County assessor Fritz Kaegi.

Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times

The Sun-Times gave the Cook County assessor a lot of space to explain to the public some aspects of his department that have come under criticism in the paper.

I wish the Sun-Times had spent its time criticizing the entire property tax system.

Almost all taxes are determined as a percentage of liquid assets being exchanged — as with the sales tax, income tax, value added tax. But property tax has no connection with a person’s ability to pay. I hadn’t given this much thought until I was out of work for a while, but I still had to pay this tax. That is absurd.

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I know an accountant for a business that has a lot of property in Chicago, and they want to leave the city because of the high property taxes. One of the goals of government is, or should be, to bring businesses to their area, not drive them away.

We have friends who have moved to other states, and they are saving thousands on property taxes and all their taxes. Hmm, I wonder how other states are able to get by on less tax revenue.

We’re ready to leave Cook County. We have family in Illinois, and that keeps us in the state, but I see Illinois as a failed state. Politicians in Illinois have too often seen their position as an opportunity for self gain at the expense of the public.

Larry Craig, Wilmette

Go vegan in the new year

With Christmas and Hanukkah behind us, we look forward to the new year and New Year’s resolutions: to step away from social media, lose some weight and, perhaps, to go vegan. Yes, that.

A third of consumers report reducing consumption of animal foods. Hundreds of college campuses, schools, hospitals and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Even fast-food chains have rolled out plant-based options.

New plant-based companies are creating healthy, eco-friendly, delicious plant-based meats, while meat industry giants have invested heavily in plant-based meat development.

According to the Good Food Institute, sales of plant-based foods that directly replace animal products have grown 27% in the past year to $7 billion. Sales of plant-based cheeses, butter, yogurts and ice creams are exploding at a 50% growth rate, and plant-based milks now account for 35% of the milk market.

A vegan New Year’s resolution requires no sweat or deprivation — just delicious, healthier options that are better for your health, the planet and the animals.

Claude Prescott, West Town

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