In summer of 2008, several Geneva residents met to discuss their concerns about the rising property taxes coupled with the downturn in the real estate market. As a result of many discussions, a grassroots group was formed that became known as FACTS, For Accountable, Controlled, Tax Spending.
In August 2008, the group sent an email to every board member on every taxing body in Geneva. A portion of that email is copied below:
"The mission of the group is to work with local taxing bodies to learn and understand how they operate especially in terms of budget development and revenue generation. The group is currently comprised of over a dozen local residents with various professional backgrounds. The group, For Accountable Controlled Tax Spending (FACTS), will be the subject of an upcoming Geneva Sun article. We expect the group to grow in members, as the general public is made aware of our existence. Several outside factors have led to the creation of FACTS including: the slow down in the real estate market, the continued increase in property assessments and the continued increase in property taxes. The most recent assessment in Geneva Township reflects the average value for the years 2004, 2005 & 2006. If the current downturn in the housing market continues, the assessment received in December 2009 will reflect the loss in property value in the years 2006, 2007 & 2008. Clearly each taxing body’s revenue is directly related to home assessments. A decrease in assessment, which appears very likely, will mean a decrease in revenue for each taxing body."
The Geneva Community School District 304 is the focus of our attention due to the fact that more than 70% of property taxes are collected by the school district.
For the last four plus years, the group has attended school board meetings and has actively researched and questioned the financial situation of the school district.