Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Help Stop Taxes on Gardens!

Is this fair taxation to you?
(Photo collage by Diane Blazek)
Yesterday on Facebook my friend, Shawna Coranado, who has worked tirelessly to support, promote and beautify her community, reported she was one of a very few gardeners in her small town of Warrenville Illinois that are being singled out to pay a "City wide" tax because, get this, they have gardens in the shared easement areas along their properties.  These are public areas which are owned by the city but residents are required to maintain and yup...that's right...they are now being taxed for what their hard work has created.

The City of Warrenville has decided, for whatever reason, that it is better to tax the citizens who are actually doing something positive in these spaces and not to tax others who are doing little or nothing.  And worse, according to Shawna, they did not notify her as one of the residents who would be affected so she and others could testify before this tax was made law.

If this seems unjust and backwards to you, you are not alone.  Sadly these kinds of attempts at taxation are become more and more commonplace in our cities today as municipalities scramble to make financial ends meet.  However, this particular incident says to me that there may be something more to this story.  Could it possibly be that someone who has an "in" at the city does not like these gardens and wants to discourage them?  That this person or persons brought the idea of such a tax to the table, promoting it as a way to make money for the city as a means to squash such gardens in their community? Why else would the city only tax such a small number of "select" residents?  Why else was Shawna not notified of this proposed tax so she could testify?
Let me ask you, can you imagine how discouraging it would be for others who might need that space to grow food for a hungry family or desired to beautify these areas?  Well I can, and it makes me want to pinch their political heads off, figuratively of course.  What were they thinking?  I mean really, taxing a labor of love? Obviously they were not taking into consideration at all of the obvious negative impact this tax will eventually have.  Taxes are never fun but tax seems just plain mean spirited if you ask me.

Shawna shares what happened to her and the statement she made at the city council meeting last night.  You can read all about it on her blog which I have linked below.  She has asked for our help and has provided contact information for us for the Warrenville Mayor, City Council and the City Administrator.

The Casual Gardener Blog: "Please help Shawna say no to the garden tax"

Please, take action today and help stop the taxation of our gardens. What we don't fight for we lose, the next one could be yours.


Copyright © 2012 by Patty Hicks
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1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a story for your local/regional or Shawna should contact the papers about it. It's possible to get ridiculous municipal decisions revoked if you can reach out to enough supportive citizens.