Moody’s Investors Service recent downgrade of the Village of Oak Lawn’s credit rating to barely above junk bond status included an analysis of property valuation that showed a 35 percent reduction in property values.
The stark reduction in value in property contradicts Mayor Sandra Bury and her allies claims that property values had increased by 60 percent. According to Exhibit 1 of the report, the village peaked with a $4.5 billion dollar valuation of all property in 2011 and has continued a steep decline under Bury and the Board of Trustees, of which she enjoys the support of all but one Trustee.
Bury and her running mates have continued to argue that property values have increased by 60 percent even as stories of armed robberies in the neighborhood have caught the attention of homeowners worried that the village property values are affected by the increase in such crime.
The report lists “Detailed Rating Considerations” to explain why the credit reporting agency has downgraded the village’s rating for the third consecutive time under Bury. The report lists “Economy and Tax Base…” and explains clearly that the leadership in the village has overseen a decline in property values:
Oak Lawn’s link with the larger Chicago region will support long-term economic stability. Despite the long term prospect, the Village continues to contend with a depreciating tax base. After peaking at $4.5 billion in 2011, the Village’s full valuation has declined by 35% through 2016 to $3.0 billion…
Mayor Bury has not even acknowledged that the village was downgraded. On February 14th, five days after the report was made public, Bury addressed the Chamber of Commerce and gave a speech that never mentioned the downgrade or the fact that property values have been steadily declining under her administration.
The independent Moody’s report substantiates a previous story in the Oak Lawn Leaf that showed the Mayor’s claim of an increase in property values was false. Despite that story, the Mayor and her allies have continued claiming that the figure is true. To see that story, click here