It's largely b/c we dont have corporate headquarters or a large mall (e.g. northbrook).
Many families w/teens can get by on 1-2 cars b/c OP is so walk- and bike-friendly and close to so much public trans. this has been a huge savings for us on car & insurance costs over the years (not to mention green)
You should be "GLAD" the taxes are high. Higher taxes keep the prices of the properties relativity low. If taxes were lower there would be more demand for houses here and this would drive the prices "MUCH" higher. Higher taxes are for the "GREAT" police protection you receive. You could live anywhere in Oak Park and your kids could walk to a park in your area, many with an activity center. Not very common anywhere else. The High School is ranked 22nd in the state, and it's "FREE". I lived here almost 50 years. If you would like to hear more about Oak Park and the surrounding areas, please contact me.
Oak Park is a very desirable community, and the Village offers a lot of services. The library, the schools, the parks, all of them need money to run, and it seems like the residents of the village love any referendum that promises to improve the community. That's the short answer of why taxes are high. I would suggest you visit the Village website to see more of what the village does and offers (http://www.oak-park.us/), and examine if it is a match for what you are seeking in a community. As a resident, I know and love it as a great place to live, but, ofcourse at the cost of the high taxes (especially compared to the city of Chicago)!