Two local governments got recommendations from a board member to go easy on taxpayers.
No need to extract as much as possible from taxpayers was the suggestion of Grafton Township Supervisor and McHenry Grade School Board member John O’Neill.
Moore suggested that the Grafton Township Board not increase its levy.
The other members present disagreed, not wanting to leave any money in taxpayers pockets that could be legally extracted under the Tax Cap law.
While the increase in the Consumer Price Index was 2.7 %, the board voted to increase its levy by 4.999%.
Any higher and Grafton Township would have had to place one of those rather meaningless black-bordered ads.
As Township Trustee Betty Zirk said, “I just want to make sure we get as much tax money from growth as we can get.”
If the township board had just decided to increase its levy by 2.7%, that would not have been possible, if there was any growth in assessed valuation.
Jump to McHenry Grade School District 15, where board member John O’Neill argued that the levy should only be increased 1%.
O’Neill presented the litany of economic woes which have befallen McHenry;
- The “Worst Recession since the Great Depression.”
- Unemployment at 10%
- Property Values plummeting whiles our friends at D156 are trying to hike our property taxes.
- The McHenry City Council recently approved increasing it’s share of sales tax by 50%.
- The day before the School Board’s levy hearing, the McHenry City Council was discussing raising water rates.
Every time McHenry’s residents turn around, they’re being “nickeled and dimed to death.”
“Let’s give the taxpayers in McHenry a break,” O’Neill said.
The board opted for increasing the levy 2.7%.
Administrators pointed out that O’Neill’s proposal would cause the district to lose $6-7 million over the next five years.
O’Neill pointed out that the district might need need to dip into our reserve, although it was originally meant for future buildingand expansion much the same way that the taxpayers have had to dip into their savings and 401K plans just to keep on paying the bills and avoid foreclosure although those savings were originally meant for retirement.
O’Neill was subjected to comments about his not really understanding school finance.
It seems to me he understood it, but decided in these hard times that taxpayers deserved a break.
Meanwhile, in Downstate Jonesboro, the school board rejected administration recommendations that its levy be increased by 4.5%.
The school board meeting was videotaped.
No votes appeared for the raising the levy. The board decided to forego the 2.7% increase in taxes that it could have gotten.
And Crystal Lake’s city council decided to take a pass on increasing its levy, but Crystal Lake has lots of money in the bank and is not limited by the Tax Cap because it is a Home Rule city.
As it did about two years ago, Crystal Lake could just increase its sales tax again.
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Are there other elected officials in McHenry County who have tried to get their boards not to max out on next year’s taxes? Please let me know in the comment section.