Barb Wheeler made the motion to remove the CPI and Nick Provenzano seconded it. Wheeler is a candidate for State Representative and Provenzano is running for re-election. Both are from District 3, where a hot primary for County Board is shaping up.
There was an 11-11 vote on the motion to prevent county government from grabbing as many property tax dollars as the Real Estate Tax Cap law allows.
A tie vote loses.
I explained what was to be presented to the County Board in this article two weeks ago:
It was a levy intended to maximize the tax take for county government.
If the levy for year two exceeds the extension year one by the percentage amount allowed under PTELL (the initials of the Tax Cap law), then taxes will go up the maximum amount allowed.
The extension is the amount allowed to be collected, that is, the amount billed by the County Treasurer.
After an attempt by half of the Board to keep county taxes from increasing, a second vote passed the “take all you can get” levy by a vote of 15-7.
Kevin Craver’s article in the Northwest Herald tells details, but the most telling observation was made by Crystal Lake’s Donna Kurtz. The story puts it this way:
“…the hole created by inflation would increase over time and hamper the county’s ability to handle unforeseen expenses and state funding shortfalls.”
That, of course, is the line and attitude of those who believe that government must take as much as it can out of our pockets.
Somehow, I don’t think the ordinary taxpayers with a couple of empty houses on their blocks would agree with that logic.
There was a motion to eliminate the 1.5% tax hike, but it failed 11-11.
Listed in the order in which their names were called, those in favor of limiting county government’s budget growth follow:
- Sue Draffcorn (D4)
- Diane Evertsen (D6)
- John Hammerand (D4)
- Tina Hill (D5)
- Anna May Miller (D1)
- Robert Nowak (D1)
- Nick Provenzano (D3)
- Sandra Salgado (D4)
- Ersel Schuster (D6)
- Barb Wheeler (D3)
- Paula Yensen (D5)
Those voting against cutting the budget were
- Bob Bless (D1)
- Scott Breeden (D2)
- Mary Donner (D3)
- Jim Heisler (D2)
- John Jung (D5)
- Donna Kurtz (D2)
- Mary McCann (D6)
- Peter Merkel (D4)
- Marc Muneratto (D1)
- Kathy Schmidt (D3)
- Ken Koehler (D2)
Note that one Democrat (Yensen) voted against increasing taxes, while the other (Schmidt) stuck to the traditional position of her party and voted to maximize tax income. That mitigates against a county wide campaign by Democrats next year in which they position themselves as being on the side of the taxpayers.
There was a second vote taken in which the levy was passed as presented.
Nevertheless, almost half of the County Board members opened themselves up to primary or general election challenges about their being on the taxpayers’ side. (Two were absent.)
On a parochial note, no District 2 members voted against increasing taxes. Perhaps not coincidentally, District 2 has only four candidates for four County Board openings. Finance Committee Chairman Scott Breeden is retiring.
In the most rural district and the one with most candidates running, two incumbents voted with taxpayers–Evertsen and Schuster–while one (McCann) voted to hike taxes.
In District 5, voting “No” besides the lone Democrat Yensen was Republican Hill. The other incumbent, Jung, who was beaten by Yensen in 2008 voted to hike taxes. Jung ran ahead of Hill in the last election, when Jung defeated Democrat Jim Kennedy, who is running again.
The following 15 members voted in favor:
- Robert Bless
- Scott Breeden
- Sue Draftcorn (a switch)
- Mary Donner
- Jim Heisler
- Tina Hill (a switch)
- John Jung
- Donna Kurtz
- Mary McCann
- Pete Merkel
- Anna May Miller (a switch)
- Marc Munaretto
- Robert Novak (a switch)
- Kathy Bergan Schmidt
- Ken Koehler
In a related effort Tea Party East Dundee Village Trustee Allen Skillicorn could find only one person (Jeff Lynam) to vote with him on not increasing the village’s levy.