Property Tax Hike Becoming County Board Top Issue – Part 1

As I mentioned in my short article Saturday, the records of incumbent County Board members and the positions of challengers on holding real estate taxes constant or even lowering them could become the issue of the March 20th Republican primary election.

Since I have already done an article on the Board’s vote on the tax levy for next year, let me point you to it first:

Who Voted to Raise Your County Taxes?

The new McHenry County Board map lines for 2012-2020. Click to enlarge. District 1 is in the Southeast corner. No primary contest there. District 2 is just north in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills and Lakewood. District 3 runs from Crystal Lake to McHenry. District 4 is comprised of McHenry, eastern Wonder Lake, Ringwood, Richmond and Spring Grove. District 6 is the biggest district in area. It covers the Western part of McHenry County.

If you don’t want to see the 11-11 tie vote (two absent) on the motion that lost (because it was a tie) and just want to focus on those incumbents who voted to hike your taxes, here’s the list, included those who could be considered to have voted both ways.  Those running for re-election are in boldface type.

  • 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
  • Kathy Bergan Schmidt
  • Ken Koehler

The McHenry County Young Republicans, stepped up to fill the shoes of

  • Patriots United,
  • the McHenry County League of Women Voters and
  • the Northwest Herald,

by sponsoring forums Friday night for District 2, 3 and 4 candidates and for District 5 and 6 hopefuls on Saturday night.

The level of interest evidenced by local citizens was low, much lower than the turnout will probably be next Saturday night when

  • State Rep. Kent Gaffney,
  • Dave McSweeney and
  • Danielle Rowe

face off at McHenry County College.

The YR’s asked the same first question Friday and Saturday.

It was about positions on raising taxes for challengers and how incumbents voted on the 1.5% tax hike all will see this spring when the tax bills come out after the primary.

The 1.5% increase, by the way, is the maximum allowed by the Property Tax Cap law (called PTELL by the technocrats) passed in 1992.

John Hammerand

Let me add here that folks disturbed about tax districts that hike taxes ought to be focusing on school districts.  That’s where the big money is.

But there is no monetary incentive for anyone to run for school board because members don’t get paid.

There is rarely any competition and even rarer for there to be a candidates’ night.  To have a candidates’ forum sponsored by any group that would question the maximization of tax collection by school districts is unheard of locally.

Let me set the stage of the County Board tax hike question by telling what the 1.5% tax hike will be used for.

According to District 4 County Board and longest serving Finance Committee member John Hammerand of Wonder Lake, the extra money will be used to purchase software to link them State’s Attorney’s Office to the rest of the court system.

= = = = =
What the candidates said tomorrow.


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