How Does McHenry County Stack Up to Kane & Will Counties on Keeping Taxes Constant?

Last week, McHenry County Blog ran a press release from Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay (who is running unopposed for State Senate) concerning her Executive Committee’s recommendation that the Board pass a levy that is the same as last year’s extension.

The levy is the amount of money that a tax district requests.

The extension is the amount which the County Clerk tells the County Treasurer to collect from property owners.

When tax district boards decide what to levy, there usually are two factors in play.

The Tax Cap legislation allows tax districts to get an increase in real estate tax revenue equal to the increase in the Consumer Price Index.

This coming year that means pretty much every tax district can receive 103% of what they got in 2012.

The only ones who won’t are those who have bumped up against their maximum tax rates, as set by state law.

But, in addition, tax districts are eligible to collect taxes for new growth.

To do so, however, the board members have to increase their levy beyond last year’s extension.

And, if they guess too high, they will automatically receive whatever part of the Tax Cap-allowed CPI increase that’s exceeds the new growth but is under the 3% increase allowed for next year, for example.

Greedy tax districts who want to squeeze ever dollar out of our pockets ask for far more than they know they can get.

They “balloon” levy.

It is not unusual for them to ask for much more than they can get.

But, unless the amount of increase allowed by the Tax Cap is more than the 3%, plus taxes on new construction, taxpayers are protected from their getting, say, a 10% increase.

That doesn’t mean a great deal when homeowner see continually rising tax bills while their home value has declined so much.

Here’s what Kane County government has gotten over the last five years, plus the levy recommended by Karen McConnaughay’s Executive Committee last week.

Kane County

  • 2007 Extension – $49,113,253.95
  • 2008 Extension – $51,977,155.06
  • 2009 Extension – $52,584,332.90
  • 2010 Extension – $54,331,006.35
  • 2011 Extension – $53,909,117.97

That’s a 9% increase for the five years from 2005 to 2011.

And next year, pending County Board approval, the amount extended will be the same, as you can see by the recommended levy:

  • 2012 Recommended Levy – $53,909,117.97

Now, let’s look at McHenry County over the years:

McHenry County

  • 2007 Extension – $69,497,238.19
  • 2008 Extension – $73,587,785.19
  • 2009 Extension – $74,443,779.67
  • 2010 Extension – $76,846,500.12
  • 2011 Extension – $78,285,064.42

That’s a 12.6% increase over the five years from 2007-2011.

And what does the McHenry County Board plan to do next year?

According to an October 9, 2012, budget document, the county wants to collect

  • 2012 Proposed Extension – $78,550,000

(It’s the top right hand number.)

The estimated revenue part of the document is below:

Click to enlarge the images above.

Since State Rep. Jack Franks has thrown Will County into the mix, let’s look at what that County Executive county has taxes over a similar period:

Will County

  • 2007 Extension – $100,580,832.94
  • 2008 Extension – $107,990,279.65
  • 2009 Extension – $109,397,882.66
  • 2010 Extension – $114,501,001.06
  • 2011 Extension – $114,871,224.97

Will County had a 14% increase in extensions over the last five years.

= = = = =
Note that over the last five years Will County, governed by a County Executive form of government, increased its tax take by 14%, while Kane County, governed by an elected County Board Chairman, increase 9%, and McHenry County governed by a County Board Chairman elected by County Board members increased 12.6%.


How Does McHenry County Stack Up to Kane & Will Counties on Keeping Taxes Constant? — 8 Comments

  1. if the Social Security increase is between 1 and 2 per cent based on inflation how can the taxing bodies justify 3 per cent

  2. Wait a minute, Cal.

    Didn’t you just post something last week about how Will County kept their property taxes low?

  3. No. That was Jack Franks’ pitch.

    I did post a press release from Karen McConnaughay, Kane County Board Chairman, which showed the same information in another format.

  4. “Fire” every incumbent who raised taxes or fees.

    And don’t elect their tax raising and fee raising clones….or is that clowns?

  5. As a taxpayer, I am frustrated by board members talking about how they are fighting for the taxpayer but participating in a healthcare system that is 90% paid for by taxpayers- and often not only for themselves but for their family as well.

    Look at how many of the board participates in the VERY SAME FRINGE BENEFITS package they criticize public employees for.

    The board is a part time elected position and you, as the tax payer, fund a pension, healthcare and reimburse mileage for the board you pay to represent you.

    I realize the $24,000 a year we spend in mileage reimbursement is small when compared to the entire county budget.

    It is a simple sense of fairness.

    If I am successfully elected- I will not take the healthcare, the pension or the mileage reimbursement.

    It is about sending a message you are serious about representing the taxpayers and tightening the belt of the board.

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