It was tax levy night at Algonquin Township.
“We froze our levy,” Algonquin Township Supervisor stated at the beginning of the discussion of the tax levy for the real estate taxes to be collected next spring.
I wanted to ask if this coming year’s levy was bigger than this year’s extension, that is, the amount that the County Clerk told the County Treasurer to collect.
That because if Algonquin Township “balloon” levied last year, the amount requested could have been higher than the amount allowed or the extension.
We’re doing fine,” the Supervisor announced.
The motion for approval passed 5-0.
Highway Commissioner Bob Miller made a similar statement.
His Road District is essential a separate unit of government.
“Last year we held the line on our levy. We plan to do that again this year. We’re going to hold the levy flat again.”
The motion passed 5-0.
A person in the audience might have thought the two public officials were saying the same thing.
After the meeting, I discovered they may have been using the same verbiage, the tax implications were vastly different.
For taxes to be constant next year (in the aggregate on current taxpayers), tax districts have to follow McHenry County’s example.
Levy the amount of last year’s extension (the amount authorized to be collected, most of which is), plus new growth, which is about 0.26% of the current assessment base.
Last year the extension for the combination of the Town Fund and the General Assistance fund was $1.812,281.
The levy passed last night was $1,861,000.
Now, the levy this year may well have been the same as the levy last year, but, if so, the levy last year was obviously larger than what was allowed by law to be collected.
So, that means those two funds will get a 2.7% increase.
That’s less than the 3% increase allowed by the Tax Cap law because the Consumer Price Index went up 3%, but it still means a tax hike.
Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller, on the other hand, had an extension for the taxes collected last spring of $3,989,082.
His levy was for $3,989,000, essentially the same as the amount collected last year.
Because there is new growth in Algonquin Township (think Route 14 in Crystal Lake), there will be a higher assessed valuation than last year, hence the amount the Township Road District will extract from our pockets will be a bit less than last year (assuming assessments remain proportionately the same).
Let’s assume that the Township Board members and the Supervisor wanted to keep taxes constant.
What can they do now that they have passed a tax hike?
At a future meeting, they can amend the levy to take it down to last year’s extension.
With an election coming up in February, I’m betting that the levy will be lowered at the next meeting.
If it isn’t, challengers to incumbents could be labeled “tax hikers.”
So, “tax hikers” or “tax fighters?”
Which will it be?