Today we are looking at Park Districts with territory in McHenry County to find out if any are close to their maximum rate limits. The source of this information is the Tax Rate page of the McHenry County Clerk’s web site.
As long as the rates are under the limit enough, districts can continue to obtain the extra tax dollars which the Property Tax Cap allows.
That is a 3% increase for next year.
In such cases, it does not matter that one’s property value has decreased.
Park Districts that had debt outstanding at the end of 1994 or 1995 were granted the ability to sell bonds in perpetuity without voter approval as long as the amount of interest and principal are the same as the amount paid in that benchmark year.
It something like a revolving credit card that never has to be paid off.
Such bonds are undoubtedly financing the new building at Crystal Lake’s West Beach.
There certainly was no referendum passed.
Marengo’s Park District is at the 10 cent limit for its Corporate Fund already. That accounted for just 29% of the tax rate, however. Another fund, the Recreation Fund, is not near its limit. It took up 24% of the tax bill this year.
That, with another 35% of the bill not limited by the Tax Cap means Marengo taxpayers should not hold their breath hoping the Tax Cap will cut their Park District tax bill next year.
The Park District tax bill was cut last year, Heather Shepard told me. because a bond was paid off.
The first park district on the McHenry County Clerk’s list, Barrington Hills, is near its maximum. Its maximum rate is 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and it’s rate this year is 9.965589 cents per hundred.
Multiply this year’s rate by the increase in the Consumer Price Index (3%) and you will see that the Barrington Hills’ rate would be 10.25 cents per hundred.
Administering the Tax Cap the McHenry County Clerk’s Office will say, “Sorry,” so to speak, “you can only get 10 cents per hundred.”
The Cary Park District, on the other hand, is at its maximum tax rate for its Corporate Fund right now. That’s 35 cents per hundred.
Thar Corporate fund amounted to 53% of its total tax take this year.
Cary’s Recreation Fund is getting close to the limit, but won’t reach it for about two more years.
When that happens, about 70% of the Park District tax rate will be prohibited from increasing.
Crystal Lake, on the other hand, has about three more years at current rates of inflation before it bumps up against its maximum Corporate Fund rate of 10 cents per hundred.
Almost as large is something called an “Additional Corporate Fund.” It’s maximum is 25 cents per hundred and this year it is only at .4 cents, so there is plenty of room for growth there.
There is also a “Recreation Fund” with a 12 cent per hundred maximum. It is at 8.9 cents.
There are also a couple of other funds under their smaller maximum rates with no limit and all the bond paybacks, including ones issued without referendum approval, so the Tax Cap won’t have much effect on the Crystal Lake Park District for some time.
In any event, from a levy workshop I thought the Crystal Lake Park District is planning to tax to the max in the coming year. Turns out the Board changed its collective mind in the intervening week and decided only to raise taxes by 0.45%. See story here.
The Huntley Park District is not close to its maximum tax rate limits.
There is also another factor in play which could cause many more tax districts statutory rate limit problems.
Mandated by the State Revenue Department, assessment levels will decrease by 9%.
Logic tells me that a district less than 12% below its statutory rate limit will not get the maximum amount allowed under PTELL, the acronym of the property tax cap law.