Dave McSweeney Seeks to Force Flatlining of Township Taxes

David McSweeney

David McSweeney

State Rep. David McSweeney is proposing at amendment to Senate Bill 1937 that would prohibit township governments throughout Illinois from increasing the amount of money they extract from taxpayers’ pockets for the next two years.

Unlike some legislators and local officials who try to tinker with property taxes, McSweeney knows the key word is “extension.”

The “extension” is the amount of money that a tax district is allowed to collect in a given year. It is usually well below the levy, which can be seen as a “wish-fulfillment.”

For example, McHenry County College increased its levy by nine percent, giving it bad publicity in the Northwest Herald, but having no impact on the Property Tax Cap-imposed limit of three percent (plus new growth).

Just as an aside, any tax district official that wants to cut taxes should vote to make his or her tax levy the same as the extension for the year before.

In any event, McSweeney is probably on a mission impossible, because there are thousands of townships in Illinois.

Plus, the record of what is happening to the bill show that his amendment has been assigned to the House Rules Committee, the place legislation where House Speaker Mike Madigan kills amendments he doesn’t like.

David From, State Director of the Illinois chapter of Americans for Prosperity, informed me of this amendment via the following email:

“I’m writing to ask you to take just a moment of your time to support legislation to place a two-year moratorium on the property taxes levied by townships. The legislation sponsored by State Representative David McSweeney (R-Cary) will be the subject of a committee hearing tomorrow morning in House Revenue Committee. We need to let committee members know that we support this common-sense moratorium on higher local taxes.

“Please take a moment to submit an electronic witness slip in favor of SB 1937 today!

“Illinois faces a dual problem when it comes to property taxes; they’re rising fast while Illinois’ median household income is dropping. In the four most recent years for which census data is available, Illinois median household income dropped by more than $3,000. At the same time, the suburban Daily Herald reported in November that “property tax levies were up nearly $4.8 billion” between 2005 – 2010.

“Click here to file an electric witness slip with the committee on behalf of Rep. McSweeney’s efforts to curb the increase of property taxes! Be sure to check “Proponent” in Section III (Position) & “Record of Appearance Only” in Section IV (Testimony).”

McHenry County has seventeen townships. Each township has two separate governments.  One is run by the Supervisor; the other by the Highway Commissioner.

The following made a good faith effort not to take every dime that they could. I put them on my “Honor Roll.”

2011 – $138,551.71
2012 – $125,589.92 (-9.4%)

2011 – $1,812,281.41
2012 – $1,818,540.52 (+0.3%)

2011 – $3,989,082.24
2012 – $3,989,081.94

Hartland Township

Both Supervisor and Road Commissioner in Hartland Township cut their budgets.

2011 – $177,096.32
2012 – $168,120.44 (-5.1%)

2011 – $257,147.74
2012 – $249,843.80 (-2.8%)

2011 – $223,260.02
2012 – $218,264.61 (-2.2%)

2011 – $303,002.43
2012 – $299,000.30 (-1.3%)

McHenry Township Hall

McHenry Township Hall

2011 – $496,211.57
2012 – $496,964.36 (-0.2%)

2011 – $1,876,425.79
2012 – $1,876,437.35

2011 – $3,406,895.19
2012 – $3,406,912.40

2011 – $1,125,172.20
2012 – $1,125,172.20 (+0.3%)

Part of the Nunda Township Road District complex.

Part of the Nunda Township Road District complex.

2011 – $3,332,592.47
2012 – $3,332,591.92

2011 – $258,886.96
2012 – $262,771.67 (+1.2%)

2011 – $172,300.92
2012 – $168,000.60 (-2.5%)

2011 – $266,055.92
2012 – $266,053.68

But let’s put the role of township government in perspective.  Below is what each type of government has billed (extended) this year:

  • Schools – $499 million (Only four districts are taking less money this year than they did last year.)

All the rest take $93 million will be funneled to special districts, as follows:

  • Huntley Village Hall

    Huntley Village Hall

    Municipalities – Almost $67 million (municipal Tax Increment Financing Districts will receive $2.3 million more)

  • Fire Protection Districts – $41.1 million
  • Community Colleges – $32 million
  • Townships – $26 million
  • Conservation District – $19.6 million
  • Library Districts – $16.1 million
  • Park Districts – $15.6 million
  • Miscellaneous Districts – $698,000
  • Sanitary Districts – $672.000
  • Cemetery Districts – $44,000

= = = = =
Other articles about the real estate tax bills that will be paid in 2013:


Dave McSweeney Seeks to Force Flatlining of Township Taxes — 12 Comments

  1. Finally, a legislator stepping up to take on the excessive spending of townships; they are rife with bloated salaries and nepotism.

    Township Officials of Illinois has a strong lobby in Springfield.

    Time for the PEOPLE to speak up and support Dave McSweeney and those brave enough to join on his bill.

  2. The bill number listed above appears to be incorrect. The text of SB1937 makes no mention of townships.

  3. The language is in an amendment, which was sent to me separately.

  4. THIS is one of the reasons I supported David.

    Most politicians just try to appear like they care about taxes.

    The majority of Republicans are quite happy with status quo.

    Go get them David!

  5. You supported David McSweeney so he could hijack another legislator’s senior citizen assistance bill, and piggy-back his own Tea Party hack amendment on it..?

  6. Robert Williams:


    You don’t know the legislative process.

    First, this kind of relief is a form of senior assistance.

    Second, it is COMMON for amendments of various kinds to be added to bills.

    There is no “hijacking” (using this term suggest you have an agenda).

    Current example: In the U.S. Senate right now, there are more than 300 amendments tagged onto immigration “reform” (yes, the quote marks indicate I have an opinion).

    If you don’t like McSweeney, that’s fine. If “Robert Williams” is a nomme de plume for “Dee Beaubien”, that’s fine. But if you’re going to frame your comment in a way that make him look sinister, you are barking up the wrong tree.

  7. The real problem is that when you purchase a home and put 20% down, your monthly property tax obligation should not be equal to your monthly mortgage payment.

    This is unsustainable.

  8. ‘Anonymous’ must be another fine product of the Illinois Public dumb-ucation system.

    How many school districts reduced their levies?

  9. These school districts showed the most restraint in McHenry County:

    Nippersink (Richmond & Spring Grove) Grade School District
    Prairie Grove Grade School District
    Richmond-Burton High School District
    Harvard Unit School District

  10. Paul: I am certainly not attempting to make State Rep. David McSweeney look “sinister.”

    I am also not attempting to make him look like an inept, spoiled, oblivious Tea Party hack who’s willing to scuttle a Senior Citizen benefits bill in order to advance his personal agenda; however, David himself is doing a great job at THAT with no help from anybody…

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