The McHenry County College Board will meet in its regular monthly meeting Thursday evening at 6:30.
There will be budget discussions which will revolve around whether the Board should ask for a flat levy next year, which would lower property taxes because there will be some new growth, or whether the increase should be aimed solely at capturing the new construction.
When the MCC Committee of the Whole meeting was held the Tuesday before last, the typical argument from those who think from the tax district’s point of view was make.
The argument goes that the college will lose “forever” the 1.7% increase in the cost of living that the Real Estate Tax Cap allows the college to take from college taxpayers in next year’s tax bills.
Of course, the converse, as pointed out by new Trustee Chris Jenner, is also true–not taking the Cost-of-Living Allowance will save taxpayers money “forever.”
Into the mix should be the information gathered by Algonquin Township Assessor Bob Kunz, which was reported here, but will be repeated below. The percentage increases were taken from the McHenry County Clerk’s website.
So, if the Board decides only to try to capture new growth, percentage increase should probably be governed by past experience or whatever the Supervisor of Assessments estimates. Levying more than that will increase taxes for existing taxpayers.
An additional aspect to be considered is the squirreling away of millions of dollars, purportedly to match future state grants for building projects approved a fairly long time ago.
The alternative would be to ask voters to approve matching funds at the ballot box, but college leadership understand that passage of a referendum would be a difficult task.
Look at the spreadsheet below.
Every year since 2007, McHenry County College has generated surpluses. They are listed below:
- 2007 – $5.2 million
- 2008 – $1.2 million
- 2009 – $3.5 million
- 2010 – $6.6 million
- 2011 – $7.1 million
- 2012 – $6.4 million
Each of these year’s the MCC Board majority has voted to take as much money out of the taxpayers’ pockets as the Property Tax Cap allows.
That there is discussion generated by the three new Trustees–Walsh, Jenner and Tom Wilbeck–is nothing short of amazing for an educational institution.
Most school districts tax every dime they are allowed under the Tax Cap.
Here is a list of those who kept their tax requests pretty constant.
Here is a list of those who did not take every dime allowed by law.
In neither of those lists does McHenry County College appear.
Another financial item to be considered is raises for administrative personnel.
At the Committee of the Whole meeting, Board President Ron Parrish advanced the idea that whatever figure is used–he pointed to Molly Walsh’s suggestion of 2.7%–could be approved, but that the amount of each employee’s salary adjustment would be determined by President Vicky Smith.
3% is recommended in Board Report #13-15.
Parrish characterized this as “merit” pay increases.