High Property Taxes Dominate County Board Forum

Andrew Gasser: “McHenry County is the 29th most expensive county to live in the nation, not Illinois, in the U.S.”

Joe Gottemoller: “[We need to] hold the line on taxes. The County portion is flat.”

Wheeler, Chuck looking at camera put on rt L of WV

Chuck Wheeler

Chuck Wheeler: “I believe in less government and lower taxes. [People tell me,] ‘We can’t afford to live here anymore.'”

John Jung: “[Budget has been] flat for the last three years.”

Those were mentions of finances that I jotted down in the opening statements of Wednesday’s County Board forum.

For the second time running, the McHenry County League of Women Voters did not allow a question on taxes.

While that prevented putting all of the candidates on record with regard to whether they would vote to tax real estate more than now, it did not prevent various candidates from tackling the subject during the question and answer time.

Take, for instance, the first question asked, “What’s the most important issue for your district?”

Schmidt, Cathy looking left smiling L of WV 10-15-14

Cathy Bergan Schmidt

Andrew Gasser: “Families being able to hang onto their homes. There were 535 foreclosures last year in Cary, Fox River Grove, Algonquin and Barrington Hills. People say,’Andy, our taxes are so high.’ We have to do something. We have to do something. [They’re] causing serious distress.”

Cathy Bergan Schmidt included “…losing their housing as Andrew pointed out.”

Joe Gottemoller pointed out the flat levy for county government and added, “I do wish we could get some of the other taxing bodies to come along with us.”

John Hammerand

John Hammerand

Arne Waltmire: “Taxes…”

John Hammerand: “Taxes. Look at my web site [for] property tax dollars…[They have] increase every year for the last ten years.”

Chuck Wheeler: “My number one concern is the fact that taxes are going up way too much.” He told of a woman who moved to Wisconsin to get away from McHenry County’s high taxes and pledged to “look at the budget with new eyes.”

Nick Chirikos

Nick Chirikos

Nick Chirikos: “I’d like to challenge the notion that property taxes in McHenry County are too high. $70,000 is the average income. The problem is that we don not have enough good paying jobs.”

Comments about taxes were also made in closing statements.

Chuck Wheeler: I’m running to be a champion of the taxpayers.” He pointed to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement floor of the County Jail. “We don’t know if it’s running at a profit.” He told of the $35 million Valley Hi (the County Nursing Home) has in the bank.

John Jung

John Jung

John Jung told of saving money by more tightly controlling the budgets of elected officials. “We are budgeting vacant positions no longer.”

Michael Rein said, “The reason I’m running is I felt my money was being wasted.”

Robert Nowak said that the number one reason for his candidacy was to “lower taxes.”

Andrew Gasser pledged not to take a county pension or health insurance and be “fiscally responsible,” viewing the budget with “a fresh set of eyes.”

Valley Hi Cash on hand 2006-13

The money McHenry County’s nursing home, Valley Hi, holds in reserve is now over $30 million. An additional $3 million in taxes are proposed to be collected next year.

Cathy Bergan Schmidt challenged Chuck Wheeler’s criticism of Valley Hi’s accumulation of excessive funds. She said the County Board had turned around Valley Hi. “It is a fact it is in the black.” The money that has accumulated, she said, had been approved by referendum. The maximum annual tax is $6 million, she pointed out and “only asking $3 million this year.” She calculated that amounted to about $1 a month for each homeowner.


High Property Taxes Dominate County Board Forum — 14 Comments

  1. Could not help but observe that we need people with a little common sense to run for office.
    Joe: “[We need to] hold the line on taxes. The County portion is flat.” The property tax rate may be flat but you keep approving departmental budgets which include salary increases! Then you increase fees etc. to pay for them.

    “Nick Chirikos: “I’d like to challenge the notion that property taxes in McHenry County are too high. $70,000 is the average income. The problem is that we don not have enough good paying jobs.”” This guy is dangerous!!! Average salary in McHenry is $58,852 http://www.salarylist.com/city/Mchenry-IL-Salary.htm He has learned well from Pelosi and Obama!! Also he is using the court ruling that a politician can lie while campaigning – just like Jack Franks does.

    Cathy Bergen Schmidt’s last posted quote reminds me of “stupid is – stupid does”.

    Nowak’s comment is pure BS. His whole campaign is to get Chirikos elected with the assistance of the Miller family.

  2. Is Nick Chirikos for real?

    “Taxes aren’t too high, salaries are just too low.”

    That’s basically his statement.

    Nick Chirikos is an idiot….and he defines his empty intellect for us.

    Is the Newspaper going to report this quote? What an idiot


    It soundslike he is saying too bad for you I have enough money to pay my taxes.

    He apparently is not against raising property taxes.


  4. At least we have new people stepping up to run and challenge the incumbants.

    If Waltmire thinks we pay too much in taxes, he should give up his teachers pension.

    That is what has our entire state in a financial crisis.

    Yet, he wants another job at tax payer’s expense?

    Waltmire you are fooling no one.

    Same goes for Chirikos, obviously, he’s living in Koolaideville.

    The population in Mchenry county is declining, shouldn’t our taxes reflect that?

    We should be paying less, not more?

    Cut government waste, lower our taxes.

  5. Ok Chirikos, we’ll just work harder, to keep that trough filled.

    And this Schmidt with her only a ‘dollar more a month’ calculation.

    I’ll bet if that all you can eat buffet she beats down, went up a buck a sitting, she’d be out there picketing.

  6. Look at these so-called fiscal conservatives applauding a flat levy.

    Do not pretend you are working for the tax payers unless you advocate for a smaller levy.

    The status quo is bad; working to maintain the status quo is bad.

  7. Let’s not forget Gottemoller worked for the power plant developers in Oakwood Hills.

    I think he’d sell his soul if it paid well enough.

  8. Check out SB16, a Senate Bill designed to “redistribute” state money to school districts.

    You can bet that our districts won’t come out as winners in the winner-loser sweepstakes.

    According to the CL Superintendent, over 100 teachers will have to go, if SB16 passes.

    A resolution 1276 is being proposed and has been signed on by almost all Republicans in the Legislature and 4 Democrats, including Franks.

    Check out the websites of our reps and sign the petition against SB16 if you are so motivated.

  9. Ms. Virginia Peschke is right.

    One example is School District 47 in Crystal Lake.


    We already pay out the nose in our property taxes… we do not need to send those dollars outside the county.

    We are bankrupting our children’s future in McHenry County with SB-16.

    Andrew Gasser

  10. Here is a government generated financial comparison website resource for analysis of school district spending. It compares a chosen school against ‘peers’ of a certain criteria:

    (“Peer districts are districts which share similarities among these characteristics: total students; student teacher ratio; Percent Children in Poverty; District Type; and Locale Code.”)


    (Choose “Data &Tools” on top bar, Choose “Peer Comparison Tools” on dropdown, Choose “Visit Public School District Finance Peer Search” link).

    Any condescending sophistry propagated by School Boards and Administrators about how school districts are compelled to raise property taxes because of low State and Federal input can be dispelled by checking this peer comparison.

    When, for example, Woodstock CUSD 200 voluntarily spends 180% of peer average per student annually on Administrative Costs, it loses all credibility when asserting it needs more local funding.

    Peer Comparison proves that schools all across America survive and thrive (look at school report cards published by law, compare test results… it is an embarrassment to our local outcomes)with LOWER BUDGETS than we suffer.

  11. “Nick Chirikos: “I’d like to challenge the notion that property taxes in McHenry County are too high. $70,000 is the average income. The problem is that we don not have enough good paying jobs.””

    According to http://interactive.taxfoundation.org/propertytax/

    Property taxes As A Percentage of Income was 3.25% across the United States, and higher in Illinois at 5.11%.

    In McHenry County if a $200,000 home pays 3%, that is $6000 annual property tax. $6000 /$70,000 annual income = 8.50%

    So, McHenry County residents pay 8.5% of income for property taxes compared to national average of 3.25%.

    We accept Chirikos challenge–if the ‘notion’ that property taxes are too high is refutable we would love to hear why, how, and by how much.

    Please explain by what standard of measurement property taxes are NOT too high in McHenry County?

    Compared to What or Where?

    Name another county (that has ‘good paying jobs’) which has property taxes as high as in McHenry County?

    If our taxes aren’t too high, are they too low? How high should they be?

    At what Property Tax Rate do you feel ‘good paying jobs’ are jeopardized by those tax rates having a chilling effect on businesses and local discretionary spending?

  12. Excellent points, Susan.
    Now, we’re all living busy lives and working to the point of excessive stress while idiots running for office “express” their opinion about those taxes for which we’re working.

    What Chirikos said was not only idiotic.

    It was abjectly false.

    In addition, it revealed that Chirikos has NO IDEA about being a member of a board that financially runs a county.

    One of the papers just endorsed this idiot.

    Are the newspapers supposed to clarify this stuff for us.

    Isn’t it their job to do what Susan just lucidly did?

    Our media has failed us.

    They’re interested in gossip, innuendo, and they support monsters like Nygren and Zinke so as to get that gossip and innuendo.

  13. CLM: Be aware that one of the main editors at the NWH is on the board for Pioneer Center.

    Where do you think his political leanings are?

    More government or less?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *