When McHenry County Blog first reported on referendums local tax districts had scheduled for the April election, there was only one.
Now there are three:
- Village of Spring Grove – Proposition to increase extension limitation to 0.214%
- River East Public Library District – Proposition to increase limiting rate (A similar question was on the fall ballot. It lost. 69.5% of the voters defeated it. River East also has two openings on its Library Board for which no one filed. People can run as write-ins. See this article.)
- Fox Lake Fire Protection District – Proposition to increase limiting rate for levy years 2013 to 2018
Why are tax districts asking for more money?
One reason is that the Illinois General Assembly didn’t come to their aid the way State Senators Pam Althoff and Karen McConnaughay, along with State Rep. Mike Tryon and Barb Wheeler did.
As anyone who has been reading McHenry County Blog since the veto session ended knows, legislation was passed to allow the McHenry County Conservation District to borrow money without going to the voters.
That means higher taxes as those new bonds are repaid.
The three tax districts proposing tax hikes above did not receive similar dispensation from their state legislators.
In fact, they probably didn’t even ask.
From one point of view, the three tax districts should be praised.
At least they are asking for citizen approval before raising taxes.
Another reason for going to voters now may be the better economy.
Unemployment is down.
New stores are opening.
Housing construction is up, e.g., the new apartments west of the Crystal Lake Post Office.
And, finally, gasoline prices are way, way down.
That gives people more disposable income, hence, less reason to vote against tax increase referendums.
When people feel more confident about their personal finances, they are more likely to vote “Yes” on tax increase questions.