Its too early to suggest that the photo here represents the future of McHenry County, but with population being down in McHenry County since 2010, while being up in all the other Chicago-area counties, it could be that the County is beginning a downward spiral.
[I misread the Census data and have made corrections.]
From 2010 to 2014, the entire State of Illinois gained 43,918 people.
During that same period, McHenry County lost 1,543.
Not a good sign.
This is a county where municipal leaders have rarely tried to put the brakes on growth…even though growth results in higher property taxes.
New houses never pay their own way unless they are McMansions.
Evidence of the results of this lust for growth appeared in the Northwest Herald Friday.
A letter to the editor from Hebron’s James Lange tells of his town’s and Richmond’s having built new sewage treatment plants financed by loans from state government to prepare for growth.
Because that new growth did not come, Lange writes,
“We can’t pay off the loans without sky-high water rates.”
In addition, there was an article about the opening of the new Marengo sewage treatment plant.
Having attended the municipal candidates’ night two years ago, I know that those running for office really, really want their town to grow.
All were in favor of an interchange with the Tollway at Route 23, a subsidy for the engineering of which was passed by the McHenry County Board last week.
The NWH article not only chronicled unbelievably poor planning (attempting to build the plant on an old landfIll) a new sewage treatment plant that will be able to handle twice the volume as before, but also the fact that citizen water rates are being hiked to pay for its construction. (I’d link, but I can’t find it.)
With people exiting McHenry County, one can suggest without fear of contradiction that village and city mothers and fathers have been overly optimistic about growth.
Will there be a return to rapid growth?
Reader Susan Handlesman provides food for thought in comments that bemoan the incredible increase in bonded indebtedness of Woodstock School District 200.
Look at the tax implications for those living in the Woodstock area.
You can read her chain of logic below:
You all had better watch out for bond issue borrowings, or end up like Woodstock D200 (property tax JUST TO PAY D200 last year was 2.71% of total home value. Our total property tax rate is over 4% of home value).
Compare and Contrast Woodstock D200 debt burden to Crystal Lake D47+D155
According to Municipal Bond website emma.msrb.org:
- Cusip 580807 (CL D155) lists 4 bond issues 1990-2015
- Cusip 5811000 (CL D47) lists 8 bond issues 1990-2010
Cusip 581158 (Woodstock D200) lists 47 bond (and/or derivative financial instrument) issues 1991-2015
(Every time there is a Bond issue, there are financial advisor and legal fees; +/- 1%to 2% of money raised. For example, most recent bond issue of D200: 3/16/2015, GENERAL OBLIGATION SCHOOL REFUNDING BONDS, SERIES 2015B borrowed $13,280,000 —cost of issuance (fees) $201,661. (1.5%)) .
Percentage of full property value obligated to School District debt:
- Cusip 580807 (CL D155): 0.62%
- Cusip 5811000 (CL D47): 0.29%
- Cusip 581158 (Woodstock D200): 5.22%
BUT D200 DEBT IS HIGHER THAN STATED $118 million.
The stated debt does not include accrued interest owed, and other debt.
Adding in accrued interest puts D200 debt at over 6.5% of total home values.
LONG TERM LIABILITIES NOT REQUIRED TO BE INCLUDED IN CALCULATION OF “Percentage of full property value obligated to School District debt” INCLUDE ACCRUED, UNPAID INTEREST DEBT:
Cusip 581158 (Woodstock D200):
Exhibit D in Reconciliation of Balance Sheet on Official Statement of most recent Bond Issue of 3/16/2015 states Long-term debt obligations (including unamortized bond premium, and accrued interest on long-term debt) as $148,623,930.
Revising the officially stated (principal only) debt of $118,436,940 to $148,623,930 and dividing by the reported $2,274,804,189 Estimated Full Market Valuation 2013 (District property value) indicates that Woodstock D200 Property taxpayers owe 6.53% of property value to Woodstock D200 current pledged debt. (Statutory debt limits are meant to cap debt at 1/3 of 13.8% (4.6%) of total property value).
One example of accrued interest debt which is owed to date BUT NOT INCLUDED IN FIGURES USED TO
CALCULATE DEBT LIMITS:
In 2006, D200 borrowed less than $14 million on a Capital Appreciation Bond at 8.5%. After 9 years of accrued (as yet unpaid) compounding interest, the interest alone on this debt will be more than $15 million dollars now.
In 11 more years this bond is due for payment, and total interest owed will be $50 million, in addition to the $14 million principal also owed–so, $64 million to pay back a less-than-20-year $14 million loan.
So be vigilant of your District’s borrowings, and the terms of the bond deals, or you will end up paying over 4% property taxes too.