As I have been trying to get through to folks, something called the “tax extension” is what people (including reporters) should concentrate on.
The extensions of all tax districts in McHenry County can be found on the McHenry County Clerk’s page of the county web site.
It is labeled, “Tax Computation Report.”
The link is here.
By using the control key and “F” key, and typing “Conservation,” I found the part of the report from last year that shows what the McHenry County Conservation District was allowed to request from taxpayers.
It is labeled, “Taxing District CVMC – MCHENRY CO CONSV” and can be found on page 4 of the “Tax Computation Report.”
While the County Clerk has not published this report for the taxes that will be collected this spring, MCCD’s Executive Director Elizabeth Kessler has provided the following explanation of what will be this year’s bottom line, that is, the extension:
The extension you provided in your email is from the year 2013 and collected in 2014 (FY 2015 Budget).
The extension for 2014 which will be collected in 2015 is $19,650,996.80 (FY 2016 Budget).
The District’s levy extension is less than it was in 2013.
I wish she had not included the word “levy” in her explanation, because the levy can and usually is more than the extension.
When newspapers and tax districts use the word “levy,” they are usually talking about a figure that could more accurately described as a “wish fulfillment.”
In other words, they are saying, “If we could get whatever we want, this is the figure.”
The levy, however, is not what tells taxpayers how much will be extracted from their pocketbooks.
That amount cannot be more than is allowed the Property Tax Cap.
In force since 1992, the limits of the Real Estate Tax Cap (also known by the acronym “PTELL” for “Property Tax Extension Limitation Law”) can be seen below:
So, for taxes to be collected in 2015, total bills for the tax capped part of a tax district’s bill is limited to an increase of 1.5%.
Next year, as you can see, the limit will be 8/10 of 1%. (Can you imagine the gnashing of teeth of tax district officials between now and this time next year?)
This figure does not apply to individual tax bills, however,
It applies to the tax district’s total tax take.
Now, a tax district’s aggregate bill may go up more than the Tax Cap limit.
That’s because bonds that have been issued must be paid back no matter how much the total tax bill must be increased.
If you look at the extension page above, you will see that only the the MCCD’s corporate and insurance funds are subject to the Tax Cap.
The four separate lines for bonds are not.
The extension would have lower except for the enactment of a bill designed to help another district last year. An article about that legislation is here.
There is a lot of information in this report from the County Clerk’s Office.
By comparing the data in the report for more than one year, one may determine trends for various tax districts.
I have done that some years.
Here is an article from 2012 looking at the increases of in tax bills from various categories of tax districts (including, of course, the biggest ones on the block, the school districts):
Addition articles about McHenry County tax bills in which you might be interested can be found below:
- Most Tax Rates for McHenry County’s Upcoming Tax Bills – Up 15% in Algonquin Township Part of Lakewood
- McHenry County Multiplier Increases Assessments 1.0243 for This Year’s Tax Bills, $1 Billion Assessment Loss Sends Tax Rates Soaring
- Property Tax Rates – Comparing This Coming Year’s to Last Year’s
- McHenry County Tax District Honor Role
- The McHenry County Taxman Cometh – Tax Bills on the Internet
On Wednesday, April 22nd, at 8:15, the Finance Committee will consider the Conservation District’s tax request for this coming spring.