Walkup Says Valley Hi Levy Will Surface at Tues. Night Meeting

Since McHenry County Board member Mike Walkup, a former member of the Valley Hi Nursing Home Operating Board, is running for Chairman of the McHenry County Board, the following comment he made under the article

The Finance Fight over Valley Hi Taxes – Part 1

might be of interest:

Mike Skala warns that if the Valley Hi levy were "zeroed out' it could only be reinstated with voter approval.

Mike Skala warns that if the Valley Hi levy were “zeroed out’ it could only be reinstated with voter approval.

To correct Mr. Skala’s comment, Valley High has an annual operating cost of around TEN Million Dollars.

Prior to this year it was bringing in approximately 9.5 Million Dollars in revenues from various sources including private pay, Medicare and Medicaid.

This created a deficit of around $500K per year which was paid out of the levy.

Previous levy amounts had been as high as SIX Million Dollars per year.

This was reduced to THREE Million Dollars while I was on the VH Operating Board.

Mike Walkup

Mike Walkup

This past year, due to problems in Springfield, it only took in about 9 Million Dollars, so the deficit was ONE Million Dollars (some of that may still be owed and received later).

Operating expenses have NEVER been THREE Million Dollars as Mr. Skala claimed.

The latter figure is the amount of this year’s Levy, and does not represent either operating costs or the deficit amount.

Although there have been “many discussions about the large balance” these have taken place in a couple of committees and not with the participation of the full Board, nor has anything resulted from those discussions to date.

We just keep kicking the can further down the road and every year that can costs the taxpayers another $3 Million.

Meanwhile we continue to accumulate and enlarge a nest egg that is going to be used for what, exactly?

As an aside, which may be further covered in what appears to be another contemplated installment, the Finance Director stated later in the meeting that when we reduced the levy amounts in previous years, that did not result in any savings to the taxpayers as that money was just shifted into other funds.

The jaws of several Finance Committee members dropped noticeably at that point.

We will be taking this up further at Tuesday’s Board meeting, I expect.

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If you would like to call or email your county board members to express your views on whether they should levy the $3 millions or not, you can find their phone numbers and email addresses here.


Walkup Says Valley Hi Levy Will Surface at Tues. Night Meeting — 6 Comments

  1. Mike W. is there any Valley high out standing debt, if so why not pay that off?

    Would it be legal to take most of the extra and apply it to other county debt?

    Keep some for a raining day or tornado type disasters, but the rest should pay down any debt, interest payments are a waste of taxes.

  2. According to Peter Austin (County Administrator) they want to keep one year’s complete operating expenses of $10M in the bank in case both the state and federal governments collapse in a heap or stop paying anything whatsoever.

    Then they want another $6M to $7M for capital maintenance such as eventual roof repair or replacement, parking lot repairs, etc., and possibly finishing out the basement to be used for a rehab facility that could bring in additional revenues or some other purpose.

    That leaves over $20M for which no use has been identified.

    At the current rate of annual deficits, that would give us a 20 year cushion, at which time another referendum could be presented.

    Bear in mind that the original referendum that was approved by the voters was to “build and operate” the county nursing home, or words to that effect, and not “build, operate, expand, build another building, as later may be deemed desirable.”

    Although stockpiling money to embark upon a future expansion could be seen as consistent with the original referendum, and would therefore probably be legal, I don’t know that the people who voted to approve it at the time had all of that in mind.

    This is not to mention that the population changes and the times change.

    I am reminded of how we were all saddled now with the results other referenda that were passed decades ago by people who no longer live here.

  3. So all the original bonds are paid off and the extra 20m can’t be used to pay off other county bonds legally right?

    Maybe a referendum should be in the works to move the extra and get rid interest payments?

    Add that to your election platform?

  4. “Mike Skala warns that if the Valley Hi levy were “zeroed out’ it could only be reinstated with voter approval.”

    just more of the same old same old stuff – often regurgitated by school districts and their boards.

    Essentially, once the taxpayers get taxed, the tax never goes down or away even if that “promise” was made.

    Break it down to common sense – there comes a time when taxpayers should stop paying for what may be obsolete, etc. or that may be in the wrong hands to make decisions years after the initial hit –

    They/taxpayers should be forced to look at it and vote on it at a later date with present day eyes.

    If the reason for the tax is still true, you fight for it in the open and not just keep carrying it.

  5. Original bonds were paid off and the county board decided to keep collecting the money.

    I am not aware that the money can be used for any purpose other than Valley Hi.

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