Four tax districts in McHenry County are targeted in a tax protest suit filed by attorney Timothy Dwyer on behalf of WKS CRYSTAL Lake, LLC, ET AL.
McHenry County is accused of having excessive funds on hand for the Valley Hi Nursing Home, the Road & Bridge Fund, the Matching Fund and the Loss and Prevention Fund.
Dwyer argues that fund balances must be compared to recent years’ annual expenditures.
The basic argument, as lifted from an Illinois court case is
no taxing district shall be permitted to accumulate unnecessary surplus from taxes collected but should confine their levies to the amount actually needed to be determined annually.
Two years annual spending is cited in a 1952 Illinois Supreme Court case.
In 1955, the top court ruled,
The authority to levy a tax for building purposes is intended to provide for the needs of the ensuing year and not to provide a fund for possible future needs.
In 1996, an appellate court ruled,
we conclude that a tax objector can meet its burden to show an excessive accumulation by presenting evidence that the accumulation in the fund exceeds two to three times the average annual expenditures for the fund
Valley Hi’s $4.5 and $4 million levies are cited and compared with cash on hand . [There is a typo in the text, which should say $40 million.]
[Last year the levy was $3 million. Before the County Board now is a levy for $2.25 million for Valley Hi.]
Then the suit praises the management of Valley Hi:
By virtue of efficient operation, the annual expenditures of the Valley Hi Nursing Home are virtually zero because the Nursing Home receives Medicare and Medicaid funding.
The Road & Bridge Fund of county government is also attacked.
The filing shows an annual budget of $1,050,000 with a bank balance of $3,938,591, over three times the amount spent in each of the three years before.
The Matching Fund had a balance of $10,200,708, but there was a levy of $1,150,000.
$14,169,115 was in the Loss and Prevention Fund bank account. Nevertheless, the County Board levied $2,750,000.
Dwyer argues that “the aforesaid levies untaken by Mcenry County are illegal, void and excessive as a matter of law” and ask for the County Treasurer to write rebate checks to his clients.
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The complaint about Wonder Lake’s Harrison School District tomorrow; Crystal Lake Grade School District 47’s Sunday and Crystal Lake High School’s on Monday; and McHenry Township’s Tuesday.