Craig Wilcox Addresses McHenry City Council on Fabrik Tax Abatement

Here’s what McHenry County Board candidate Craig Wilcox told the most recent session of the McHenry City Council:

Craig Wilcox

Craig Wilcox

Good evening, I am Colonel Craig Wilcox, USAF retired, and I am a candidate for McHenry County Board, District 4 and wanted to talk about the resolution for tax abatement for Fabrik, as the county board will be working on their own tax abatement incentive program in 2016.

I commend you for passing the ordinance in 2014, showing a commitment to the economic vibrancy of our community, and then actually utilizing that ordinance this past July to work to keep Fabrik here in McHenry.

It is with some disappointment that we learned District 156 voted against it, and District 15 has yet to vote on it.

If we presume D15 will follow suit and vote no, that means over 67% of the incentive is not approved, leaving roughly $10,000 annually.

We know the school districts have their own decision support structure and reasons, and I am not here to question their “No Vote”.

An annual $10,000 abatement is still an incentive!

It shows Fabrik that we want them to remain and that we support them.

You may show further support tonight for Fabrik when you vote on the Industrial Bond issue, and you have worked hard, with many others, to show Fabrik we are a community that values them.

But let’s be honest, Fabrik is doing what businesses today do, they compete entities against each other, suppliers, service providers, governments…and they hold their cards close.

They never released what the other state offers were, nor should they really, but you proved to them you were willing to look at options and you are to be applauded for that.

In retrospect, maybe we must ask a few questions though, the answers to which hold no guarantee that the school districts would vote any differently.

Did we consider resolution options that abated a percentage of the property tax increase, rather than abate the full 100%?

Did the school districts ever indicate a willingness to consider a less than 100% abatement option?

I know you had taxpayer, community and regional impacts in mind by working to keep Fabrik here locally, but did the 100% abatement make it easier for the no vote at D156?

Our own ordinance includes an example where a percentage split is demonstrated as the example, where the taxing bodies benefit from a portion, and the company benefits with a portion abated.

That’s kind of where we are right now.

But these questions look backwards, not forwards, so what can we do moving forward?

A couple of meetings ago you heard me commend you on your fifth year of maintaining a flat levy, a worthy accomplishment that makes you a beacon and an outright leader in the area, but I also challenged you to do something different.

I challenged you to find a way to make 2016 better…to spend less, to collect less, to build a process and a mindset to vote in a REDUCED LEVY next December…

A REDUCED LEVY next December.

Think about that.

To achieve that goal, the work starts yesterday, today, and will require attention every week of the coming year.

Reducing the levy in next years vote shows not just Fabrik, but every business, every homeowner, every citizen that McHenry has their priorities straight.

McHenry understands the number one issue on everyone’s mind…property taxes must start being reduced for the sake of our future.  Entice homeowners and businesses to stay by cutting taxes.

Entice new businesses and new homeowners to come here because we are cutting taxes.

That would be working on the issues that matter to them.


Thank you.


Craig Wilcox Addresses McHenry City Council on Fabrik Tax Abatement — 13 Comments

  1. Don’t give any incentives or tax breaks on the backs of homeowners who already pay too much.

  2. When do the freebies end?

    Why should one business receive an incentive or abatement and not others?

    Why should every other business and resident bear the increased tax burden?

    Isn’t it time to fix the tax code for everyone, not just a privileged few?

  3. Thank you McHenry for keeping a very important employer in our town…..over 500 employees in a high tech clean business is worth keeping.

    It speaks well of Fabrik that they are trying to stay here in ILL where so many others are leaving.

    I remember Fabrik back in the 80’s in a tiny shop in Algonquin, maybe 10-15 employees.

  4. How many of those employees are US citizens ?

    How many speak English, pay taxes, etc. ?

    More tax breaks for the rich to get richer.

  5. High tech parts to the automotive industry, not line cooks or landscapers!

    My bet would be close to 100%.

    Why are some people so cynical when they obviously have little knowledge of what they are talking about.

  6. As chairman of the McHenry Township Republican Central Committee, I urge you to read the verbiage presented by Col. Wilcox.

    Then read it again.

    This is what we need to do to advance our economic future in McHenry County.

    To receive incentives, OTHER businesses in the county need to follow Fabrik’s lead…bring jobs, bring smart technology, bring prosperity to McHenry County.

    Keith (from Fabrik) is fighting for our great nation against the pressures to move out of country, and the elected folks of McHenry (Glab included) understand the priorities.

    Reduce reduce the taxes on homeowners…

    Bravo Col. Wilcox.

  7. Are you serious chairman?

    Yes, we need to keep businesses in Illinois.

    What I don’t understand is doing it on a case by case basis which creates an increased tax burden on other taxpayers.

    If Fabrik is so wonderful, why do they need to take extra money from the community?

    Why not work to make all of Illinois better instead of being part of the problem.

    Are you saying that Fabrik is the only business bringing prosperity into McHenry County?

    Of course you aren’t.

    There are many businesses in McHenry County that would love tax breaks and deserve them according to your standards above.

    If everyone one gets tax breaks, who will pay?

    Don’t forget small businesses.

    Illinois isn’t the greatest place to start a small business.

    Who will hear their voices and provide them incentives to open up and stay?

    You don’t really think government cares to listen to them do you?

    Where does it end?

    The issue we have in Illinois is all of the “special” deals handed out by our elected leaders.

    Reduced spending is a great talking point but that isn’t happening

  8. “Jim B”, do you gain financially from the company ?

    Maybe an attorney ?

    When was the last time you walked through the plant past the machine operators ?

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to pull plastic parts from a machine.

    It would cost millions for them to move the equipment to another state and set up a new plant.

  9. Why doesn’t McHenry cut the property taxes for the residents so they don’t have to move out of state.

    Give me access to $10 million and I will open a business.

    The vacant building could be a casino/ strip club/bar/ pot store all in one.

    Think of the tax dollars that would generate.

  10. I gain nothing from Fabrik, not a dime, I have NEVER walked past the machine operators.

    All I know is that they use to make plastic boxes for an environmental fishing company in old Ridgefield, they were nickle-dime, now they make automobile steering columns for many different vehicles….they have almost a monopoly because they are able to incorporate all of the electrical connections that drive our cars, windshild wipers, signals, airbags and on and on.

    We need Fabrik in McHenry Co, we don’t need “Walrus”

  11. The abatement proposal was on the agenda for one of the D15 meetings.

    The committee that had placed it there, removed it.

    I was prepared to vote against the proposal.

    I don’t think it is the school board’s place to be picking winners and losers in the economy.

    We need to reduce the levy, so that all of the businesses are given the same opportunity to succeed.

    D15 has a record of levying a surplus every year and stashing it away.

    That is how the district is doing all of this construction without asking for voter approval.

    Once these construction projects are done, there will still be a rather large surplus and it continues to grow.

    At the last meeting, the board approved another increase in the next levy, with only Betty Davis and I voting to oppose the increase.

    After the construction is done, there will be the addition of all day kindergarten, without the approval of the voters.

    There will be significant costs associated with the program every year, and it is a program with little to no benefit to the students.

    Millions of dollars are already being spent to add the additional classrooms for the program.

  12. Jim, if they are so successful then why do they need funds and a tax break.

    We should raise their taxes to give the average homeowner relief from their outrageous property taxes.

    I’m not for raising any taxes but the big corporations don’t need my charity.

    If they are not making enough profit in this rip off state they should move to another state.

    Or they could move to Mexico and the employees could save money on Western Union fees when they send money back home.

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