Here’s what McHenry County Board candidate Craig Wilcox told the most recent session of the McHenry City Council:
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.
REDUCE NEXT YEARS LEVY.