CL Puts $30 Million Advisory Referendum on Fall Ballot for New Library

By a vote of 7-0, the Crystal Lake City Council agreed to place an advisory referendum about borrowing $30 million to build a new library on the General Election ballot this November.

Information about the specifics can be found here.

The ballot will read as follows, except¬†addition to the wording “Market Value”¬†after the $200,000.

Library referendum ballot question 2016The bonds would run for 20 years.


CL Puts $30 Million Advisory Referendum on Fall Ballot for New Library — 16 Comments

  1. Is there a debt service repayment schedule produced for this issuance?

    I checked the library’s site and there were no financials whatsoever regarding the project.

    I only ask because I am very interested in how governmental debt is issued /structured.

    Some quick numbers, for anyone that cares:

    1. The current CL Library limiting rate is $0.00458909 against a total EAV of $979,392,388, generating a total levy extension of $4,494,519.81.

    2. An additional annual tax burden of $132 on a $200,000 home (which has an EAV of $66,667), would add another $0.00198 to the total CL Library tax rate.

    3. Using the new, additional Debt Service rate of $0.00198 applied against the entire Rate Setting EAV base of $979,392,388 generates $1,939,197 of additional tax revenue to make the annual debt service payments on the $30.1 million construction bond.

    4. Based on the above and current municipal bond borrowing rates, my guess is it appears that they may be using a 15 year repayment period at a 2% interest rate.

  2. No debt service repayment schedule has surfaced.

    Since it’s advisory there is no hard and fast numbers.

    Certainly the village financial officer has some idea of the debt service repayment schedule.

    Could just send an email to that person and see what he says.

    Could be anything from he just gives you the estimate to he gives you the runaround intentionally or not.

    If it’s the latter one could submit a foia for any documents regarding an estimated repayment schedule for the proposed bonds.

    The library is a component district of the village.

    So the financials are listed under the village website in the village financial documents.

    Look comments under the earlier post, “Library Seeks Nov. $30 Million Advisory Referendum.”

  3. Below is taxation section of 75 ILCS 16/1-1 Public Library District Act of 1991.

    What looks like a remarkable coincidence is that the additional maximum allowed .02% additional taxation for building is almost exactly the amount Coffey calculated above which would be levied annually on a $30 million bond!

    What are the odds!

    The exact amount needed for this library building happens to be nearly equal to the statutory maximum allowed!

    (75 ILCS 16/Art. 35 heading)

    (75 ILCS 16/35-5)
    Sec. 35-5. Tax levy for establishment, maintenance, and support of district library.

    (a) When a district has been organized and established under this Act, the board, upon its formation and qualification of the trustees to serve, may levy an annual public library tax for the establishment, maintenance, and support of a public library or libraries within the district or for contracting for library service. The tax shall not exceed 0.15% (or a greater amount not to exceed 0.60% if the greater amount was authorized by the referendum establishing the public library district) of the value of all the taxable property within the district, as equalized and assessed by the Department of Revenue. Any tax levied under Section 35-35 shall be disregarded in applying the provisions of this Section.

    (b) The board may also levy an additional tax of 0.02% of the value of all the taxable property in the district, as equalized or assessed by the Department of Revenue, for the purchase of sites and buildings, the construction and equipment of buildings, the rental of buildings required for library purposes, and maintenance, repairs, and alterations of library buildings and equipment.

    In any year in which the board proposes to levy the additional 0.02% tax, the board shall adopt an ordinance determining to levy the tax. The ordinance may be vacated by the board before its publication.

    Within 15 days after the adoption of the ordinance, it shall be published in accordance with Section 1-30. The publication or posting of the resolution shall include a notice of (i) the specific number of voters required to sign a petition requesting that the question of the adoption of the resolution be submitted to the electors of the district, (ii) the time in which the petition must be filed, and (iii) the date of the prospective referendum.

    The secretary of the district shall provide a petition form to any individual requesting one.

    If no petition is filed with the board within 30 days after publication or posting of the ordinance, the district shall then be authorized to levy the tax. If, however, within the 30 day period a petition is filed with the board, signed by electors of the district equal in number to 10% or more of the total number of registered voters in the district, asking that the question of levying a 0.02% tax be submitted to the electors of the district, the question shall be certified to the proper election authority, who shall submit the question at an election in accordance with the Election Code, unless the board vacates the ordinance within 7 days after the petition is filed. The proposition shall be in substantially the following form:

    Shall the Board of Library Trustees of (name of
    district) be authorized to levy an additional tax of (rate)% for the construction of buildings, provision of sites, etc., as determined by the board’s ordinance of (date)?

    If a majority of votes cast upon the proposition are in the affirmative, the board may levy the additional tax.
    (Source: P.A. 87-1277.)

    (75 ILCS 16/35-10)
    Sec. 35-10. Increase in annual tax rate.

    (a) The annual public library tax may be increased to not more than 0.60% if the voters of the district determine and approve the increase by a majority vote of those voting upon the question at any regular election. The question shall be submitted by the proper election authority pursuant to an ordinance or pursuant to a petition served upon the secretary and bearing not fewer than 100 signatures of voters residing within the district. The question shall be in substantially the following form:

    Shall the annual public library tax rate for (name of
    public library district), (location), Illinois, be established at (rate)% of full, fair cash value instead of at (rate)%, the maximum rate otherwise applicable to the next taxes to be extended?

    (B) voter approval of an increase under a prior law shall satisfy the requirements of this section.

  4. Mark can you find out how the Library spent the Ames Trust Money.

    The Trust was held by Home State Bank and was given to the Library.

    The money was to go to a Hosp. and given to the Library.

  5. So let me get this straight “rawdogger” you want to vote out officials who have the legal authority to raise taxes and do this project without voter input, but since they decided to ask the voters first if they would support the project they should be voted out of office?

    I’m glad you’re not running the show!

  6. It looks like CL citizens better keep an eye out for the ordinance to pass the .02% building tax (which would presumably get them their $30 million).

    The only recourse citizens will have is to scramble to get a petition signed with ample signatures (because I suspect your own tax money will be used by library officials to challenge signatures) in order to thwart an automatic levy increase at the will of the library board.

    It might be a good idea to have that petition crafted in advance, know the amount of signatures needed, and prepare a plan to be able to gather signatures swiftly.

  7. The City of Crystal Lake participates in 3 public sector pension systems.

    – IMRF Regular

    – Downstate Fire (Crystal Lake Firefighters Pension Fund)

    – Downstate Police (Crystal Lake Police Pension Fund)

    Per the Illinois Department of Insurance Biennial Report issued in 2015 covering the years 2013 & 2014 (the most current such report issued by IDOI), as of April 30, 2014:

    – Crystal Lake Firefighters Pension Fund was underfunded by $11,917,321 (68% funded).

    – Crystal Lake Police Pension Fund was underfunded by $22,873,951 (58% funded).

    That’s a total unfunded liability of $34,791,272.

    That $34.7M is the taxpayer IOU to those pension funds as of that date.

  8. Another unmentioned cost factor will be the negative amortization of home values due to property tax rates far in excess of everywhere else in America.

    According to academic research, excessive property tax rates reduce annual home appreciation (or cause home value loss) relative to reasonable property tax rate communities.

    That means that not only will CL homeowners pay the additional percentage of home value property tax as a hard cost annually, each year their homes will lose that percentage of value, relative to homes all over America.

    That means, if a household ever needs to sell a home (bad luck happens: death of a household income earner, divorce, loss of job, investment losses, retirement, injury, etc.)
    then the household will never be able to sell a home here for a commensurate value home anywhere else with lower property tax rates.

  9. Susan – you nailed with home values – the tax burden on homes already has homeowners in a bad situation. This just adds to the pile.

  10. Disgusted beyond words that
    The CL City Council voted for
    This 7-0 !

    I will get my 89 yr old disabled housebound mother to the polls
    To vote against this come hell or
    High water !

  11. Susan, although this may be true, it also means the value added services of a brand new library would be available to people looking for homes in the Crystal Lake Area.

    People don’t realize how much libraries do for communities.

    The small tax increase would add more value than can be measured to current and future generations.

    Libraries not only offer books, but movies, video games, electronic resources, access to new technology, education(many adult classes in current technologies, creativity, ESL, amazing guest speakers, senior services and outreach programs, etc)

    Not to mention the value to children and caregivers to have an updated library to learn and participate in engaging educational programs.

    Check out the website and see the schedule of what they offer, then consider how much more this library could do with an expanded, new facility.

    The library’s purpose is to serve the community.

    Residents should be proud to invest in this venture and cherish the value a brand new library would give back to the community.

  12. Illinois residents already shoulder one of the highest tax burdens nationwide.

    Yet somehow:

    1.) we are told our infrastructure is crumbling.

    2.) we are told the public sector employee pensions are *greviously* under-funded

    How is this possible?

    I originally come from Texas where a home that’s $400k here would be $150k there, and real estate taxes over $2k mean you have a McMansion.

    Texas also has no state income tax…yet Texas has roads that are better than IL, has libraries, and everything else Illinois has.

    I’m voting “no” until I can see specifically what needs the community has that aren’t being met and what services the new library will provide that the current one doesn’t.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used the CL library quite a bit, and I’m glad we have it.

    But to me, the new library seems a bit of a solution in search of a problem.

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