This information was developed by commenter Mark:
A major reason property taxes are high is because property taxing districts omit pertinent details during bond advisory and bond referendums.
Do not even think about voting yes for a bond or bond advisory referendum unless the estimated annual debt service schedule for the lifetime of the bonds is presented.
Automatic no vote.
In this case, the bond advisory referendum is for $30,100,000.
That’s principal only.
Interest is not included in the $30,100,000.
Question as it will appear on the ballot:
“Shall bonds in the amount of $30,100,000 be issued by the City of Crystal Lake, McHenry County, Illinois, on behalf of the Crystal Lake Public Library, for the purpose of constructing a replacement library building adjacent to the existing library and acquiring necessary furnishings and equipment, which amounts to an estimated increase of $132 per year for a $200,000 home?
$132 per year for a $200,000 home is for year 1.
Is year 2 $132 per year?
Does $132 increase in any year?
How many years is the homeowner obligated to pay $132?
Next, what other debt and obligations does the City of Crystal Lake have?
Are their existing bonds?
If so, what is that annual debt service schedule for the lifetime of the bonds?
If there are existing bonds, compare the debt service schedules for existing bonds, to the debt service schedule to proposed bonds.
Sometimes existing bonds will decrease, proposed bonds will increase, resulting in taxes paid for bonds to either increase, remain flat, or decrease.
In other words, in terms of property taxes paid for city bonds, a third debt service schedule, including both existing bonds and proposed bonds should be developed.
Did the city of crystal lake, library, or referendum group do that?
Vote no for the referendum.
Next subject, pensions.
Squeezy the Pension Python (Pat Quinn administration idea) is present not only for state pensions (about a quarter of the state budget is for pensions) but for local pensions too.
The City of Crystal Lake has 3 pensions.
Each of those pensions has an unfunded pension liability (taxpayer IOU to the pension fund).
The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued Statement 68 which encourages governments to include the unfunded pension liability in their financial statements effective 2015 or so.
Rather than call it an unfunded liability, it’s called a net pension liability.
There are technical differences between the two, but they are close.
The City of Crystal Lake’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Fiscal Year 2015 (FY 2015) includes that information.
Here is the summary:
- IMRF $9,750,453
- Police $22,486,559
- Fire $11,375,488
The City of Crystal Lake has a $30.1 Million Dollar Advisory Bond Referendum on the November 8, 2016 ballot for a new library which it says will cost the taxpayer of a $200,000 home, $132 per year; but does not tell the taxpayer how many years they will have to pay that $132 per $200K home.
The City of Crystal Lake has not told what the interest on the $30.1 million bond will be.
The City of Crystal Lake has ? existing bond debt.
The City of Crystal Lake owes $44.6 to its pension funds.
Since $44.6 Million is more than $30.1 Million, however much in total a taxpayer will pay for the library, more than double that to fully fund pensions.