Before the votes on tax levy and budget matters, incoming McHenry County Board member Craig Wilcox spoke to the Board he will soon join.
Here is what he said:
My name is Craig Wilcox, I live at 5908 Whiting Dr in McHenry.
I want to discuss the levy and budget proposal and impress upon you how the current position looks to the taxpayers.
In the simplest terms we feel the issue is about transparency and honesty to the taxpayers.
If you approve the levy and budget as they are right now, at least tell the taxpayers the basic truth behind it. What I have learned is not overtly spelled out right now for the taxpayer, and that basically is the following:
a tax levy that includes $2.75M for Valley Hi, but $2.74M is going to be re-allocated to other issues, possibly for capital projects.
Those are the words the taxpayer should hear if we are being fully transparent.
I know you have many valid and complex reasonings behind this current budget proposal, and tonight we might hear some amendments that explain this logic, so hopefully the taxpayer will learn the basis of the logic utilized.
There are, however, a few points which might come up to take the focus off the simple statement above, and while they will be important topics, don’t let them hide the need for transparency.
These points will revolve around two main thoughts:
- the aggregate extension
- the Valley Hi levy.
The points to remember here are the larger $79,344,078 extension exists only because Valley Hi levy was included in that previous extension and $$$ levied for Valley Hi should be used for Valley Hi.
I know you will likely discuss the amount to be given to Valley Hi, be it $1, $10,000, or the entire $2.75M…and this decision is very personal and I don’t want to influence it, but what I do want to ask is that whatever you levy for Valley Hi, let that be the only amount you take from the voter.
Don’t weigh the taxpayers down with $2.75 million in property taxes when only $10,000 is going to Valley Hi. If you determine you need money for capital projects, be open with the residents and address that issue separately.
As a future board member I accept the challenge to find solutions that allow us to accomplish all that is in the current budget (capital projects and all) without the need to play controversial financial ledger games like levying for Valley Hi but using the money elsewhere.