Discussion showing that far too many McHenry County Board members don’t understand the property tax system ended with nineteen County Board members, including many who campaigned
Taxes will be increased $80,000.against increasing real estate taxes, voting to increase next year’s tax bill.
Ironically, County Chairman and State Representative Jack Franks also campaigned on cutting property taxes by 10%.
And now, the first tax ordinance he will sign will raise county real estate taxes.
Not much, but it is a tax increase.
The vote was 19-4 with the following voting for the tax increase:
- Michele Aavang
- Kay Bates
- Chris Christensen
- Joe Gottemoller
- John Hammerand
- Jim Heisler
- John Jung
- Jim Kearns
- Donna Kurtz
- Mary McCann
- Bob Nowak
- Michael Rein
- John Reinert
- Mike Skala
- Larry Smith
- Mike Walkup
- Tom Wilbeck
- Chuck Wheeler
- Paula Yensen
Those voting against the tax hike ordinance were
- Yvonne Barnes
- Andrew Gasser
- Jeff Thorsen
- Crain Wilcox
Board members couldn’t agree on whether the ordinance was a tax increase or not.
Some thought–completely incorrectly–that new construction in Algonquin Township would not be taxed at all, if the ordinance were not approved.
Craig Wilcox nailed that misperception:
“This is not a benefit to Algonquin Township.
“It benefits every county taxpayer.
“It [the $80,000 not taxed] would be spread across all taxpayers.”
Jeff Thorsen put it this way:
“Put it back in the taxpayers’ pockets.
“I understand, if we don’t pass it, we lose it forever.”
Yvonne Barnes pointed out,
“We have no idea how we’re giong to spend this.
“It goes against everything [the taxpayers want].”
Wilcox also attempted to attach an amendment that would abate $2,820,000 to the tax hike ordinance.
The Assistant State’s Attorney worried that its consideration would violate the Open Meetings Act.
Franks pointed out that such an abatement could be passed in the new year, that to consider it at this meeting would bring liability to county government.
Then, Joe Gottemoller moved that the idea be sent to the Finance & Audit Committee.
That motion passed.
Before it was sent to committee, Wilcox asked,
“What guarantee does this County Board have that it will pass the Finance Committee and return to the County Board vote for a vote?”
No answer was given, but Mike Skala, as Chairman of the Finance Committee, argued on November 15th that money be included in the budget that increased from $76 to $79 million.