I have to admit I was astounded when McHenry County Board Chairman and State Representative Jack Franks put a tax hike resolution on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.
How could he pave the way for a tax hike?
Even if were “only” $80,000 when he campaigned on cutting our home’s property tax bills 10%.
Then Franks backed down that grandiose pie in the sky campaign theme before newspaper editorial boards to merely cutting the county’s share of our tax bill by 10%–which is only about 1% of what homeowners pay in real estate taxes.
The tax hike resolution could not have been voted upon unless Chairman and State Representatve Jack Franks had placed the tax hike resolution on the Board’s agenda.
You can see the operative paragraph of the resolution below:
Chairman and State Rep. Jack Frank’s property tax flip-flop was worthy of the Jesse White Tumblers he has brought out to entertain the locals at his fundraisers.
By putting the resolution on the agenda, Franks turned his campaign promise upside down.
I wrote two articles on Tuesday…and I guess this makes three in total, no four, if you count the comment from Cary Grade School Board 26 President Scott Coffey that his Board’s work to cut his tax district’s tax burden is wiped out by the County Board’s raising its levy $3 million for 2017 real estate tax bills.
- “Tax Fighter” Jack Franks Puts Tax Hike on County Board Agenda
- Jack Franks’ Agenda Item to Raise Real Estate Taxes Sees Nineteen County Board Members Vote Approval
- Cary Grade School Board President Says County Tax Hike Wipes Out D26 Tax Cut
The interchange from readers is fascinating.
Some commenters continue to insist that it wasn’t really a tax hike that the County Board passed.
Others, defenders of Jack Franks, point out that Franks didn’t vote for the tax hike (true, but ignore the fact that there would have been no tax hike had Franks not placed the tax hike resolution on the ballot).
Still other commenters justify the action because the outgoing Board, almost a third of whom are new as of December 5th, voted to balloon levy enough to capture all the new construction in the County.
That is the issue I would like to pose to you today.
Below, for McHenry County, are the extension (amount to be collected) flowing from the levies, rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, except for 2016, which show the levy. Note that taxes are collected the year after the date given. These figures come from this part of the County Clerk’s web site.
- 2009 – $75,326.00
- 2010 – $77,809,000
- 2011 – $78,810,000
- 2012 – $78,835,000
- 2013 – $78,627,000
- 2014 – $78,966,000
- 2015 – $76,289,000
- 2016 -$79,424,078 (including Tuesday’s $80,000 tax increase)
McHenry County College’s tax levies follow:
- 2009 – $26,929,628.76 (Levy $27,901,703)
- 2010 – $27,210,256.12 (Levy $28,234,827)
- 2011 – $28,088,977.20 (Levy $29,695,000)
- 2012 – $28,584,737.17 (Levy -$29,695,000)
- 2013 – $26,922,035.74 (Levy $27,966,936)
- 2014 – $26,900,389.21 (Levy $27,966,936)
- 2015 – $26,861,784.02 (Levy 27,966,936)
- 2016 – (Levy $27,966,936)
The tax extensions above are only from McHenry County, while MCC has parts of Kane and Lake Couinties. Checking for one year showed the total extension being the same as the levy.
Should tax districts follow the example of McHenry County government or McHenry County College?
For the last four years, McHenry County College has had a relatively a flat levy.
The college board’s levying what it collected the year before leads to the proportion of property taxes flowing to MCC, compared to your total tax bill falling each year. That happens each year the Trustees ask for no more money than the year before.
Because there has been some new growth each year.
When one divides the amount to be taxes to be collected by the assessed valuation, the result is a lower tax rate (other things being equal, as the economics’ texts I read in college continually said).
Compare that modus opeerandum with that of McHenry County government.
The County Board decided to keep taxes on existing property basically flat.
The Board has not taken increases allowed under the Tax Cap (PTELL to the technocrats), that is, whatever the increase in the Consumer Price Index has been during the previous year.
But, knowing that inflation does occur and costs do go up, Board members have attempted to “capture” taxes from new construction each year.
Campaigns have been crafted to claim that the Board members have not increased taxes.
But, they have.
It’s just that existing taxpayers continued to pay about the same amount in year two as they did in year one.
Had the County Board kept its levy constant, as did McHenry County College, tax bills would have decreased (other things being equal).