Last November, the all-Republican County Board refused to kill the Valley Hi tax levy.
Having done so would have eliminated the tax.
There is still time to do that or something milder suggested by new District 4 Board member Craig Wilcox.
After all, there are new Republicans on the Board and new Chairman Jack Franks ran on a platform of cutting taxes.
He proposes to abate almost all of the $2.75 million levy.
If approved by the McHenry County Board, all of our tax bills would be lower.
Considering his first tax action was to place an $80,000 tax hike on the Board’s agenda without its having been approved by committee (he cancelled all December committee meetings), cutting taxes this year seems to be an uphill fight.
Franks put the $80,000 tax hike on the agenda claiming the issue was of an “urgent nature.”
After much discussion, was approved by the County Board 19-4…did the board members know they just raised property taxes? See my article here on that issue.
During that discussion, one of the four County Board members who voted against the property tax increase, District 4 member Craig Wilcox, proposed an amendment of his own–an amendment to direct the County Clerk to abate $2,820,000 back to taxpayers.
The $2.82 million was a combination of the former $2.74 million Valley Hi tax levy that was funneled to “undefined” capital projects, and the new $80,000 tax hike to capture “new growth”amount.
The Wilcox’ amendment was killed “procedurally” by Chairman Franks, and no vote on the abatement amendment was allowed, but it was tabled to the Finance Committee.
In fact, despite attempts by Wilcox, the tax abatement topic was left off the Finance Committee meeting on January 11th and was not put on the Committee of the Whole or County Board agendas in January. So now in an odd appropo twist, we flash forward to the January 2017 County Board meeting:
Again, Chairman Franks attempted to use the “urgent nature” rule to get a toothless Tax Freeze Advisory referendum on the agenda.
He ignored Wilcox’ real tax cut to propose an advisory referendum–something that looks good, but would cut not one dime from our spring tax bills.
Wilcox turns the tables and explains the procedural impropriety of Chairman Franks move, not allowing the referendum to go through the committee process as County Board rules require.
Rather, he mentions to the board members during discussion that if they agree the issue is of an “urgent nature” and wish to have a vote on it, they should be prepared to truly make it urgent…and amend the resolution to be a BINDING Property Tax Freeze applicable to the County Board itself. The referendum was removed from the agenda in a 17-7 vote
County Board members wanting to cut taxes this year need to stand up with Wilcox and directly speaking to and demand the so far all-talk-and-no action County Board Chairman allow a vote on the cutting the County tax levy.
One can only hope Wilcox and allies are able to prevail, convincing enough fellow County Board members, and maybe the Chairman himself, that concerted effort and discussion should be given to truly reducing property taxes.
Will the tax abatement topic show up in the upcoming February 9th Finan