Skillicorn Opposes $50 Million Kane County Forest Preserve Referendum & Quick Take Condemnation

A press release from State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:

Rep. Skillicorn Opposes Referendum & Quick Take Legislation

State Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-Dundee) is opposing the Kane County Forest Preserve $50 Million Property Tax Hike Referendum on the April 4th ballot and the Quick Take Eminent Domain Authorization Bill for Kane County properties.

The Kane County Board recently approved a $50 Million Referendum for the Kane County Forest Preserve on the April 4th consolidated election.

The Kane County Board also passed a resolution asking the General Legislature to pass Quick Take Eminent Domain powers.

Allen Skillicorn speaking at the Donald Trump rally in Woodstock on March 4, 2017.

“Kane property taxes are the 2nd highest in the state of Illinois and according the non-partisan Tax Foundation are 4 to 5 times higher than the national average.

“All Kane County property taxes should be frozen until property values and growth catches up with tax levies. It is inappropriate to discuss any tax hikes in today’s economic reality.

“I applaud Kane County Board Members Jarett Sanchez (D-Carpentersville), Doug Scheflow (R-Elgin), and Thomas (T.R.) Smith (R-Maple Park) for standing up to special interests who want higher property taxes for Kane County residents,” Skillicorn continued.

“At the same time I’m taking a stand against high Kane County property taxes, I feel the county should not use Quick Take Eminent Domain powers against homeowners.

“I believe the Kane County Transportation Department should negotiate in good faith with property owners, not exercise special powers that can only be granted by Springfield legislators.”

Link to Kane County $50 Million Referendum.

Link to Quick Take Eminent Domain resolution.

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Language of the Forest Preserve Referendum:


Shall the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, Illinois, borrow money and issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $50,000,000 to acquire and preserve forests and natural lands, protect wildlife habitats, enhance flood control, improve hiking and biking trails and fishing and other recreational areas, provide forest and wildlife education programs and improve forest preserves, wetlands and prairies, all in accordance with the purposes authorized by the Downstate Forest Preserve District Act of the State of Illinois, as amended?|The approximate impact of the proposed increase on the owner of a single-family home having a market value of $250,000 would be $22 in the first year of the increase if the increase is fully implemented.


Skillicorn Opposes $50 Million Kane County Forest Preserve Referendum & Quick Take Condemnation — 10 Comments

  1. Here we go again with not enough information to make an informed decision on a bond referendum.

    1. $50M is principal only.

    2. What is the estimated interest on the $50M.

    3. What is the annual debt service schedule for the life of the proposed bond, broken down annually like this:

    Year 1 – Principal – Interest – Total

    Year 2 – Principal – Interest – Total

    Year 3 – Principal – Interest – Total

    4. What is the annual estimated property tax hike for the life of the bond for the owner of a single-family home having a marketing value of $250M:

    Year 1 – $x

    Year 2 – $x

    Year 3 – $x


    5. What is the current debt service schedule (not the proposed, the current):

    Year 1 – Principal – Interest – Total

    Year 2 – Principal – Interest – Total

    Year 3 – Principal – Interest – Total


    6. Is there a proposed refunding of existing bonds if the $50M bond referendum passes? If so, what are the details.

    7. Where is the presentation from the financial planner to the board about the proposed referendum.

    8. Any information about the referendum including internal employee and outside consultants and vendors should be posted on a referendum web page. Governments too often cherry pick documents to put on a referendum web page. The taxpayer pays for the documents. Put all the documents on the web page.


    What about the other property taxing districts on a property tax bill?

    9. Each property taxing district should clearly disclose on their website existing debt service schedules and estimated annual impact to homeowners.

    10. School Districts should clearly disclose the GASB 98 Net pension liability (unfunded liability) proportionate share for TRS on their website.

    11. All local property taxing districts participating in IMRF should clearly disclose their net pension liability on the district website.

    12. Local fire and police pension plans should clearly disclose their net pension liability on their website.


    13. The state should clearly disclose their net pension liability and bond debt service schedule on their website.


    14. Federal, that’s in a league of its own, but the same basic principal applies.

    That would bring us 1 step closer to taxpayers understanding the massive government debt bubble.

  2. Allen Skillicorn referenced the Tax Foundation in his statistic that Kane property taxes are the second highest in the state.

    The Tax Foundation does many studies, so it would have been helpful if he cited the exact study.

    He may not have been referring to the County property taxing district, but the property taxes of a parcel (residential only?) in Kane County (all property taxing districts for a parcel).

    Haven’t heard that Kane is the 2nd highest, but then again, it would depend on the specific study, and haven’t seen all studies.

    The specific study is important to know because statistics vary by year and how the statistic is measured.

    In addition to above, is the measurement expressed in:

    – absolute dollars?

    – percentage of home value?

    Another point is that depending on how the measurement is taken, there can be a significant lag time from measurement year to reporting date, since it takes a lot of time to gather statistics from every county in the nation.


    Here is a past post from Mr. Skillicorn’s blog.

    Kane County is 6th highest in Illinois in this study, with the measurement taken in 2010.

    Allen Skillicorn blog

    Kane County Ranks 30th Nationally for High Property Taxes

    October 14, 2013

    The article references the Tax Foundation.


    Apparently that study was not the source of his information for the press release.

    McHenry County was 29th in that study.

  3. McHenry County ranked 29th in the nation (6th in Illinois) in that study for highest property taxes in the nation, as expressed in Median Property taxes paid on home in dollars, ranked by total tax paid in 2010, per a Tax Foundation study.

  4. Click on the chart in the post on the Allen Skillicorn blog, so it is easier to read.

    Now let’s concentrate on the middle column, “Taxes As A Percent of Home Value.”

    Among that subset of the 30 highest counties in the United States sorted by “Median Property Taxes Paid on Homes” in absolute dollars, the Illinois counties are among the highest when sorted by, “Taxes as a Percent of Home Value.”

  5. There is a big difference between spending and investing.

    A study in New Hampshire by the Trust for Public Land found that every $1 invested in land conservation returned $11 to the state economy.

    I am disappointed that we got a knee-jerk idealogically based reaction to this proposal from Representative Skillcorn rather than thoughtful analysis.

  6. Every County has many different ‘tax code’ districts. Each district pays to a particular school, fire&Rescue, municipality, etc as well as paying the taxes common to us all: MCC, MCCD, County government.

    I charted all McHenry County taxiing codes, got averages but don’t know how to post a graph on this blog.

    The Mean and Median tax rate for this county is over 3.66%.
    That is, the highest by far number of tax codes is between 11% and 11.5% of EAV.
    18% of areas fall within that range.

    Compare and contrast to Woodstock tax code: in the highest range of above 13.5% of EAV: only 20 districts, about 2.5% of county.

    (11% of EAV = 3.66% of total fair market value; 13.5% of EAV= 4.5% of total fair market value.)

  7. From the exec summary of the report cited above by Whackamole:
    “Natural goods and services:
    Lands conserved in New Hampshire provide valuable natural
    goods and services such as air pollution removal, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat.

    The Trust for Public Land analyzed lands conserved by the State of New Hampshire and found that every $1 invested in land conservation returns $11 in economic value in natural goods and services.”

    Whackamole, please give the property tax rate, the median income and median home value of the New Hampshire region which conducted this study.

    New H is a wealthy State.

    We are in a local property tax rate crisis that has a significant portion of local residents hanging on by an economic thread.

    as you must know, property tax rate=public spending relative to the means of the taxed community.

    When people advocate that a segment of the population must give up survival level portions of income for benefit of luxury level amenities for others, it is fair to drill down into details.

    However your views represent a prosperous mindset, so ask yourself: how much will YOU personally give as a percentage of your household income for (X).

    The demands of (X) will be replicated by every taxing body, so be sure to estimate generously.

    And always remember you are perfectly free to raise money privately (it’s tax-deductible) and give generously to causes important to YOU personally.

  8. No Class Allen Skillicorn Bum, I call for your Resignation!

    You Are A Bum and that’s all you will Ever Be you WannaBe State Rep Bum!

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