Here’s an analysis of the ballyhooed 11.2% McHenry County tax cut.
It is by Swampbuggy, a commenter on McHenry County Blog.
As was pointed out here before, the County tax cut this year is really just taking advantage of certain things that were in the works from years past, most notably:
- the expiration of a transportation bond payment of between 5 and 6 Million Dollars per year;
- not taking the Valley Hi levy which can only be done in alternate years without losing the ability to collect it in future years due to the state tax cap legislation;
- a reduction of $500K by the Mental Health Board which has a separate levy not under County Board control;
- not having to set aside $900K that had been budgeted as a reserve for certain liability claims against the county that have been resolved for less money;
- various reductions by elected officials acting on their own which have been part of ongoing efforts in their offices going back several years;
- savings attributable to new technologies that have become available.
Virtually NONE of the vaunted property tax reduction was due to anything either the Board or the Chairman did this year.
AND, it will be difficult to follow this act as there will be 5 Million Dollars per year that is going to have to be spent on courthouse and related construction and relocations, all of which were sorely needed..
Also, unlike school districts, the county has numerous sources of revenues which can be shifted around as needed so it is easy to play a shell game with any particular revenue source such as property taxes.
People don’t tend to notice the taxes they pay at stores or at the gas pump or what is taken out of their paychecks, but they notice the property taxes which are either tacked onto their mortgage payments or have to be paid directly twice a year in large chunks.
The real question is the size of the budget, not any one particular tax levy, and the budget went down by over 10% in the previous 4 years, B.F (Before Franks).
Focusing solely on the property tax is just demagoguery.