Last week, McHenry County Blog ran a press release from Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay (who is running unopposed for State Senate) concerning her Executive Committee’s recommendation that the Board pass a levy that is the same as last year’s extension.
The levy is the amount of money that a tax district requests.
The extension is the amount which the County Clerk tells the County Treasurer to collect from property owners.
When tax district boards decide what to levy, there usually are two factors in play.
The Tax Cap legislation allows tax districts to get an increase in real estate tax revenue equal to the increase in the Consumer Price Index.
This coming year that means pretty much every tax district can receive 103% of what they got in 2012.
The only ones who won’t are those who have bumped up against their maximum tax rates, as set by state law.
But, in addition, tax districts are eligible to collect taxes for new growth.
To do so, however, the board members have to increase their levy beyond last year’s extension.
And, if they guess too high, they will automatically receive whatever part of the Tax Cap-allowed CPI increase that’s exceeds the new growth but is under the 3% increase allowed for next year, for example.
Greedy tax districts who want to squeeze ever dollar out of our pockets ask for far more than they know they can get.
They “balloon” levy.
It is not unusual for them to ask for much more than they can get.
But, unless the amount of increase allowed by the Tax Cap is more than the 3%, plus taxes on new construction, taxpayers are protected from their getting, say, a 10% increase.
That doesn’t mean a great deal when homeowner see continually rising tax bills while their home value has declined so much.
Here’s what Kane County government has gotten over the last five years, plus the levy recommended by Karen McConnaughay’s Executive Committee last week.
- 2007 Extension – $49,113,253.95
- 2008 Extension – $51,977,155.06
- 2009 Extension – $52,584,332.90
- 2010 Extension – $54,331,006.35
2011 Extension – $53,909,117.97
That’s a 9% increase for the five years from 2005 to 2011.
And next year, pending County Board approval, the amount extended will be the same, as you can see by the recommended levy:
2012 Recommended Levy – $53,909,117.97
Now, let’s look at McHenry County over the years:
- 2007 Extension – $69,497,238.19
- 2008 Extension – $73,587,785.19
- 2009 Extension – $74,443,779.67
- 2010 Extension – $76,846,500.12
2011 Extension – $78,285,064.42
That’s a 12.6% increase over the five years from 2007-2011.
And what does the McHenry County Board plan to do next year?
According to an October 9, 2012, budget document, the county wants to collect
2012 Proposed Extension – $78,550,000
(It’s the top right hand number.)
Click to enlarge the images above.
Since State Rep. Jack Franks has thrown Will County into the mix, let’s look at what that County Executive county has taxes over a similar period:
- 2007 Extension – $100,580,832.94
- 2008 Extension – $107,990,279.65
- 2009 Extension – $109,397,882.66
- 2010 Extension – $114,501,001.06
- 2011 Extension – $114,871,224.97
Will County had a 14% increase in extensions over the last five years.
= = = = =
Note that over the last five years Will County, governed by a County Executive form of government, increased its tax take by 14%, while Kane County, governed by an elected County Board Chairman, increase 9%, and McHenry County governed by a County Board Chairman elected by County Board members increased 12.6%.