Nunda Township resident Gerry Walsh gained a powerful ally when Nunda Township Republican Central Committee Chairman supported putting the tax fighter’s advisory referendum on the fall ballot.
“At this meeting there will be a vote by a show of hands for all attending registered voters of Nunda regarding:
‘Shall the Nunda Township Open Space Plan which was adopted in April of 2007 be repealed?‘
“The outcome of this vote will decide if the question will APPEAR or NOT APPEAR on the November ballot.
“As far as the information that I have received on this topic, I feel it should be up to the residents to vote on the November’s ballot,”
newly-elected GOP Chairman Brent Smith wrote members of his central committee.
This is an interesting move, considering the list of supporters for the last tax increase referendum.
Smith recommended people “show up at 6:30 to get a seat.”
“I strongly urge all of you to attend this Town Hall meeting and bring a friend,” he wrote.
The last referendum was a close one. It barely failed.
Walsh and his allies filed a petition last November asking for a referendum.
They have a web site up explaining their position.
Arguments advanced are
The plan allows for an estimated $61,000,000 tax increase to acquire land in Nunda Township. Funding for the plan was on the ballot in 2004 and 2007 for $20,000,000 and in 2009 for 15,000,000. Each of these three times it was on the ballot, Nunda Township voters rejected the spending proposal.
Open space is good. Tax increases are bad. Those who are interested in expanding open space in Nunda Township should consider buying more property – but let’s not force our neighbors to pay for property they don’t want by increasing their taxes.
2. What does a $61,000,000 tax increase mean for me?
If the 2009 $15,000,000 bond proposal had passed, the tax rate for Nunda Township would have increased by 78%. If the full $61,000,000 bonding is approved by voters in the future, the tax rate increase for Nunda Township will be 316%. This does not include the seperate tax you already pay for roads and bridges.
3. Why do township leaders want a tax increase for Open Space?
In the October 2006 Nunda Open Space Report, the committee’s concern was about hydric soil (“wetland” is the generic term) which must be conserved for ground water quality. However, the report does not say that ground water quality is currently a problem, nor is a problem anticipated. Water quality reports have been reviewed from Crystal Lake, Island Lake, McHenry (county and city) and Woodstock. No EPA violations have been reported.
In addition, the ground water aquifer in Nunda Township flows from west to east.
This being the case, the best way to protect water quality in Nunda is to acquire cheaper land to the west of Nunda Township. This is exactly what the McHenry County Conservation District is presently undertaking with our current tax dollars. Even if the ground water aquifer was a problem in the township, acquiring open space in Nunda Township directly helps the citizens to our east in Lake County, not those of us residing in Nunda.
4. Will Open Space reduce traffic congestion?
Traffic congestion was not addressed in the Nunda Township Open Space report. Even if the Open Space plan were fully implemented for $61,000,000 in new tax dollars, the Open Space plan would only reduce the projected poplulation of Nunda Township in 2040 by 2%.
The tax increase, however, would be immediate.
5. Don’t we already have Open Space in Nunda Township?
The answer is a resounding “YES”. The Nunda Open Space report does not acknowledge the current open space owned by various government entities. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources owns Moraine Hills (1,800 acres), and Black Crow Marsh (250 acres). The McHenry County Conservation District owns 900 acres in Nunda Acres, adjacent to Nunda parcels 29 and 8. Also, the Crystal Lake Parks District owns Sterne’s Woods (200 acres) and Veteran’s Acres (150 acres). Nunda Township’s only open space land is the usually vacant Sherwood Park.
If you have questions or would like to get involved in helping keep your taxes from increasing, then join our cause as a member, or contact either: