Crystal Lake’s Hikes Taxes Almost 10%–More Than Any Other City or Village

Municipal elections were last spring.  The next ones are not until next spring.

Perhaps that explains why the City of Crystal Lake decided to hike taxes so much this year–a non-election year.

There will go up 9.8%.

McHenry, on the other hand, is collecting about the same as last year.

Algonquin, Bull Valley, Fox River Grove, Greenwood, Port Barrington, Trout Valley and Woodstock are up under 1%.

Harvard and Lake in the Hills will collect a bit less than last year, Barrington Hills (at least the McHenry County portion) and Lakemoor a lot less.
Tax Comparikson Munis Tax Year 2012 vs 2014


Crystal Lake’s Hikes Taxes Almost 10%–More Than Any Other City or Village — 12 Comments

  1. Who supported this tax hike?

    We need to know the politicians in Crystal Lake who believe the FALSE notion that tax RATE increases lead to long term tax REVENUE increases.

    How many times does this failed notion have to be learned?

    Jimmy Carter was wrong, Bush I was wrong, Obama is wrong, Quinn is wrong, and now those who voted for this tax hike are wrong.

    Let’s vote OUT every idiot politician who makes it increasingly harder to succeed in our society.

  2. You get what you pay for.

    CL arguably has the best services in the county.

    I live there because of it, and I’m willing to pay a little more in taxes to allow the city to maintain the high level of services that the city provides.

  3. You guys don’t get it.

    Raising TAX RATES in the long run REDUCES TAX REVENUE.

    That apparent parodox was best described by President John Kennedy and best implimented by President Ronald Reagan.

    If you want CL to remain financially viable with increases in tax revenues you keep rates LOW.

    Raising them penalizes the effective and productive and is a reason to stay AWAY from CL.

    If you think that higher tax rates is the penalty for success, you have foolishly taken the liberal baloney.

    Wake up and look at the empiric evidence.

    Illinois is failing because of increased tax RATES.

    Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio are thriving because of DECREASES in tax rates.

  4. What taxes are those above?

    Property taxes?

    Sales taxes?

    “Crystal Lake” is $3.7M & “Crystal Lake Fire” is $7.9M?

    The village is smaller than fire?

    Looking at pdf page 40 (actual page 39) of the village’s 2013 – 2014 budget, the most current actuals are 2011/2012 so we’ll use those figures.

    Revenues and Expenditures by Type – All Funds – City of Crystal Lake.

    I’m rounding off numbers so they won’t add up exact.

    Charges for Services: $13.5M
    Licenses and Permits: $00.6M
    Intergovernmental:… $02.8M
    Fines and Forfeits:.. $00.7M
    Property Taxes:l……$15.0M
    Other Taxes:……….$21.0M
    Other Sources:……..$13.0M

    In the same 2013-2014 budget Crystal Lake stated they have a lower property tax rate (excluding libraries) than neighboring communities they chose for comparison purposes.
    They did not do a comparison including libraries.

    Page 10 of the pdf, page 9 of the documente itself.

    Clues as to the financial health of a village and reasons for their tax rate can be found by looking at village financial documents, TIFs, debt (bonds), and public sector labor agreements (collective bargaining agreements).

    Here’s at least some of what is present in Crystal Lake.


    Crystal Lake Ave and Main Street TIF.
    Virginia Street TIF.
    Vulcan TIF.

    Labor Agreements

    IAFF Local 3296 (Firefighthers) labor agreement.
    IUOE Local 150 (Operating Engineers) labor agreement.
    MAP Local 177 (Police) labor agreement.

    Labor agreements are also known as collective bargaining agreements and negotiated agreements.

    Didn’t Crystal Lake hike it’s sales tax 75% in 2009 or so.

    The 2013 village Financial Report (CAFR).

    Here’s an example of what you might find poking around a CAFR.

    Look at page Adobe Page 95 of the CAFR (page 72 of the CAFR itself).

    Projected salary increases – attributable to inflation – 4% IMRF and 5.5% Police and Fire.

    Someone projected a different inflation for IMRF than police and fire.

    Maybe IMRF has different inflation projection rules?

    Do you agree those projected salary increases are entirely attributable to inflation?

    Moving on.

    Crystal Lake village bonds: CUSIP 229255.

    A separate taxing district is the Crystal Lake Park District.
    Crystal Lake Park District bonds: CUSIP 229289.

    The CUSIP number can be plugged into the EMMA MSRB website to pull up the Official Statement (OS) and other bond documents.

    The OS will include overlapping debt of the other taxing districts in the area such as schools, county, community college, etc., so bond holders can get an idea of the overall property tax burden.

    But it doesn’t take into account State and Federal debt and income taxes.

    Here’s the salary and benefit information for Crystal Lake village employees as of April 15, 2014.

  5. Anyone remember what happened to ALL of Route 14 in Crystal Lake when they hiked the sales tax?

  6. Mark, I’m betting these are property taxes.

    Sales tax revenues are really a guessing game and CL Fire is most likely a Protection District (which typical covers outlying areas) and not supported by Sales Tax.

    One would imagine CL City Budget is much larger than $3.7M and is therefore supported by sales tax from their expansive commercial and industrial base.

  7. The Crystal Lake Fire Department covers Crystal Lake and, through an intergovernmental agreement, covers part of the unincorporated area north of Crystal Lake.

    Its funding comes though property taxes, a logical source since property is being protected.

  8. **Anyone remember what happened to ALL of Route 14 in Crystal Lake when they hiked the sales tax?**

    Yup… the same thing that happened to pretty much every other retail strip across the country around the same time.

  9. Comparing to other Townships in McH county or other counties in Illinois is like having a Tallest Jockey Contest.

    If you want to verify that something is very wrong here, compare it to any other state/county in this country.

    Find a property tax, divide it by the home value, and compare the percentage of home value paid annually anywhere but here. (Info easily accessible on

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