County Board Real Estate Tax Take Up 73% Since 2004

McHenry County government’s audit has been posted on the County Auditor’s web site.

If you go to pages 161 and 162, you will find how various sources of revenue fared over the years.

Below are real estate tax collections–up every year, up 73% since 2004:

McHenry County government's property tax collections from 2004-2013.

McHenry County government’s property tax collections from 2004-2013.

  • 2004 – 42,270,940
  • 2005 – 46,421,825
  • 2006 – 50,749,521
  • 2007 – 54,626,949
  • 2008 – 58,945,966
  • 2009 – 63,863,503
  • 2010 – 64,562,786
  • 2011 – 70,755,868
  • 2012 – 72,206,475
  • 2013 – 73,113,284

Property taxes, however, don’t tell the whole tale.

There is another set of numbers that are interesting–the debt service as a percentage of non-capital expenditures.

McHenry County debt as a percentage of operating expenditures from 2004-13.

McHenry County debt as a percentage of operating expenditures from 2004-13.

  •  2004 – 3.3%
  • 2005 – 2.8%
  • 2006 – 3.3%
  • 2007 – 3.9%
  • 2008 – 9.2%
  • 2009 – 8.8%
  • 2010 – 8.2%
  • 2011 – 8.9%
  • 2012 – 11.1%
  • 2013 – 8.4%

Below is a comparison of the debt statistics for major cities around the country:

Debt as a percentage of operating expenditures for mayor US cities.

Debt as a percentage of operating expenditures for mayor US cities.






County Board Real Estate Tax Take Up 73% Since 2004 — 7 Comments

  1. The higher the taxes, the lower the IQ of it’s citizenry.

    By my count, there are over three million running dummies in the State, the number that voted for Obama in 2012.

    So why wouldn’t taxes run amuk in Illinois?

    Hardworking taxpayers are outnumbered two one by entitled freeloaders and government workers.

  2. D. J.Traeger maybe you didn’t read the article.

    It is about McHenry County not Illinois, and the last time I looked Republicans control McHenry County and its school boards, etc.

    Maybe they need to be fiscally responsible and attract more businesses not housing which adds children to the schools which are our largest tax burden.

  3. What are the causes of the increased debt service?

    Presumably all or most of that debt service is bond debt service.

    Bonds issued to fund construction projects such as the McHenry County jail expansion completed in 2006?

    The same jail which now has excess capacity and the county loses money on housing Federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees, Federal U.S. Marshal inmates and Federal Bureau of Prison inmates.

  4. What are you expecting from a Republican Board and its members who run around and brand themselves “fiscal conservatives” at election time but behave like trust fund children once seated.

    It is always easier to say “yes” to spending rather than “no”; especially when it is not your money.

    Expect more of the same the next 10 years.

    Until enough “right” minded individuals on the Board recognize that “government cannot be all things to all people” and work to restore county government to its rightful place in our lives, expect more of the same.

    For you newbies on the County Board, I recommend you watch the recently elected Barrington Hills Village President, Martin McLaughlin in action on how to neutralize an adversarial Board which holds a majority.

  5. This Board is treating us like animals to be harvested for skins and meat.

    Animals backed into a corner must finally fight for their own survival. Within The Law of course.

    Illinois law is very clever in preserving the rights of predators over prey.

    Prey can die off though, that is an excellent survival tactic.

    What happens when the prey disappear, and the predators must turn on one another for sustenance?

    Example of prey electing to die rather than be eaten by predator County Board: Plow under homes which are paying highest real estate tax rates (3.67% of home value).

    The remaining taxpayers will have to absorb the deficit left by erstwhile taxpayers.

    And that deficit will rise each year, because the Boards must have more money, every year, there must be more money for attorney fees and bond underwriters and expansion consultants and school administrators.

    When every homeowner, not just those in outlying townships, is burdened with 4%-plus tax rates as percentage of home value, and property values fall still more, and the tax rate becomes 6% of home value quickly as denominators become lower and numerators rise…the predators have eaten a critical mass of prey, and balance may shift.

    Then the few taxpayers left may start to look differently at Board members during Country Club golf outings and sushi restaurant meals, they may turn skeptical, and demand ‘something be done about it’.

    Then Board members may start to turn on one another; maybe MCDOT or MCCD blames the Valley Hi Operating Board for squirreling away money that could have been confiscated instead for other capital projects favored by different factions.

    Maybe the School Boards who have been accustomed to demanding higher annual tax burdens even in the face of declining enrollment face pushback from constituents who are not so easily ignored as anonymous homeowners facing foreclosure alone in despair.


    The land reverts to Prairie.

    Prairie needs no schools, no fire or police protection, no government to confiscate money and move it around through financial mechanisms which throw off sticky crumbs onto the hands through which the money passes.

  6. A good example of the extent of Republican influence on the County Board was displayed by a former Board member who put her arm around an elected Democrat and described him as the most Republican Representative in Springfield.

    Now she is being challenged by another Democrat.


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