County Planning on Flat Taxes for Fourth Year

McH Co Budget FV 16 coverAt the end of the marathon McHenry County Board meeting on Tuesday, Administrator Pete Austin outlined what was happening on next year’s budget.

“Ir will be smaller for the fourth year in a row,” he reported.

Then he observed, “State law may [require it to] flat for a fifth and sixth.”

[Agreement seems possible between the General Assembly and Governor Bruce Rauner requiring the next two years tax levies to be flat.]

The projected budget for Fiscal Year 2016.

The projected budget for Fiscal Year 2016.

He pointed out two cuts being made in his administration budget, doing away with

  • Metro Counties
  • Washington lobbyist
The budget over time.

The budget over time.

The budget will be “$10 million smaller.”

The proposal “freezes [property taxes] on all existing properties [in the aggregate].

“It’s the smallest budget in nine years,” he continued.

McHenry County headcount over the years.

McHenry County headcount over the years.

“We have reduced headcount in the Sheriff’s Department significantly.”

In the Department of Public Health, the new Director is making grants “pay for themselves.”

And, he continued, there have been “significant modifications in employee health care plans.”

The cut in spending next year is $1.7 million.

On the other side of the ledger, there are $182,000 needed in General Fund supplemental appropriations, the biggest of which is $124,450 of state legislative-mandated higher jury fees.

Proposed supplemental expenditures.

Proposed supplemental expenditures.

Next year, a new X-ray machine will be sought by the Sheriff’s Department, as will a new firearms simulator.

Expected mid-FY 16 supplementals.

Expected mid-FY 16 supplementals.

Peter Austin

Peter Austin

The old one will be used in the administrative building.

“We don’t know what the state is going on.

“We have to be nimble.

“We are going to develop a robust capital plan, “$7-8 million” for a new roof, repaving the parking lot, etc.

Financing is envisioned by re-issuing debt that will coming off the books.

Final decisions will be made at the Finance and Audit Committee level on October 17th.


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