At Tuesday night’s meeting of the McHenry County College Board, most of the discussion was about large (over $30 million) building plan.
More important in the short-term is what the Board will do to our taxes next spring.
Chief Financial Officer Bob Tenuta described this part of the meeting as “Round 2.”
He described the property tax assessment situation as “basically no growth.”
Fund balances are going in a negative direction, he said.
Tenuta said that an owner of a $100,000 home would pay 41 cents a month if the college took all the money allowed under the Property Tax Cap.
He said he was looking for direction from the Board.
Committee of the Whole Chairwoman Linda Liddell called for a straw vote.
First called upon was former Board President Ron Parrish.
“I don’t know,” he said.
Previously, Parrish has voted twice not to increase the levy.
Doing so results in a lower tax rate for existing taxpayers as the tax burden is spread over them, plus those who have constructed improvements to their properties.
Cynthia Kisser favored maximizing the tax take.
“It’s a small amount. That amount is not much,” she said.
“There has to be some buy in of the college by the taxpayers.”
Student Trustee Jason Memmen was also in favor.
“I would say, ‘Yes,’ this should happen.
“No,” was Molly Walsh’s answer.
“Neither would I,” agreed newcomer Karen Tirio.
“Even though it sounds like peanuts…every taxing body is raising our taxes.”
“I’d support a reduction,” Chris Jenner said.
“If we can’t do that, I say, ‘No,’ [to a levy increase],” he said.
Liddell concluded with her opinion:
“I want the [tax revenue from the] new homes.”
“I am a ‘Yes’ for the referendum [for expanding and renovating the college campus], ‘Yes’ for the PTELL [bureaucratic term used for the “Real Estate Tax Cap”].
“Taxes would go down for [current taxpayers], but the tax [wouldn’t be collected from new construction].”
“3-3 and one ‘don’t know,'” Liddell summarized the straw poll.
“I guess you’re going to have to prepare two [levies], Bob,” she said.
= = = = =
Actually, considering only the votes of the members whom state law allows to vote on the levy (the student trustee vote is advisory), the tally was
- three for a flat levy
- two to increase the tax take (ironically by the two up for re-election next year)
- one undecided
Board President Mike Smith did not attend the meeting in person or by telephone.