Algonquin Township Keeps Levy Flat

Las year, at the instigation of Algonquin Township Trustee Larry Emery, the Town Fund’s levy was cut 1%.

Not much, but in the right direction.

This year, by a 3-2 vote the Township Board voted to keep the tax levy constant.

Algonquin Township Board

Algonquin Township Board

Arguing against cutting the amount of real estate taxes to be collected were Supervisor Dianne Klemm and the only holdover Trustee, Dan Shea.

Joining them in passing the levy was one of the three insurgents, Melissa Sanchez.

Melissa Sanchez

Melissa Sanchez

Larry Emery

Larry Emery

Russ Cardelli

Russ Cardelli

Trustees Larry Emery and Russ Cardelli voted, “No.”

Listening to Shea, I thought I was back in Grafton Township, where various Trustees over three years, when Linda Moore was trying to freeze the levy, argued that not taking the maximum increase allowed by the Tax Cap law wouldn’t save people enough to make any difference.

He pointed out that cutting the levy by 1% last year saved him 31 cents on his $5,100 tax bill.

Emery, who floated the idea of cutting the levy $100,000, said his proposal would save each person $3.

“That’s sounds good,” Cardelli said upon hearing Emery’s suggestion.

Of course, virtually every tax district taking the maximum amount possible is the reason that McHenry County is the 29th highest property taxed county in the United States of America.

Dan Shea

Dan Shea

Specifically, Shea pointed to bills introduced in Springfield, but not passed, that would, if passed impose unfunded mandates on township governments.

He also argued that the big property taxpayers would have to pay income tax on any tax cut and that money would go to Springfield or Washington, rather than stay local.

“This lawsuit could cost us a lot of money,” he added, referring to the tax protest suit filed in November.

“You’re killing people the people in the future,” he asserted.

Although the increase in the Cost of Living allowed a 8/10 of one percent inflationary increase for tax districts this year–which Algonquin Township did not take–Shea argued that the real inflation rate was 1.8%.  He said the lower prices for oil was artificially depressing the inflation rate.

“I personally have never seen area people beating on this door to save 31 cents,’ Shea said.

And, that tiresome argument heard in almost every tax debate from elected officials or administrators:

“If you reduce the levy, you can’t recapture it.”

True enough, but, of course, not taxing to the max means the taxpayers save that amount forever.

Dianne Klemm

Dianne Klemm

Klemm argued against cutting the levy, even though she agreed to shift $100,000 of it from the General Assistance Fund to the Town Fund (the two are considered together in the levy) with these arguments:

  • “Who knows what our lawyer’s bill [on the tax protest suit] will be?”
  • The Township might decide to construct a building where local food pantries could store “overload.”
  • Money was needed to repair the 41-year old septic field (which is under a parking lot) and make sure the well is operational.

She did note, “Last year we did bite the bullet [by not taking the inflationary increase and cutting the levy by 1%].

Emery said that the bank had enough money in the General Assistance Fund to last 17 months.

Also attending the meeting were County Board members Donna Kurtz and Michael Walkup.

Both spoke about the need for township government to economize.

Republican Primary Election candidate for State Rep. Allen Skillicorn was also in attendance.


Comments

Algonquin Township Keeps Levy Flat — 11 Comments

  1. Last night I also attended our local Township Board meeting. Hartland Township froze their Town levy at the same amount as last year.

    It also appears that with the increase in the assessment of farmland by the State, some new construction and some other increases in residential assessments, the tax rate for the Township will actually decrease for next year.

    In attendance was current County Board member, Diane Evertsen and current County Board candidate Kelly Liebmann.

    There was also talk about an attempt by local State Legislators to pass legislation in Springfield supporting the consolidation of the current 17 Townships into four!

  2. Where would that put Algonquin Township then, the consolidation?

    Algonquin is part of the problem in McHenry county.

    Tax, tax, tax.

    Taxing people out of Illinois.

    Way to go Larry Emery and Russ Cardelli.

    They get it.

    They know they were elected to work for the taxpayers.

  3. I was at the meeting also, what a shame it is that there was only a few us there in the audience espcially when budget/levy $$$$ were discussed.

    With all the whining about Alg Twh’s Town fund, the “waste” right here on this blog, so few spent the time to attend.

    The reason property taxes are out of hand is a lazy lack of paying attention by us to what our gov agencies are actually doing with our tax $$$$.

    Look in the mirror sports fans, you’re the real problem.

    I believe Sanchez may have voted in favor because I asked that the Twh website be improved to be more accessible and contain way more info, even a place for comments.

    That may have changed her vote, maybe not.

    My asking for that website improvement will cost the Twh some, but I believe most of us would like all gov to be more open with the info available and being acted on.

    Shea was a tad over the top with his concerns about the unfunded mandates from the state, or was he?

    Time will tell.

    When Klemm mentioned a possible expansion, that Township might decide to construct a building where local food pantries could store “overload.” I felt uncomfortable.

    Good or bad that would be a increase in services which would require more tax $$$$ to maintain.

    Could Klemm at least ask us in some form if expansion in that area is something we are willing to support or not?

    The 100k decrease in the Twh fund of $3 per resident would a be misleading comment.

    There are over 80k residents in Alg Twh, so that math seems fuzy, also commercial and industrial property would effect the savings.

    Maybe Larry was actually referring to the number of parcels with that $3 comment?

    Bottom line is a flat levy, no increase, no taking the max, not so bad.

    No much new growth, but still that might mean a really small reduction in what we have to pay.

    Cal are you going to do a piece on the Alg Twh Road fund also?

  4. Evert, if you have more info on that state consolidation thingy, can you post a link or something so we can learn more about it, and who is behind it especially locally?

  5. Both Larry and Russ were refreshing, I hope they continue to move the ball forward.

    The pantry expansion idea should be taken to referendum and is a poor excuse to not reduce the levy.

    It honestly sounded like Diane’s attempt to build her legacy when she retires.

  6. As soon as I find the bills in the morass of Springfield, I will advise.

    In the interim, I have questions.

    Illinois has 2,045,612 people receiving food stamps (SNAP).

    Why do we need to build storage for EXCESS product for food pantries?

    Why do we have food pantries?

    There is no verification of ‘need’ to obtain food from the food pantries.

    I realize that there are certain restrictions on what you can purchase with a SNAP card but how many SNAP dollars are turned into cash by retailers?

    http://www.eagletribune.com/news/food-stamp-fraud-goes-largely-unchecked-due-to-lack-of/article_9fae573f-e69e-539a-8583-420f16168515.html

    One of the prime reasons for Townships is to provide public assistance.

    HOWEVER, over time their role has been minimized by the Food Stamp program, WIC, TANF, Section 8 Housing, LIHEAP, SSI, SSD etc. etc.

    None of which is subject to the same rigorous enforcement rules which go along with General Assistance (legal residency is verified)!

    Want to get a bigger bang for the public assistance tax dollar?

    Return administration of ALL welfare programs to the Townships!

    Go to this link: http://www.mchenry.edu/peopleinneed/

    There you can read who is encouraged to attend this exhibition of how your social service TAX dollars are distributed.

    Human Service Agencies
    Faith-Based Organizations
    Civic Group Members
    Individuals interested in resources that help people in need
    Law Enforcement
    First Responders
    HealthCare Providers and Caregivers
    School Counselors,
    Social Workers,
    Psychologists,
    Nurses,
    Administrators,
    Teachers

    Can anyone explain to me why Townships are NOT administering all of these programs?

    Why do we have so many programs?

    Note who is holding the check from A T & T. on the ‘People In Need’ website.

    One of the holders, Pam Althoff has stated she is working with Bob Anderson on the legislation required in Springfield to enable the fulfillment of his agenda.

  7. It was pointed out by Bob Miller that the Township Board has no authority to approve either the levy or expenditures of the Road District.

    The Township road districts are governed by the Highway Code, rather than the Township Code.

    Article 6 thereof provides that the Road Commissioner in a Road District composed of only one township may:

    “Determine the taxes necessary to be levied on property within his district for road purposes, subject to the limitations provided by law”.

    605 ILCS 5/6-201.5, and

    “Direct the expenditure of all moneys collected in the district for road purposes…

    605 ILCS 5/6-201.6.

    Although the Supervisor does serve as the “ex offici0 treasurer” for the Road District, and the Clerk is the “ex officio clerk” for the District, both are ministerial functions and do not affect what the Road Commissioner wants to do.

    As was once pointed out by a McHenry County Judge

    “The only difference between God and a Township Road Commissioner is that one of them has a truck.”

    The only controls over the Road Commissioner are the voters.

    In the last township election GOP primary, the Road Commissioner was unopposed and only 1399 people voted out of 57,903 registered voters in the township for the highly contested Supervisor’s race.

    No one ran in the general consolidated election in April.

    The budget for the Supervisor’s office, whose only functions are to distribute a couple of dozen checks per year for interim public assistance, manage mostly abandoned township cemeteries, serve as the aforementioned ‘treasurer for the Road District’ and Chair the once per month Board meetings, was over #700,000, approximately the same as the budget for the Assessor.

    But, they did have a weight watcher’s group meeting in the adjacent cavernous recreation room. Also, they have yoga classes.

  8. Mike, like with MCCD, more over sight should be given to the township board over the highway commissioner.

    Draft a law so that can be changed in Springfield, or do nothing like you did with the nepostism issue aat the county.

    Take the ball it’s there just waiting.

  9. Thank you Larry Emery and Russ Cardelli your courage and leadership are appreciated by the taxpayers!

  10. Mike, can you answer why the County is lobbying to raise taxes higher than PTELL allows per a previous article?

  11. The legislature will never pass any laws that will change anything about townships or their operation due to the huge influence of the Township Officials of Illinois (TOI) lobby.

    The only way to do anything is to elect someone different who pledges to make reforms, or abolish the township by citizen referendum (about 2400 valid signatures would be needed).

    Counties can consolidate, divide or change the boundaries of townships either on their own following a hearing, or place referenda on the ballot.

    Other than that the people have to take matters into their own hands.

    If more than the usual 2% of the voters would show up for a GOP primary (fourth Tuesday in February, 2017), you could oust the entrenched ones.

    Trying to appeal to the legislature where townships are concerned is an exercise in futility that only allows business as usual to keep going on. Even the more reform oriented legislators will not touch townships.

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