Ersel Schuster Favors Eliminating County Valley Hi Nursing Home Tax

This came from District 6 McHenry County Board candidate Ersel Schuster.

Valley HI

Valley HI Nursing Home is located way out in the country northwest of Woodstock.

As I commented in an earlier article,

“None of those pontificating on the subject of Valley Hi, myself included, have all of the current and intricate information necessary to make factual statements regarding the county’s Nursing home operation.”

In 2014, as the county board wrestled with the growing Valley Hi cash reserves, several issues were on the table.

At issue is that if the current levy was eliminated, a new referenda would be needed to regain the ability to collect funds to operate the facility.

The county board was to seek legislation addressing the issue.

I’ve not seen where the county board followed through.

Ersel Schuster

Ersel Schuster

Recently we heard that the current cash reserves should be eliminated by “using” them for “other” projects or programs where there is a need.

To use these funds in ways other than what the taxpayers agreed to would be a greater travesty than holding the excess reserves.

I totally reject that concept.

To those who suggest the money should be returned to the taxpayers, I say, we have another great travesty in the works.

There are no winners in distributing the reserves as the majority of those funds would be consumed by the “committees and lawyers” assigned to figure out who gets what.

This would take years to accomplish.

Once again, the board has puts themselves, and the taxpayers, between a rock-and-a-hard-place.

As an aside, it has also been suggested that “another referenda” be established to decide whether to

  1. keep Valley Hi
  2. spend 5 years to closing it down through attrition or
  3. sell it

Note… I am strongly against running referenda after referenda on the same subject simply because public officials do not want to make hard decisions; do not want to be accountable for those decisions; or are pushing a personal agenda…. In any case is wrong!

While I do not approve of the situation the board has allowed itself to be in, it is my opinion the levy should be eliminated.

The excess funds can be secured for their intended use by placing them into interest bearing instruments.

The principle plus interest earned (even at today’s low interest rates), would ensure the nursing home to be financially safe and secure for decades.

This honors the voters/taxpayers who told the county board they want the facility to continue to operate and to maintain the facility to care for those less fortunate.


Ersel Schuster Favors Eliminating County Valley Hi Nursing Home Tax — 7 Comments

  1. Spending the money is irresponsible. Saving it will provide security and stability to Valley Hi.

    Really a no brainer.

    I like the idea of an interest bearing savings account.

    To suggest anything else is corrupt.

  2. Interest earned for latest years on $40 million balance has indicated roughly .0016% (one and a half tenths of one percent).

    There has been no indication, despite numerous inquiries, that not only is the $40 million NOT returning market rate interest but is NOT INSURED against loss in its entirety over FDIC insured limits.

    There has been no response to numerous inquiries:

    What bank is getting the float on this $40 million?

    Has this bank made favorable-term loans to any board members?

    What possible justification have board members given for keeping money at non favorable rates in order to have ‘rapid access’ ?

    ( why would one ever need rapid access to $40 million dollars?).

  3. Let’s see, rather than return the Ill-gotten tax revenues deposited with Valley Hi to actual taxpaying victims who involuntarily paid the illegal tax under McHenry County’s compulsory tax system, Ms. Schuster’s solution is McHenry County “tax payers of yesterday” should subsidize McHenry County “tax payers of tomorrow” through elimination of the Valley Hi levy using the ill-gotten Valley Hi tax booty on hand for operation costs into future years until completely exhausted.

    Not a “conservative idea”, but apparently a “McHenry County Conservative idea”.

    We teach our children at a young age that when they take something that is not theirs, they return it to the rightful owner.

    Doesn’t this same rule apply to MCBOT?

    The legal and adminstrative cost to return the money to rightful owners is diminimus compared to the amount at issue (41 Million Dollars).

    Irrespective, the money is not MCBOT to use and never was.

    Applying Illinois case law in the area (See prior comment), levies above 1x to 2x reserves on hand to operate any government entity are illegal and void ab initio.

    This means the money was never Valley Hi’s to begin with but always remained the property of the taxpayers who were illegally assessed.

    Valley Hi is just the entity holding these taxpayer funds waiting return (with interest) to their righful owner.

    We are all aware of the incompetence of MCBOT when it came to Valley Hi reserves but nothing has been said about those individuals, if any, at Valley Hi who were aware of this ever increasing largesse and presumably said nothing about it to sleepy MCBOT for many years.

    It would be interesting to hear from these individuals at Valley Hi regarding what dollar amount of “tax booty” would Valley HI have kept in reserves before waking-up MCBOT with a notice.

    Would this dollar amount have been $50 Million, $100 Million, $500 Million or perhaps a Billion or more?

    Where is the accountability from Valley Hi on this issue or is Valley Hi allowed to treat MCBOT and McHenry County taxpayers as a bunch of saps as it appears we are?

    Can’t blame ’em. Am I naive to assume at MCBOT budget time an administrator from Valley Hi and all other government entities looking for tax monies appear before the MCBOT where questions are asked concerning mission, financial needs, including disclosure of current savings on hand.

    If not, this simple process would relieve MCBOT of the burden of actually having to read financial statements for these government entities.

    We the public can assist the MCBOT with written questions in advance to ask revenue seeking governmental entities each year before MCBOT approves the budget and levy.

    Again, left with more questions than answers because MCBOT in toto more interested in CYA than providing honest answers to taxpayers.

    There was a serious break down in the budget and levy process for many years and no assurance by MCBOT that proper measures are now in place in the budget and levying process to ensure a debacle like Valley Hi does not happen again.

    We know some on MCBOT were told to be “angry” last week at a McHenry County Republican public event, and some MCBOT members inform readers of this blog that they are working so “hard”; but what I haven’t heard anyone saying is that any member of MCBOT is working “smart”.

    While I cannot agree, I respect Ms. Schuster for being bold enough to admit a serious wrong and publicly proposing a solution outside the box.

    Where are the rest of MCBOT on this issue, especially the two lawyers running for Chairman?

  4. If I’m reading the Treasurer’s report right, the county has $163.2 million of its total $179.2 million on deposit with Associated Bank?

  5. Isn’t Associated based in Wi.?

    If so, you mean McHenry County doesn’t have one home grown bank they can use?

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