A Strategy to Cut County Property Taxes

Way down in the articles that you can see on McHenry County Blog is one about an idea that might save county residents real estate tax dollars.

It’s entitled,

$5.7 Million of Randall Road Expansion Money Could Be Spent on Law Enforcement

Click on the title and you can read it.

The gist of the story is that when the Illinois General Assembly imposed the huge RTA Sales Tax hike, it allowed the money to be spend on transportation or law enforcement.

What brought this idea to the fore was a proposal to authorize the spending of $10 million to go full speed ahead in purchasing land to widen Randall Road from four to six lanes.

$5.7 would be taken from the RTA Sales Tax fund with the rest coming from the property tax-supported “Matching Fund.”

Below you can see where McHenry County government’s revenue is expected to come from this year:

The expected sources of revenue for McHenry County government in Fiscal Year 2016.

The expected sources of revenue for McHenry County government in Fiscal Year 2016.

Over $10 ┬ámillion of RTA Sales Tax flows into county coffers, more than from the real estate tax-financed “Matching Fund.”

The RTA reports $10.2 million was collected in 2015 for McHenry County and estimates $10.4 million will be paid in 2016.

Last year, County government took almost $79 million out of our checking accounts.

This year the County asked for about $76 million from property taxpayers after eliminating the unneeded $3 million for the Valley Hi Nursing Home.

If all of the $10.4 million in RTA Sales Tax could be used to offset $10.4 million in property tax money spent on Sheriff’s Department, real estate taxes could be cut almost 14%.

Here’s the authority to spend RTA Sales Tax on public safety, as well as transportation (emphasis added):

Sec. 4.03.3. the RTA Act.

(e) With respect to those taxes collected in DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties and paid directly to the counties under Section 4.03, the County Board of each county shall use those amounts to fund operating and capital costs of public safety and public transportation services or facilities or to fund operating, capital, right-of-way, construction, and maintenance costs of other transportation purposes, including road, bridge, public safety, and transit purposes intended to improve mobility or reduce congestion in the county.

“Public safety” is not defined. ┬áMy guess is that it could be used to repave a parking lot, if the safety of the public were at stake.


A Strategy to Cut County Property Taxes — 14 Comments

  1. Lessons from recent episodes of The Walking Dead:

    1. “You’re not the good guys” (says one of the ‘bad guys’ to a ‘good guy’ who later ends up killing her).

    POV determines whom one believes is a good guy.

    If we viewers had been following the course of the lives of the ‘bad guys’ all along, our POV would have been switched.

    If OPM spenders consider how they will look to objective third party observers, it isn’t with brutal honesty.

    Survival is allowed under the banner of ‘Good Guy’, THRIVING through predation is not.

    2.”Give me your stuff or I’ll kill you” says Negan, the barbed-wire-wrapped-bat wielding leader of the ‘bad guys’, as a simple explanation of the New World Order.

    Negan has a large Team of loyal, brutal soldiers.

    In a brutal world survival depends upon Team loyalty.

    And Team loyalty demands savage cruelty toward non-Team members.

    Or does it?

    Our world isn’t filled with zombies, just money troubles of our own making.

    If we returned to the cost-of-living metrics and competitive possibilities of 3 decades back, we would ALL be ‘Team McHenry County’, working together and alone and thriving.

    All it would take is the cessation of conscription of ‘our stuff’ under duress, for the narrow benefit of insiders.

    3. Carol (middle-aged zombie killer heroine deluxe) is won over by Morgan’s philosophy that all life is precious, and only kill as a last resort in mortal combat.

    Of course, Morgan then breaks his own code by killing to save Carol’s life.

    And then who comes along to help medically, but a fellow (villain? innocent bystander?) whose life Morgan had just spared.

    If those with the barbed-wire bat in their hands (metaphor for the ability to tax-and-thus-destroy) would retire that bat with a broader view, it would pay dividends beyond whatever rewards they collect–real or of emotional/psycho-social nature.

    They would become part of a larger, more richly heterogeneous Team.

    Their current course indicates elimination of too many prey to support their population of predators.

    Negans with your bats: we are probably worth more to you as allies, what have you got to lose by giving us a chance to survive too?

  2. Cal, are you saying 14% of the county portion of our property tax bill would be reduced?

  3. We have our own zombies, tax eating zombies.

    Both establishment republicans and Dems love them.

  4. As long as McHenry County residents believe that bike paths are necessary, our taxes will be through the roof.

    Between MCCD, the many park districts, the State Parks and other leisure amenities, our costs are staggering and will continue to be so.

  5. Jim?

    I don’t believe for one minute that it is the residents that believe in any of those things.

  6. That’s what I get when I divide the RTA Sales Tax (almost $11 million) by this year’s county government levy of about $14 million.

  7. Probably a more precise way would be to say that the county’s share of property taxes could be cut 14%, not total property taxes.

  8. Took the words out of my mouth Steve.


    Cal likes a good waltz, me also.

  9. This monstrosity of a “road construction political payback” should never have been on the table to begin with. THIS IS WHY ITs NICKNAMED RANDALL ROAD ROBBERY!!!

  10. Randall Road Robery, a la the Millers.


    We aren’t even able to fix the roads we HAVE!

    The “build it and they’ll come” is a LIE!

  11. Speaking of dis somebody for no good reason.

    Say what county roads need fixing, besides the Charles rd intersection with Raffle?

  12. Randall Road has potholes.

    Crystal Lake has already filled its potholes on Lake Avenue near the Main Beach.

  13. So county maint crews are not being sent out to fill them because of the game about expanding the road or what?

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