During the public comment period before the McHenry County Finance and Audit Committee Thursday morning, Republican McHenry County Board Chairman candidate Mike Walkup called for the abolition of the Valley Hi tax.
Walkup led the fight last year to zero out the $3 million levy for the Valley Hi Nursing Home, arguing that having over $40 million of money in Valley Hi bank accounts proved there was no need to extract more tax dollars from property owners.
If the County Board levies nothing for Valley Hi for a second year in a row, as Walkup recommends, the authority to tax property for the facility will end.
Walkup admitted that, but pointed out before there would be any need for more money, he might well be a resident of the nursing home.
On Wednesday the Public Health and Human Services Committee approved a budget that approved for a $2.75 million levy for Valley Hi.
If the enterprise fund continues to break even or almost break even, levying $2,75 million next year would just increase the bank balance by about that much.
A new tax could be approved by referendum, if the need ever became recognized by voters.
Valley Hi Statement
I come before you today to ask that you not approve the suggested property tax levy of $2.75 million, that was approved yesterday by the Public Health and Human Services Committee.
Last year the County Board cut the real estate tax levy from $79 million to $76 million.
That was done by zeroing out the Valley Hi Nursing Home levy.
This year we should do the same.
Let’s not raise taxes this year by taxing people $2.75 million that is not needed.
I know that means the taxing authorization approved by referendum will disappear.
With $41.7 million in Valley Hi bank accounts, we owe the taxpayers nothing less.
To be frank, all of us should be embarrassed so much unneeded money has been extracted from homeowners and businesses.
I know that those who think more about maintaining and growing government will give the same old tired argument,
“We’ll lose it forever.”
With the excellent financial administrator we have at Valley Hi, it will take a decade or longer to eat up the $41.7 million balance.
It could take twice that long.
So, I say, “Let’s give the taxpayers a permanent break.”
Now that the bonds are paid off—and that was the purpose of the tax in the first place—let’s end the tax.
If a decade or two from now, the Board on which none of us will be serving, decides that more property tax subsidy is needed, those members can put another referendum on the ballot to subsidize Valley Hi…at which time I might be living in it.