Cutting Property Taxes Jack Franks’ Style

Jack Franks' sticker says he will cut property taxes by 10%.

Jack Franks’ sticker says he will cut property taxes by 10%.

Don’t know why I have waited so long to share this July 15th rollout of Jack Franks Cut10 campaign.

He wants people to believe he will cut their total tax bill by 10%, if he is elected.

One can deduce no other message from the image he puts on everything.

The slogan first came to my attention in a letter to township officials addressed to their offices.

You’ll see the entire letter below, but I want to focus on its third paragraph:

Paragraph 3 of Jack Franks' July 15th letter to township officials

Paragraph 3 of Jack Franks’ July 15th letter to township officials

Here’s what stands out:

It’s “so simple” to cut taxes.  Franks says he will do so with his “bully pulpit.”  Now some might suggest that Jack Franks has done nothing but use his bully pulpit for the last almost 18 years, but no one would suggest that he has aimed it at any local government’s tax levy before deciding to leave the Illinois General Assembly.

Franks claims in his second paragraph to have led the “charge against tax increases in Springfield,” yet during that time I challenge readers to find an instance where he has fought tax increases in McHenry County.

Indeed, when he had the chance to consolidate the Marengo’s Fire Protection District with its Rescue Squad District, he did nothing but make the Rescue Squad Trustees subject to election.

Now, what does it mean to cut a school district’s levy 10%?

For most school districts, even the one with the most conservative teachers salary contract, it would mean that an existing contract could not be fulfilled.

Teachers’ salaries would have to be cut to cut a school district’s levy 10%.

Then there is this threat to the McHenry County Conservation District and the 708 Mental Health Board:

Franks plans to cut not only what is generally considered the county levy, but also the levies of governments over which the County Board has “Indirect control.”  Those are

  • the McHenry County Conservation District and
  • the 708 McHenry County Mental Health Board.

Board members of both are appointed by the McHenry County Board and their budgets are subject to approval by the County Board.
Franks Cut10 Twp Letter 7-15-16


Comments

Cutting Property Taxes Jack Franks’ Style — 24 Comments

  1. The line about Franks’ previous uneventful 18 years in office (not to mention raking in government check after government check) is spot on.

    After 18 years of nothing, now the his geniousness surfaces and the “simple answer” lightbulb turns on?!!?!?

    Hogwash.

    If it was truly THAT simple, it would have been brought forth years ago.

    Also, if he’d been doing his job (and any sort of basic research and math) in all the years leading up to this “flux capacitor” moment, he’d understand that there is a disconnect between teacher salaries and the tax levy.

    Other line items play into a typical school district’s expenses: wages for non-teachers, benefits, building/grounds upkeep, technology, software/books, buses, energy, just to name a few.

    Franks’ simpletonian approach shows his unwillingness to invest time over the past 18 years to research and understand this issue.

    Meanwhile, he’s cashed another government paycheck.

  2. We did serve on the Appropriations Committee for Transportation and state infrastructure together, but Franks dropped off the budget examination committee.

  3. Serving and understanding are two different things, just like activity and accomplishment.

    To me, “serving” means his nameplate was reserving a chair, he shuffled a few papers from pile to pile, and he showed up once in a while so people knew he was still among the living – a.k.a activity.

    Rolling up the sleeves and asking intelligent questions and working to solve problems requires one to be more engaged than just “serving” – that’s call accomplishment.

  4. Franks has accomplished nothing in his career.

    He literally just collected a paycheck.

    Franks just shuffled papers.

    He has never passed meaningful legislation like eliminating pensions for county board members.

    Franks’ prospects as Chairman are resultant of stupid voters.

    Voters don’t understand what it takes to really get legislation passed.

    Proposing to cut taxes is a worthless platitude.

    Proposing to incrementally cut taxes is ridiculous.

    Jack Franks has never fought tax increases in McHenry County.

    Only Republicans can cut taxes in McHenry County.

    Only Republicans can incrementally cut taxes.

    Voters don’t understand what it takes to operate the county board.

    Franks worked with the Madigan Machine to raise taxes and spending, but literally never passed any legislation.

    Democrats screwed up the County Board even though Republicans have always controlled it.

    And now Franks is going to continue to do nothing as Chairman while alone screwing everything up.

  5. It seems to me that purposely precipitating a financial crisis by cutting the levy (i.e. reducing revenue) before going through the exhaustive process of identifying/implementing expense reductions is irresponsible.

    You are putting the horse before the cart.

    The correct process for any Board looking to reduce its levy is to first address its operating cost structure.

    I do recognize that a financial crisis, like a perpetual annual operating deficit, can provide the necessary motivation/urgency to do the things necessary to reduce a district’s operating expenses.

    I have lived through that kind of environment during my tenure with Cary D-26.

    However, Mr. Franks’ suggestion that one purposely shoot oneself in the foot in order to begin the process to lose a little weight is completely unsound.

    In fact, given Cary D-26’s experience of the 2000’s where we ran multi-million dollar annual deficits for 9 straight years, the will power necessary for Boards (and Admin) to make the necessary tough decisions rarely exists.

    Nobody wants to be the bad guy making decisions that eliminates employees or reduces their salary or their benefits or their hours or reduces programs/services, etc.

    Unless there is some really low-hanging fruit to be cut from the budget that doesn’t affect employees or programs (i.e. Valley Hi levy), a Board is going to have to make very tough decisions.

    So, unless all the Board members at every taxing body can implement the necessary cost reductions, I’m afraid the Cut10 strategy will only create unsustainable, recurring operating deficits that will actually make things worse over the long run.

  6. No accomplishments in 18 years as a career politician.

    Supported Madigan at every opportunity.

    Part of the lib super majority that put this state in the worst financial position in its history.

    He has now put together an overly simplistic “plan” to reduce taxes across the board by 10%, which he can not do with the limited authority of the County Board Chair.

    School boards are where the big tax $ are, not the county board.

    The county board chair has no authority over any school board, so don’t expect any school board tax reduction from Jackie’s efforts.

    More smoke and mirrors from Jackie.

    Now he won’t even debate Walkup.

    Could it be that even Jackie knows he has nothing of value to offer?

    He is all talk and no results.

    We just don’t need another talker, we need someone who gets his hands dirty and gets the job done.

    Don’t buy the Bologna that Jackie is offering.

    Vote for Walkup.

  7. Democrats do not have a monopoly on “people who screw things up”.

    That clowndom exists on both sides of the aisle.

    It’s about the quality and brains of the candidate.

    Party has nothing to do with it – look no further than this year’s final presidential candidates.

    Two sides of the same coin.

  8. Franks has repeatedly said he favors the interchange.

    Family members own nearby farms, by the way.

  9. Interesting, disappointing, not too surprising.

    Still doesn’t excuse others for their actions.

  10. I don’t have a problem with the interchange, but I don’t have a vote on that – just a small voice.

    However, if Franks’ family owns nearby farms **AND** he favors the interchange, then I find it hysterical he’s writing about rooting out “waste and corruption”.

    Instead of pointing your index finger, start by looking where the others are pointing.

    So, Mr. Franks, who are you kidding??!!??!!??

  11. Franks has literally never done anything.

    He does nothing better than every other politicians.

    He literally “has no accomplishments in 18 years as a career politician,” according to Republican Pundit and GOP Precinct Committeeman John Radke.

    Franks supports Madigan at every opportunity and work with the Dems to do nothing, while simultaneously ruining everything.

  12. Jack Franks would do well by reading
    & processing your words of wisdom,
    Coffey.

    People like CHRIS CHRISTIANSEN & yourself have stepped up & become
    Role models for the type of change all
    Taxing bodies in Mchenry county can & need to do.

    Living in SD 26, I appreciate your efforts
    & hard work.
    It’s still a uphill battle against teacher
    Unions & BIG SPENDERS, but your
    Work is RECOGNIZED !

  13. Moderate,

    You have been asked multiple times to,produce a list of real accomplishments, and you have chosen to not respond with any examples.

    If he has some great accomplishments, why do you not share them with us? You are one of his spokespersons, so enlighten us.

    What are his tax saving accomplishments?

    How much tax has he saved and in what areas?

    Why is Jackie so afraid to debate Walkup?

    It appears he wants to “run the county”, but he does not want to talk to anyone but his supporters.

    Does he not care about the rest of the county?

    Why does he need two security people to attend a meeting he scheduled?

    Stop whining and give us some hard answers.

  14. John –

    I finally did the research and, I’m sorry, but you’re right and I’m wrong.

    Franks has never passed legislation.

    He’s never done anything to raise taxes.

    He has never done anything to lower taxes.

    He literally has never done ANYTHING.

    Voters just vote for Franks because they get free ice cream and otter pops.

    So, it comes as no surprise that he wouldn’t show up to a candidate forum because, you’re RIGHT, John: Franks won’t talk to his supporters!

    That’s why he holds town halls.

    Those weren’t ACTUAL supporters in the audience.

    Those are all paid old-people carted in from Valley High
    nursing home.

    Because, Did you know, John, Franks plans to commit voter fraud and use the $40 million dollar surplus to ferry Valley High residents to multiple polling locations across the county on election day and vote for – YOU GUESSED IT: Dead people.

    And those weren’t security guards, John.

    Those were Madigan operatives sent FROM Springfield TO McHenry County to ensure that Franks stays on message with the rest of the Democratic Party and will continue to refuse to do anything.

    THESE ARE THE FACTS I UNEARTHED, JOHN!!!

    You gave me the challenge and here I am with the cold, hard, wrinkled facts.

    Give me another mission because I think this was very constructive.

    Without you and your calls to action, the voters would be far less informed than they already are.

  15. The biggest cost of most units of government is labor.

    Cutting property taxes 10% would require cuts to organized labor pay and benefits.

    So organized labor is going to support Jack Franks to cut their pay and benefits?

    ++++++++

    The four main categories of labor costs are:

    – current pay

    – current benefits

    – pensions and other retirement plans

    – retiree healthcare

    ++++++

    Drilling down, two areas become immediately evident:

    1. Collective bargaining agreements.

    2. Downstate Police and Downstate Fire pensions.

    +++++

    There are many types of police and fire pensions in Illinois.

    In terms of McHenry County, in addition to Downstate Police and Downstate Fire, there is:

    – IMRF Regular (for smaller municipalities and fire protection districts)

    – IMRF Sheriff Law Enforcement Plan (SLEP) for county sheriff officers.

    All those pensions, per one sentence added to the Illinois State Constitution on December 15, 1970, are contractual and cannot be diminished or impaired.

    +++++

    So huge obstacles to cut property taxes 10% are:

    – Underfunded Downstate Police and Downstate Fire pensions

    – other pensions that are underfunded

    – collective bargaining agreements

    ++++

    It is easy to promise but difficult to deliver.

    Jack Franks refuses to deliver, until after the election, his plan to cut property taxes 10% in all taxing districts in McHenry County.

    The plan will have all sorts of strings and assumptions attached, most out of his control.

    This and that would have to happen.

    ++++++

    Notice Jack Franks omitted a key detail from his Cut 10 campaign.

    Timeframe.

    What is the timeframe to cut property taxes 10%?

    ++++++

    Zero people have said that Jack Franks is likely to be able to cut property taxes 10% in every taxing district in the county.

    ++++++

    Zero taxing districts have said they can cut property taxes 10%.

    ++++++

  16. Organized labor is very unhappy with Governor Bruce Rauner administration’s Turnaround Agenda, and that only called for a property tax freeze.

    Jack Franks called Bruce Rauner a union buster.

    But organized labor is going to support Jack Franks’ campaign gimmick to Cut property taxes 10%?

    We can’t call it a Jack Franks agenda, because there is no plan.

    We don’t know what’s in Jack Franks’ agenda to cut property taxes 10%.

    Jack Franks refuses to produce his Cut 10 agenda plan until after the election.

    He expects voters to trust him.

    He promised not to run for County Board Chair in 2016 (Kevin Craver of the Northwest Herald reported that on June 6, 2014).

    Jack Franks is running for County Board Chair in 2016.

    Election November 8, 2016.

  17. Jack Franks can’t even deliver on his campaign promise to cut property taxes 10% for his home town of Marengo.

    How is Marengo going to cut property taxes 10% and fund an interchange at I-90 and Route 23?

    Will be real interesting to see that plan after the election.

    Since Jack Franks refuses to produce any Cut 10 plans before the election.

    Elect me to see what’s in it.

  18. Here is the text of the letter in the blog article.

    ++++++++++++

    Jack Franks, McHenry County Board Chairman

    July 15, 2006

    Your help and support throughout my campaigns is what made my time in Springfield possible.

    I want to thank you for all you have done.

    Representing the people of McHenry County in the State Legislature has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

    Now I face a great challenge and I once again am asking for your help.

    As you may know, I decided not to seek reelection to the General Assembly and instead am running to become Chairman of the McHenry County Board.

    I made this decision, in consultation with my wife Debby, because we believed I could do more to help the people of McHenry County as the Chairman of the Board instead of as a Representative in Springfield.

    Our property taxes are out of control.

    While I have been leading the charge against tax increases in Springfield, its local government decisions that are driving the huge increases we all face.

    The centerpiece of my election effort is my Cut10 campaign.

    The idea is so simple that it just might work.

    Every taxing body should cut their levy 10%,

    The reduction in the levy would reduce our property taxes, but we will only see real reductions if all the taxing bodies participate.

    I am committed to cutting 10% for every taxing body under the direct or indirect control of the county board and to using my bully pulpit until the other taxing bodies follow suit and also cut 10%.

    We can have lower taxes in McHenry County but it will require hard work and a willingness to make some tough decisions as we root our waste and corruption.

    We can’t win this campaign alone.

    We need your help.

    We are asking that you and your family get involved in our efforts to bring real property tax relief to McHenry County.

    Your help talking with neighbors, making phone calls, sending emails and stuffing envelopes is needed.

    Please take a minute to visit http://www.franksformchenry.com and fill out the volunteer form.

    If computers aren’t your thing, just call my office and ask for David Raymond.

    He’s our volunteer coordinator and would love to talk to you.

    Or if you prefer, call me or Debby at home at 815-923-4455.

    Chance are that you won’t catch us because we will be out walking so please leave a message.

    Change isn’t easy.

    Cutting costs and lowering taxes while taking on the entrenched county establishment demands a large effort.

    You’ve always been there in the past when we needed help.

    This is the biggest challenge we have ever faced.

    Please join me in this fight.

    Together we will reform McHenry County government and lower our property taxes.

    Very Truly Yours,

    Jack D Franks

    P.O. Box 274

    Woodstock, IL 60098

    FranksForMcHenry.com

    815-338-6363

    Paid for by Supporters of Jack D Franks

    union printing logo

  19. Here is the letter with the corrected date and another minor edit in the following sentence.

    “If computers aren’t your thing, just call my office at 815-338-6363 and ask for David Raymond.”

    ++++++++++++++

    Jack Franks, McHenry County Board Chairman

    July 15, 2016

    Your help and support throughout my campaigns is what made my time in Springfield possible.

    I want to thank you for all you have done.

    Representing the people of McHenry County in the State Legislature has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

    Now I face a great challenge and I once again am asking for your help.

    As you may know, I decided not to seek reelection to the General Assembly and instead am running to become Chairman of the McHenry County Board.

    I made this decision, in consultation with my wife Debby, because we believed I could do more to help the people of McHenry County as the Chairman of the Board instead of as a Representative in Springfield.

    Our property taxes are out of control.

    While I have been leading the charge against tax increases in Springfield, its local government decisions that are driving the huge increases we all face.

    The centerpiece of my election effort is my Cut10 campaign.

    The idea is so simple that it just might work.

    Every taxing body should cut their levy 10%,

    The reduction in the levy would reduce our property taxes, but we will only see real reductions if all the taxing bodies participate.

    I am committed to cutting 10% for every taxing body under the direct or indirect control of the county board and to using my bully pulpit until the other taxing bodies follow suit and also cut 10%.

    We can have lower taxes in McHenry County but it will require hard work and a willingness to make some tough decisions as we root our waste and corruption.

    We can’t win this campaign alone.

    We need your help.

    We are asking that you and your family get involved in our efforts to bring real property tax relief to McHenry County.

    Your help talking with neighbors, making phone calls, sending emails and stuffing envelopes is needed.

    Please take a minute to visit http://www.franksformchenry.com and fill out the volunteer form.

    If computers aren’t your thing, just call my office at 815-338-6363 and ask for David Raymond.

    He’s our volunteer coordinator and would love to talk to you.

    Or if you prefer, call me or Debby at home at 815-923-4455.

    Chance are that you won’t catch us because we will be out walking so please leave a message.

    Change isn’t easy.

    Cutting costs and lowering taxes while taking on the entrenched county establishment demands a large effort.

    You’ve always been there in the past when we needed help.

    This is the biggest challenge we have ever faced.

    Please join me in this fight.

    Together we will reform McHenry County government and lower our property taxes.

    Very Truly Yours,

    Jack D Franks

    P.O. Box 274

    Woodstock, IL 60098

    FranksForMcHenry.com

    815-338-6363

    Paid for by Supporters of Jack D Franks

    union printing logo

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