The Crystal Lake Rural Fire Protection District has a “black box” ad in the Northwest Herald today.
When a tax districts asks for more than 5% more than it received the year before, this newspaper revenue enhancer must be published.
The law is a result of the so-called “Thompson Proposition” that volunteers put on the ballot in Governor Jim Thompson’s first re-election bid.
It was a meaningless advisory referendum whose only result was the passage of this meaningless law.
The expensive ad says that the district is asking for 9.5% more money next year than it received this year.
The Property Tax Cap law prohibits the district from getting more than 8/10 of one percent more in revenue from current property owners.
Asking for more than that amount does guarantee that taxes will be captured from all new construction.
But, no one thinks there has been 8.3% new growth.
So why did the District’s Trustees ask for so much more than the could get?
And waste the money on a black ad?
That’s the question.
The district, by the way, is a paper district. It provides no services. It just collects money to pay the City of Crystal Lake for fire protection.
**The district, by the way, is a paper district.
It provides no services.
It just collects money to pay the City of Crystal Lake for fire protection.**
So, by “provides no services”, you actually mean that it provides fire protection services through a contracted entity.
Information on the Crystal Lake Rural Fire Protection District is found in the Illinois Comptroller Warehouse.
Type “Crystal Lake” without the quotes into the search bar.
Illinois Comptroller ID 063/035/06
It has no full time employees, no part time employees, and no salary is paid to any employee.
It is simply a middleman between the taxpayer and the city of Crystal Lake for fire protection services.
Does it provide any added value to the taxpayer?
If eliminated, would taxpayers in the district pay more, less, or the same for fire protection services?
There have been instances in Illinois where paper districts were eliminated and taxes increased.