County Board Planning to Erase Walkup Tax Cut

Tucked away in the McHenry County Board agenda for its last meeting was the proposed budget for the year starting on December 1st.

Nick Provenzano addressed Mike Walkup's Valley Hi levy reduction initiative last October.

Finance Committee member Nick Provenzano addressed Mike Walkup’s Valley Hi levy reduction initiative last October.

Last year, at the instigation of McHenry County Board member Mike Walkup, the County Board took $3 million out of the budget, lowering it by $3 million from $79,289,016.04 to $76,289,016.04.

That was a 3.6% reduction in property taxes paid for county government.

The proposed budget for next year is $79,344,078.

At the August Finance and Audit Committee meeting, Walkup called for the abolition of the Valley Hi taxing authority, which would happen if the County Board zeroed out the Valley Hi tax levy for two years in a row.

Jack Franks, labeling himself as a “Tax Fighter,” but able to point to no actual tax cuts and remaining silent on three tax hike referendums on the ballot right now, almost agreed with Walkup’s position at his Algonquin Town Hall Meeting at the end of August.

He finally fully supported Walkup’s position three weeks ago.

So, in this year’s elections, every member of the all-Republican Board could campaign saying they had voted to cut taxes.

There was no roll call vote.  Chairman Joe Gottemoller called for a voice vote, thus protecting any members who might have been tempted to vote against cutting the $3 million out of the budget.

When the budget came up before the Board, Gottemoller pointed out that Board rules didn’t allow amendments.

Walkup said,

“I’m not comfortable with the idea that we’re going to put it (presumably the $3 million or so that otherwise would have been put in the Valley Hi fund) somewhere else.

“We’ve done that for the last decade.

“Unbeknownst to anyone else [we’ve] diverted it so other purpose.

“I don’t think we should perpetuate that and by taking it and putting elsewhere, then it becomes a shell game.”

Walkup suggested submitting a bottom line showing $76,604,078 for the proposed tax levy of $79,344,077, about $2.75 million less than what shows in the budget.

The consensus of the Board seemed to be to increase the budget from this year.


County Board Planning to Erase Walkup Tax Cut — 19 Comments

  1. The following is my opinion.
    Here is the problem as I see it: We have the following leaving the Board for sure:
    Miller, Schofield, Martens, Draffkorn and Hill (FIVE) all with an R behind their name but they love to ‘kow tow’ to Peter Austin and GROW government.
    Evertsen is also leaving but at least she supports the taxpayers so I think she would be against the increase. That is one NO.
    Then you have the following NOT up for election: Smith, Kopsell, Gottemoller, Jung, Aavang, Nowak, Heisler, Kurtz (EIGHT) also with an R behind their name but they too kow tow to Austin and have a voting record of bigger government.
    That results in five plus eight equals 13 YES votes which give Peter Austin what he wants!

    The remainder: McCann will probably vote NO because she is worried about this election.
    John Hammerand has been beaten into submission by the Franks IMRF ‘fishing’ expedition and who knows how he will vote.
    Christensen is ‘wet behind the ears’ (but great self esteem) and I am not sure God knows what he will do.
    Wheeler will likely vote NO.
    Even though Skala is up for re-election, he will likely vote YES because he is another guy who runs with an ‘R’ behind his name but he is a dedicated tax and spender!
    Rein will likely vote NO.
    Gasser will likely vote NO.
    Barnes will likely vote NO.
    Thorsen will likely vote NO.
    Walkup will likely vote NO.

    If we, the People (taxpayers) want to stop this madness, we will call the YES voters and demand they vote NO. Will the Board members listen? I know they read this blog – post YOUR opinion!!

    Demand they represent you, the taxpayer and not the Civil servants Peter Austin and Ralph Sarbaugh plus the balance of the County department managers (excludes the Sheriff, Clerk, Recorder, Auditor, ROE, Treasurer, Circuit Clerk and States Attorney offices).

    Final comment: SELL VALLEY HI! We are in the age of OBAMACARE now!!

  2. Money residents pay toward Valley Hi levy should not be used for general fund purposes!

  3. A yes vote will be the final outrage.

    Members voting yes need to be replaced and salary increases where justified by merit, need to be tied to cost of living increases and nothing more.

    There is a ton of comment on this blog, but what we need are good candidates in the next election cycle.

  4. There is probably an opinion that inflation will raise property values (EAV) locally, and this can be ‘captured’ only if the levy is raised now.

    While there has been a multiplier of around 8% applied to local real estate, it is not borne out by local conditions of homeowners trying to sell underwater homes.

    Whatever the local home price inflation may be, it is severely behind national home price inflation.

    That means, unless a person is in a position to obtain a high dollar value of bank loans which can be abandoned in adverse market conditions, a person will suffer significant economic injury when attempting to convert a home here into a home “there” (wherever that may be) as long as this divergence between tax rates exists.

    County tax levy increases (or non-cuts, even) exacerbate the problem.

    County Board Members have never been willing to answer THIS question:

    What calculation do you perform in order to quantify the economic damage equivalent done for every dollar spent?

    For every dollar spent by County, it reinforces the local property tax rate which is at minimum double the national average (3% vs. 1.5%).

    County property values are driven lower (relative to everywhere else) by 1.5% per year in this case.

    This County (and almost every school district within, as well as MCC and MCCD (MCCD being a particularly large value shameful factor) has overspent its means throughout the 2007-present Recession and we have never experienced a decade WITHOUT a Recession so —we are due for another?

    The local government workers and teachers have not only thrived during the last recession, they have become the 1%. The 2007 made McHenry County Government employees and teachers rich.

    They own guaranteed pensions and benefit packages worth present-valued-millions. They own guaranteed COLAs.

    Good for them.

    They are cunning and brilliant, to have gamed the system this way.

    Going forward, we are all fools if we allow this to happen again and again, at the cost of our very survival.

    At least we are fools if we allow them to continue to think they are not predators.

  5. All of your brilliant elected officials have finally after 8 years figured out what has been happening.

    Wow, pat themselves on the back.

    Walkup didn’t figure it out, he was TOLD. TOLD in this meeting that is what has been happening for a decade.

    Connecting the dots….Hammerand being beaten into submission?

    By the fact the public now knows the “tax payer advocate” is planning on drawing a pension he never earned- poor baby.

    He is in Florida half the year- I am not paying his pension!!!!

    There is NEVER any logic behind how he votes anyway.

    There is no data saying our county budget is irresponsibly spent.

    Has Mr. Austin ever received a corrective performance review- he is accountable to this board.

    If they don’t tell him to do otherwise, why would he?

    Get your heads above the ground and look at the whole of this… Valley HI should be sold.

    County Government should not be in the business of healthcare.

    That levy has been a slush fund for nearly a decade and NONE OF YOUR REPUBLICAN COUNTY BOARD MEMBERS NOTICED.

    There is no one on that board who has demonstrated a simple understanding of finances.

    This county board voted on a capital improvement plan that has no way to be funded…. ever think about that?

    Look, I am not thrilled when I need to replace the roof on my house but I still replace it- because it is the smart thing to do.

    You have a board filled with people who don’t have jobs… (Hammerand, Barnes, Gasser) and several with no demonstrated personal success.

    They can spend hours bitching about the words chose of non binding referendums but have NO IDEA HOW TO MANAGE A BUDGET.

    Exactly how much do you think someone in charge of a $350 million corporation is paid?

    I am confident it is WAY MORE than the $180K Austin is getting.

    On one day- the commentators on this blog will applaud Walkup for being the tax fighter but now that he has tripped over the obvious that has been staring him in the face for four years…. it is somehow everyone else’s fault.

    Sell Valley HI.

    Teach these people to understand the documents they are responsible for

  6. This is an excerpt from an old Law and Justice Committee meeting. Nothing has changed in the process as far as I know –



    Mr. Austin reviewed the evaluation process for the County Administrator and noted that all members were e-mailed a copy of his self-evaluation yesterday”

    Sell Valley Hi

  7. They’d better vote ‘no’ and in the taxpayers interest or be drummed out unceremoniously like RINOs :

    Granny Mae Miller
    Daffy Draffkorn
    Drunkie Hill and
    Twinkie Schofield were!

  8. I’ll be glad to second the thoughts of ‘SEMPER FI’.

    First we have a board member MIKE WALKUP who has lead the way on tax reduction.

    Second we have a wishy washy cabal of RINOs who couldn’t balance a budget if their lives depended on it.

    Third we have a press who would rather not get anywhere near the story (except for Cal here on the blog).

    Now is the time for the board to stand with Mike Walkup and hold the line on spending.

    Two years go by quickly people and the folks are watching!

  9. @needchange- standard practice in any major company to do a self evaluation. Austin was then given a review by the board- his self evaluation is merely a document to be part of the discussion.

    Walkup was a Democrat until it paid better to be a Republican.

    Being a Republican means fiscally responsible- not cut at all costs.

    They voted on a capital improvement plan.

    They need to fund it.


    Elect a county board that has had to make payroll. Had to build business.

    Had to manage a budget.

    Not unemployed.

    Not a housewife.

    Not living on disability.

    Not suckling from the government pension teat.

    Not drawing a Government paycheck.

    It is so clear to me half the contributors to this blog have never had a real job in the last decade or have any idea what the cost of talent is.

    Can you find someone cheaper – sure- they will suck.

  10. I challenge Cal to look at how many of these “tax fighters” actually pay taxes.

    Gasser is on a military pension and lives with his parents- No taxes paid there.

    My guess is he is not alone.

  11. vaffanculo is exactly right and it is about damn time that people start shining some sunshine on gas bag gasser and his freeloading azz.

    The gas bag known as gasser doesn’t pay taxes and doesn’t shower.

    Gas bag gasser is a frumpy slob who stinks up the McHenry County Board.

    Gas bag gasser is an insideous infection who does not care about any of us who live and work for a living.

    Can gas bag gasser actually get a job?

    Gas bag gasser is a tax raiser and the reason the McHenry County Board is so dysfunctional.

    Gas bag gasser went after nice people and tehy lost their elections.

    Now we will have complete morons on the board.

    semper fi and needchange are has bag gasser “yes men”.

    You are a looser “Andy”

  12. The answer is to vote in Democrat Jack Franks whom has been working with Democrat Michael Madigan for the past 18 years.

    That’s the Jack Franks whose supporter Jeffery Lichte ran as a Republican v Steve Reick in the March 15, 2016 primary election for 63rd District State Representative, while Jack Franks was unopposed.


    That’s the Jack Franks who in a letter dated February 27, 2003 to Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Deputy Chief of Staff Intergovernmental Affairs (Margaret Houlihan):

    – contained the subject “Positions with Gov. Blagojevich Administration”

    and had the following as its first two sentences:

    – “The following are individuals who we had requested be considered for jobs with the Blagojevich administration.

    – They are prioritized as follows.”

    1. The wife of Jack Franks.

    2. The father of Jack Franks.

    3. A brother of Jack Franks.

    4. A friend of Jack Franks, the then current Chair of the McHenry County Democrat Party, John Bartman, a position with IDOT.

    5 – 12. more people.

    John Bartman did receive a position at IDOT in 2003.

    John Bartman is currently running as Democrat candidate for 63rd District State Representative.


    That’s the Michael Madigan whose 4 PACs he chairs has provided funding to Jack Franks PACs (Citizens for Jack D Franks, which has been closed, and now Supporters of Jack D Franks).

    That’s the Michael Madigan whom is Chair of the Democrat Party in Illinois.

    That’s the Michael Madigan whose patronage army extends throughout the entire state (in a January 5, 2014 by David Kidwell, the Chicago Tribune found 400 current or retired government employees with strong political ties to Madigan).


    What else can we do.

    Vote in Democrat McHenry County board members.

    Increase the number of County Board districts.

    Reduce the number of County Board members.

    Sell Valley Hi, that would enable Jack Franks to cut County Board property taxes by 10%.

    All to “save” the taxpayers money.


    Major expenditures facing the county.

    – Funds to reduce congestion at Randall Road / Algonquin Road intersection.

    – Funds for an interchange at interstate I-90 & state route 23.

    – Funds for 13 collective bargaining agreements, which cannot be unilaterally altered.

    – Funds for current benefits, pension contributions, and retiree healthcare, which increase on a regular basis.


    There have been plenty of business people elected to public office in Illinois.

    The impact on taxes is usually mediocre at best.


    There is a massive industry in Illinois dependent on patronage jobs and favors that is networked at the local, state, and Federal level.

    Many expenditures cannot be altered without changing state law.

    State law has to get through the House and Michael Madigan.

  13. Mark- stay focused.

    On the county board there is a rare person who can read and understand financials.

    As evident but the lack of intelligent questions on anything remotely financials but HOURS on wordsmithing.

    Change begins at home.

    You are so against Franks- find a candidate that can win.

    Reick barely beat your fake candidate in the primaries- what does that say about him?

  14. Jack Franks and I served on the same Appropriations Committee his first term in office.

    Sometime after that he decided he did not want to deal with financial affairs of State government.

  15. Ever notice how the anonymous cowards come out to play knowing we will never know who they are?

    I would like to clarify that I came home when my step-father was diagnosed with brain cancer again in late 2012. That was the sole reason for me returning. My step-father passed away in May, 2015.

    I was doing quite well in DC. Frankly, I could still be there but my family, to me, is more important. So as long as my family decides to stay in McHenry County I shall as well.

    Stay dirty vaffanculo.

    As usual, if anyone wants to talk feel free to call me at (850)866-0155. I am an open book.

    Andrew Gasser

  16. Mr. Franks has a phony cut 10 campaign of reducing property taxes for every property district in the county that has no chance of succeeding at face value without gimmicks, tricks, I never said that, etc.

    So we shouldn’t be against people with phony campaigns?


    Reick was ATTACKED by a phony campaign involving a Democrat Jack Franks supporter (Jeffery Lichte) running as Republican.

    The attack included the IEA teacher union sending a contributing to the home address of Michael Madigan’s top campaign aide (so anointed by the Chicago Tribune), Shaw Decremer.

    A day later, IPACE (the IEA PAC) submitted a letter changing that address to a Naperville address listed on the D-1 Statement of Organization form in which the person signing the document forgot how to print his name 1 out of 3 times.

    He managed to sign his name correctly twice.

    BieSk twice.

    BieCk once.

    Who forgets how to print their name?

    That was the Government for the People independent expenditure PAC.

  17. Andrew Gasser, you’re an open book and work hard for the Republican party and Algonquin township Central Cmtee.

    Proud to know you.

    If you live in McHenry Co. you pay taxes (sales, gas, income tax, tolls etc) Just because you don’t get a bill with Your Name on it from Glenda Miller, The Treasurer, doesn’t mean you don’t pay taxes.

    Honestly where do this idiots come from?

  18. And if I didn’t know better I’d say “Dirty Gasser” is an ex-girlfriend of yours.

    Constantly trolling you because she’s not getting enough attention at home.

    Really desperate and can’t stay focused on the issues but has to falsely and personally attack you.

    Keep on doing what you’re doing, Brother.

    Nothing wrong with You!

  19. There has been much debate on the issue at hand.

    Both sides should put forth their opinions on Valley Hi levy.

    Then let us vote on whether to retain the levy or not.

    If the vote isn’t 2/3 against, nothing changes.

    2/3 is way better the 50.1%, and I’d guess it would get the
    2/3 to not retain.

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