Passage of CL Library Advisory Bond Referendum Will Result in Tax Hike

Crystal Lake Library Director Kathryn Martens attended the CL Kiwanis Club luncheon Wednesday.

Kiwanis has donated money to provide introduction bags to the moms of newborn babies.

Besides that she showed us the various ways that an early novel were in the collection.

When it came question time, I asked if the $30.1 million library bond referendum were passed, would the City Council issue the bonds.

Crystal Lake Library referendum ballot question.

Crystal Lake Library referendum ballot question points out that borrowing the $30.1 million will cost the average city taxpayer $132 per year.

I received an affirmative answer.

So, it appears that Council members will use the city Home Rule power to issue the bonds without official voter approval.

From a political standpoint, I don’t understand why the Council members didn’t just run a bond referendum, the passage of which would have taken them completely off the hook.

Instead they authorized an advisory referendum that has no legal binding effect.


Passage of CL Library Advisory Bond Referendum Will Result in Tax Hike — 12 Comments

  1. The voters are being duped.

    The advisory referendum is advisory in name only.

    The intent is to issue bonds if the advisory referendum passes, without asking for voter permission.

    That is not fully disclosed in the referendum efforts.

  2. They probably believe an advisory referendum is more likely to pass than a binding referendum.

    They probably believe an advisory referendum will encounter less resistance than a binding referendum.

    They would be almost certainly correct on both counts.

  3. When the referendum overwhelmingly fails, if the City Counsel is nevertheless stupid enough to spend $30.1 millions (or even the $9 million “compromise” they’re looking for), every single sitting counsel member and the mayor will face a challenger for re-election, and every single one of them will be voted out of office.

    They’re not stupid.

    They know this.

    The counsel will not issue the bonds without a voter mandate to do so.

  4. They Don’t Care !

    Because no one will get out and Vote them Out !

    they are running our town like Hitler, my way or the highway…

    people are just moving out instead of dealing with idiots! anymore.

  5. The $30,100,000 is bond principal only.

    That does not include interest.

    Exact interest is not known until the bonds are sold.

    But estimated interest is used by the financial advisor and district in their financial projects.

    The estimated interest rate, and the estimated interest in dollars, should in the name of disclosure and transparency, be provided by the library, city, and referendum proponents to the taxpayers.

    But it is not.

    They are hiding the interest from the taxpayers.


    That is not the only financial disclosure being hidden from the taxpayers.


    Also hidden, is the property tax cost to a property taxpayer beyond year 1.

    Only year 1 estimated property tax cost is being provided to the property taxpayers.

    It will take the property taxpayers more than 1 year to pay off (retire) the bonds that would be issued to finance a new library.


    Also being hidden, is the debt service schedule, including principal and interest, for the proposed bonds.

    A debt service schedule would look something like this:

    Year 1 – Principal – Interest – Total

    Year 2 – Principal – Interest – Total

    Year 3 – Principal – Interest – Total

    Year 4 – Principal – Interest – Total


    Also hidden from the taxpayers is a detailed break down of how the $30,100,000 would be expended.


    The above is common practice in bond referendums in Illinois.

    A State Representative or State Senator should sponsor legislation to require the above financial disclosures and transparency measures during bond referendums, bond advisory referendums, and at least 30 days prior to any non referendum bonds being issue.


    Who has been a State Representative for 18 years?

    Who repeatedly claims he has never voted for a tax hike?

    Who says he is a fiscal conservative?

    Jack Franks.

    Why has Jack Franks not sponsored legislation to require bond referendums to disclose the above information?


    Bond payments fall outside the property tax cap.

    The property tax cap is 5% or CPI.

    So bond payments are one way that property taxes can be hiked more than 5% or CPI.

    CPI = consumer price index.


    Vote no for this referendum.

    Vote the village board members, whom are complicit in the lack of financial disclosure to property taxpayers in this referendum, out of office.


    The library board is appointed.

    The City of Crystal City Council and Mayor are elected by voters.

    The Mayor of Crystal Lake has endorsed Jack Franks for Democrat McHenry County Board Chair for the November 8, 2016 election.

    The same election in which the “advisory” Crystal Lake library bond referendum appears on the ballot.


    Issuing bonds, hiking pension benefits, hiking retiree healthcare benefits, hiking current benefits, not properly funding pensions but simultaneously hiking pay (which hikes the pension contribution that is already being shorted) are all reasons for hiked taxes.


  6. Actually the statement the property tax cap is 5% or CPI is not technically accurate.

    Anyways the main point is, bond payments are a reason for property tax hikes.

  7. Here is a simplified chronological order of the convoluted Illinois property tax system.

    1. Assessment (value of home)

    2. Levy (amount of property taxes the taxing district desires. The amount is often higher than the property taxing district expects to be certified because the amount of new properties built in the district is not yet known, and thus the final equalized assessment value aka EAV is not known. The levy is sent to the county clerk.)

    3. Extension (amount of property taxes that will be billed. New growth is added. The tax rate is calculated to distribute extension among property taxpayers. The infamous PTELL – property tax extension limitation law – applies to this step.)

    4. Property taxpayer receives bill in the mail.


    There are all sorts of details and exceptions in Illinois property tax law that make it almost impossible to explain in a simple manner.

  8. There is another piece of disclosure that taxpayers should be provided, and are not being provided, during advisory bond referendums and bond referendums in which a remodel vs build new dilemma is presented.


    The following should be provided to taxpayers:

    Detailed cost estimate of remodel.

    Debt service schedule of the remodel option.


    A few other pieces of information that should be provided to taxpayers:

    Detail of cost of issuing the bonds (bond counsel, financial advisor, underwriter, etc.).

    Existing debt service schedule.


    Advisory bond referendums and bond referendums involve many special interest groups, so it is wise to think of how those special interests might benefit from passing the referendum.

    – Employees

    – elected politicians of the property taxing district

    – appointed politicians of the property taxing district

    – politicians outside the property taxing district whom may want to advocate for a bond referendum in their district at some point or whose political career is highly dependent on those benefiting from bond referendums

    – building and construction trades unions

    – those involved in issuing bonds (bond counsel, underwriter, financial advisor)

    – others involved in constructing the building (architect, etc.)

    – those taxpayers whom would heavily utilize the new building


    Buyer beware.

  9. For 2015, our property tax increased by 25.6%!!!

    Who signed off on such an insane increase?

    We are getting taxed out of our homes.

    Who will buy our homes, with these tax amounts?

    Value of homes will end up going down.

    And now asking for more $ to build a new library?!?

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