Tax Protest Suit Against Crystal Lake Grade School District – Part 1

Attorney Tim Dwyer is not going after just McHenry County, plus Algonquin and McHenry Township levies.

He has several school districts in his sites, too.

Here is the first of two complaints against Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47:

COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT 47 TRANSPORTATION FUND – EXCESSIVE ACCUMULATION

The Community Consolidated School District 47 (“District”) is a school district formed under the Illinois School Code.

As an entity with the power to tax, District 47 is subject to the Illinois School Code, the Illinois Revenue Code, the Property Tax Limitation and Extension Act, as well as the common law which has evolved under the aforesaid statutes.

While taxing officials are permitted a reasonable latitude in the accumulation of public funds to assure having funds on hand to meet legitimate expenditures as they occur, this discretion must not be abused.

No statutory authority exists for large accumulations to provide for possible emergencies, which may or may not occur, since emergencies engendered by unforeseen circumstances are amply provided for in the statute, and may not be anticipated, as no resource is ample to meet every emergency which could possibly occur.

If discretion can be abused, there must exist a yardstick by which discretion can be measured, and the Illinois Supreme Court, in the case of People ex rel. Leaf v. Roth, 389 Ill. 287, 59 N.E.2d 643 (Ill. 1945) approved a formula of average actual expenditures “as established by recent prior experience”, using the actual expenditure of the three preceding years as a basis for determining the estimated expenditures for the ensuing year, in the absence of specific predetermined requirements which supplant mere conjecture and judgment of taxing authorities.

In its 2015 levy, District 47 levied $2,072,061 for transportation purposes.

Including the tax distribution after the June 30, 2015 fiscal year end, District 47 had $9,817,670 as its balance in the Transportation Fund.

On December 31, 2014, School District had a balance of $9,568,195 in its Transportation Fund.

The average annual three year expenses for transportation purposes were $4,074,995.

At the end of its fiscal year, District 47 had more than twice the annual, three year average expense for its Transportation Fund.

As such, the Transportation Fund levy is illegal, excessive and void.

Accordingly, the illegal tax levy rate of .094824 should be rebated to the Objectors.

Pleading in the alternative, when District 47 levied $2,072,061 for transportation purposes, the District had $8,251,080 in CDs dedicated for transportation purposes.

Of that $8,251,080, only $748,200 was available for the fiscal year.

Put another way, District 47 has $7,802,880 in dedicated transportation funds which could not be used until fiscal years after the 2015 levy.

Indeed, the majority of transportation funds located with investments of CDs could not be used until between 2018 and 2024.

Over $5,000,000 in transportation investments could not be used until 2019.

Notwithstanding the fact that District 47 had ample funds to pay for its transportation needs for the ensuing fiscal year, the District chose to “invest” these funds of over $5,000,000 and levy $2,072,061 upon the taxpayers.

Because this methodology runs afoul of Illinois law, the levy rate of .094824 should be rebated to the Tax Objectors.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Tax Protestors, pray that the Court consider the matters raised herein, find, determine and otherwise adjudicate that the Transportation levy untaken by District 47 is illegal, void and excessive as a matter of law, Order that the McHenry County Treasurer issue payments to the Tax Protestor Plaintiffs, award statutory interest pursuant to 35 ILCS 200/23-20, et. seq., and issue whatever further relief this Court deems just and appropriate.


Comments

Tax Protest Suit Against Crystal Lake Grade School District – Part 1 — 3 Comments

  1. This may be a stupid question so I apologize in advance, but would this only help Attorney Tim Dwyer’s “plaintiff tax protesters” or everyone on a whole in that taxing body?

  2. As a plaintiff in a different portion of this tax objection lawsuit, I can answer to the best of my understanding.

    Illinois law prohibits class action tax objection lawsuits.

    Only individual plaintiffs who signed up for the lawsuit would receive recovery.

    Attorney is taking case on the come, and will receive half of any recovery.

    Who will it help?

    It will help all taxpayers if in the future, taxing bodies cease the illegal practice of excess accumulation.

    If they continue their wicked ways (because it doesn’t personally affect their own situation), next year the suit will be filed again.

    As this year, every interested taxpayer is welcome to join as a plaintiff.

    After years of research and public protest ignored by those empowered to tax, I decided the only way to effect change was by legal force.

  3. its about time someone realizes the glut in these Transportation coffers… how they abuse this to no end, go with an outside bus service and watch this stop now! See where they try to hide all the extra then?

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