Come October 16th the McHenry County Board will be voting on whether to draw down the incredible Valley Hi Nursing Home surplus of about $40 million by an amount equal to $100 per household.
$8.8 million in checks would be written to 2018 taxpayers who have paid their taxes on time and how have claimed a Homestead Exemption.
That number is estimated to be 88,000 households.
According to the Census Bureau, there are 118,485 housing units in McHenry County.
78.9% are owner-occupied.
That’s 93,484 households.
It appears 5.500 or so folks have not filed for a Homestead Exemption, but live in homes they own.
The median (half above, half below) value of these residences is $200,500.
There are all sorts of questions about the equity of such a distribution.
Firstly, where is such a rebate authorized in state law?
Secondly, considering no 2018 taxpayer paid anything to the Valley Hi Fund, why would 2018 homeowners be the ones to receive the largess?
This is surplus property tax money, accumulated over the years.
Many people who were overtaxed for Valley Hi have moved out of McHenry County.
Others have died.
Some other homeowners have Homestead Exemptions in other states, where one is precluded from having a Homestead Exemption in another state.
And, what about businesses and farmland?
They helped finance the surplus.
Shouldn’t they be getting a refund also?
Those owning more valuable homes paid more than those worth less.
How can it be justified to give a check of the same amount to each household?
The distribution plan seems arbitrary and capricious, don’t you think?
Is the County Board setting itself up for a class action lawsuit?