Where Your Tax Dollars Are Going

Yesterday Mr. Peter Austin distributed the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Transmittal Letter which you can download here in PDF format.  It is addressed to Mrs. Tina Hill, county board members, and the “Citizens of McHenry County”.  The document has a lot of information in it that I found very interesting.  There were also some really good quotes that I want to make sure all of you are aware of.

This unedited image from the report shows that a whopping 66.9% of your property taxes go to School Districts and McHenry County College.

This unedited image from the report shows that a whopping 66.9% of your property taxes go to School Districts and McHenry County College.

While some believe our property taxes are not too high – I do.

Your county taxes, on average, take up 9.7 percent of your annual property tax bill while education takes up the lion’s share with 66.9 percent.  All I can focus on as your county board member is that 9.7 percent.  However, I agree with County Board Member Nick Provenzano when he was quoted in Cal Skinner’s McHenry County Blog:

“I wish there were other units of government that would take our lead.”

As we all move forward we all must work together to lower property taxes for all of us who reside in McHenry County.  School boards and other municipalities must strive to reduce staffs and budgets.  We all have to do more with less and government should be no different.  The letter continues:

Real estate property taxes continue to be a nemesis for the citizens of McHenry County and the McHenry County Board. Taxpayers have yet to see their property values start to climb, and question why their taxes have not declined in step with their valuation.

As briefly stated earlier, this is the third year in a row the County Board has chosen not to take the allowable inflationary growth in the overall tax extension. Under state law, local governments may levy the same amount as the year prior, plus the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is less. The County Board may have taken the additional 1.5% (this year’s CPI, or $1.1 million), which would have allowed for minor growth in the County’s tax revenue.

If we truly want to responsibly grow McHenry County then we as leaders need to make McHenry County a place where people want to move to and start businesses.

I look forward to sharing with you more documents as I strive to improve transparency for all of us.  Its a team effort between staff and board members.  We can do this.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t once again say thank you to everyone who voted for me.  We won, together.  I look forward to being one of your county board members.  It is an incredible honor and it is not a responsibility I take lightly.