McHenry County 29th Most Expensive County… in the United States

So let me get this straight – according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation McHenry County is the 29th most expensive county in the United States of America.  Think on that for a minute.  You, I, our families; we all live in the 29th most expensive county in the entire country.

So it only makes sense that we raise taxes more so we can be number one.

McHenry County is the 29th worst county in America to live when it comes to taxes.  Why on earth are people wanting to raise them higher?

McHenry County is the 29th worst county in America to live when it comes to taxes.
Why on earth are people wanting to raise them higher?

No one in our state denies our government is broken, badly broken.  So why on earth would we raise taxes more?  Fear not McHenry – Lake, DuPage, and Kendal counties are worse than us but Kane is nipping at our heals.

How many of our senior citizens who live in Fox River Grove, Cary, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake, McHenry, Marengo, Spring Grove, or Woodstock can afford another tax hike?

How can the struggling poor and the over burdened middle class afford another tax hike?

But it gets better!  Tax day, April 15th, right?  Wrong.

Do you wonder why hard working people are fleeing Illinois?We have to work longer to pay our tax bill.

Do you wonder why hard working people are fleeing Illinois?
We have to work longer to pay our tax bill.

Citizens who reside in Illinois have to work until April 25th to pay off their tax burden.  Compare that to all the neighboring states:

– Wisconsin April 20th
– Indiana – April 13th
– Iowa – April 9th
– Missouri – April 8th
– Kentucky – April 6th

And just as a side note I would point out that Illinois has more taxing bodies than any other state around us.  Heck, even California is better than Illinois.  Are we not paying attention to the economic reality we are facing in Illinois?  Are we just living in some fantasy world where we think we can tax and spend our way to prosperity?

Just look how bad our sales tax is here in Illinois:

Yep - Illinois leads the way in sales tax too.

Yep – Illinois leads the way in sales tax too.

Illinois is the 10th highest income tax rate at 8.2 percent.  Now look at our surrounding states:

– Missouri is 14th at 7.49 percent
– Indiana is 20th at 7 percent
– Iowa is 25th at 6.81 percent
– Kentucky is 36th at 6 percent
– Wisconsin is 41st at 5.43 percent

Tell me, where would you want to open a business?  Where would you want to live?  Where would you want to raise a family?

We are in a financial crisis.  Not just in the United States, not just in Illinois, but in McHenry County.  So many of us complain about our taxes going up every year.  How many of you know someone who has left the state?

I have one (former) constituent who left the state because she could not afford the taxes on her house she owned outright in Fox River Grove.  How is that right?  Her American dream is shattered.  She had to sell her home.

There aught to be no shame in voting NO against this proposition.  There aught to be no anxiety over what other people might think of a NO vote.  How much is enough?  How much does the poor and the middle class have to pay to satisfy political correctness?  Vote NO on Tuesday.

Finally – while everyone plots political strategy quietly in emails and phone calls, while everyone likes to run around calling themselves “tax cutters” and “reformers”, all the counties on the first graphic above are run by “Republicans”.

Go figure.

State Senator Dan Duffy Wins Illinois Chamber of Commerce “Champion of Free Enterprise”

A lot of us know State Senator Dan Duffy well.  Everyone I meet I explain just how lucky we are to have him representing us here in Fox River Grove and the surrounding area.  Dan won the Illinois Chamber of Commerce “Champion of Free Enterprise” award.

Duffy Pro Business Award

Dan’s voting record?  100%

We have many Chambers of Commerce that are comprised of liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats.  This is where the job creators in our community reside.  It is important to know that as we bring small businesses into Fox River Grove and McHenry County that we have a state senator who will fearlessly champion our growth.

Every time there is a vote to defend the free market – Dan makes it.

Every time there is a vote to expand small business opportunities – Dan makes it.

We have a pretty good roll model to follow – don’t you think?


Fox River Grove Endorsements

Friends and Neighbors,

It is the last election, the 2013 general, and there are so many issues and people running for office.  These are the people I will be voting for – I hope you will as well.  One question I get is, “It says I can ‘Vote for not more than THREE’, can I vote for just one?”  The answer is yes you can vote for as few or as many people as you like, just do not vote for more than the ballot stipulates.  For our township government, everyone is unopposed.  I will be voting for all of the candidates from supervisor to trustee: Diane, Chuck, Bob, Bob, Dan, Larry, Russell, and Melissa.

FRG TrusteesPersonally I will be voting for Tom Anderson, Andrew Migdal, and Chester Olencheck for Village Trustee.  All of them did well in the meet the candidate night.  Tom, Andrew, and Chester will all bring fresh ideas to our village.  They all realize downtown development is important to our village – and so are tax and water rates.  Fox River Grove will improve when we have more diversity on our village board.  A firefighter, a businessman, District 3and a post office worker.

For Fox River Grove School Board I will be voting for Mike Olencheck.  His statements in the papers as well as the few times I have spoken to him have me confident that not only does he want to improve the education here in Fox River Grove, but that he wants to make sure our property tax dollars are being spent judiciously.

We have three excellent candidates for McHenry MCC BoardCounty College Board: Erik Sivertsen, Tom Wilbeck, and Chris Jenner.  I like these candidates because they are all OPPOSED TO MCC ISSUING BONDS WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL! You see, the current board wants to raise your taxes without you even having a say.  I feel this is wrong… especially for an estimated $45 million dollar expenditure.  This would raise your property taxes enormously.

There is a proposition on the ballot that I simply cannot support.  The proposition would create yet another taxing body in our county.  The body 377 Sample Ballotwill begin taxing your home at $31 per for every $100,000 on the value of your home.  In this economy, we simply cannot afford this.  Many people asked me how to lower their taxes – vote.  Voting no on this proposition does not make you a bad person.  We all want to help those who need it.  We have record foreclosures – 24 in the last two years and five in February of 2013.  Voting for this proposition will not only bury these families further, but will cause more economic hardship for those who are struggling to get by.  I will respectfully “VOTE NO” to this proposition.

In closing, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my letter.  I have picked candidates and sided on issues that fight to keep governmental spending to a minimum while we work through this economy.  We cannot afford more tax increases in Fox River Grove and McHenry County.  My website has a complete breakdown of the proposition I am recommending we all vote no on.  I hope you search the web and validate not only what I have presented, but also find information on other important races.

Be Blessed,

Andrew Signature

Click here to download a PDF version.

Why I Will Vote No On 377

377 Sample BallotFriends and Neighbors of McHenry County,

We have a choice coming up next Tuesday.  We can vote for higher property taxes or we can say enough is enough and say that we are Taxed Enough Already.

Some of you may be aware of an email campaign to vote yes to raise our property taxes to support another government controlled program.

None of us are bad people.  All of us want to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.  Taxing the poor and middle class is not the path to prosperity or to helping those people in need.  In fact, an existing board in McHenry County very similar to the one proposed, is in complete disarray.  Even those who support that board are not happy with how it is functioning.  Why create another bureaucratic board?

Many of us, your family and mine, have had to make changes in our personal lifestyles because of the poor economy.  Gasoline prices go up.  The cost of eggs goes up.  The cost of milk goes up.  We cannot do the things we once did because our dollar does not go as far.  We as private citizens do not have the luxury of the government NOT to live within our means.  Illinois has more taxing bodies than any other state.  We do not need another taxing body.

Not wanting your taxes increased is in no way indicative of your level of caring about the indigent and less fortunate.  All of us do what we can to help those less fortunate than ourselves.  Some of us donate our time.  Some of us donate our money.  Some of us accomplish both.  Some donate to help the poor and some donate to help the arts.

I simply cannot have any more of my income forcibly taken from my family, my children, and myself personally; I know I’m not alone – friends, family, neighbors, and many of my constituents are in the same situation.  I have walked over 30 precincts in McHenry county – most of which are in Algonquin Township, this is what the people tell me personally when I knock on their door.

How many of our friends and neighbors are under employed?  How many people do you know personally that struggle just to make it by?

STOP 377When the assessor sent out tax bills this year many of you contacted me complaining on how your property values went down and your taxes went up.  Many more asked me what you had to do get your taxes lowered.  One thing you can do to ensure your property taxes do not go up next year is to vote NO next Tuesday for this proposition.

Is this proposition fiscally responsible?  No – it hurts the poor and middle class in an effort to help another constituency.  As we all know “the rich” will be just fine but the middle class and the poor are not in a good position financially to support a new tax.

Is this proposition limiting government?  No – it creates a brand new bureaucracy (board) that will only raise our taxes.

Is this proposition enabling the free market?  No – in fact it takes a private institution that is doing amazing work and turns it into an organization dependent on government funding.

I am not a millionaire.  I am not wealthy.  I am not rich.  I cannot afford consulting agencies or purchase email lists.  I am not the established politician.  I am just like many of you doing everything I can to make it by.  All I am trying to do is simply keep taxes down in McHenry County.

If you feel so inclined I would hope you share this with your friends, your family, your neighbors and co-workers.

Andrew Gasser
Algonquin Township Precinct 4 Committeeman

Bettendorf Castle Easter Egg Hunt a Success

Bettendorf Castle Easter Egg Hunt (2)

The castle grounds had many visitors for the 2013 Easter Egg hunt!

Today, the day before the holiest Christian holiday, the folks at the Bettendorf Castle opened up the grounds to the children and families of Fox River Grove and the surrounding villages.  It was an amazing event celebrating Easter… and for kids that means Easter Egg Hunts.

The turnout was huge.  I quit counting after 150 kids and this number does not include the parents.  The Easter Bunny was there for pictures.  There was a balloonist there to make all sorts of objects for the children… and there were also many treats for all who visited the castle today.

But most importantly there were the eggs – 5,500 eggs.

The grounds were broken up into three sections which allowed every one a shot at filling their baskets.  Even better, there were golden eggs, which if found, was rewarded with a special surprise.  Watching the kids race around with glee was truly awesome.  Everyone was having a great time.  The kids.  The Parents.

Kids politely waited in line to get their ballons.

Kids politely waited in line to get their balloons.

The community.

Events like these are important for our community.  The Bettendorf Castle is a treasure that should not have a chastity belt placed around it.  Personally, I had never seen so much of the grounds of the castle before, even though I grew up here.  It was always “off limits.  It was a great time.  I know my son and I had a blast and we cannot wait for the 4th of July and then Halloween.

There were well over 225 people at this even with more than 150 kids.

There were well over 225 people at this even with more than 150 kids.

This article is somewhat biased.  It was great to have my son with me and he posed with the Easter Bunny.  Noah kept coming up to me and commenting on how much fun he was having.  It was great to watch all the kids get along.

Noah Gasser with the Easter Bunny.

Noah Gasser with the Easter Bunny.

At the end of the hunt as you walked out of the castle you could pose for another picture.  The castle was just decorated to the max.  Eggs everywhere.  I mean everywhere.  The loudest noise of the entire event was not the kids screaming with joy, but the Metra train (Engine 131) flying by.

Noah posing for a picture in front of the caste grounds.

Noah posing for a picture in front of the caste grounds.

What an awesome day. What an awesome event.

Northwest Herald is against 377 Board

The Northwest Herald has come out against the proposition to raise the taxes on McHenry County citizens. This is wonderful news.  I first learned of this from Cal Skinner’s McHenry County Blog.  The “no vote” endorsement walks a tight rope that so many of us are facing right now.  We cannot afford to pay more of what we earn to the tax man, yet, we understand our friends and neighbors hurt.

That is what is wrong in politics today.

You can be a good person, a giving person, and respectfully vote no like I will on April 9th.  This tax does more to hurt the citizens of McHenry County than it will help.  The poor will become poorer and the middle class will take the brunt of this proposition should it pass.  This is so… fair.

STOP 377Moreover, we have proven that boards in McHenry County need more scrutiny and oversight.  The 708 Mental Health Board is frankly, a mess.  The County Board is having to replace the leadership and membership of the board for bad stewardship.  This is just bad policy in my opinion.  Why create an entire new bureaucracy to fix a broken bureaucracy?

…but Andrew, this is for the disabled!  Then we work with our state legislators to amend the 708 board.  We have dynamic state representatives on both sides of the isle who know how to work Springfield.  We have state senators who know how to quickly bring attention to problems such as the language of the 708 board.

Fixing the language inside the legislation that establishes the 708 board is the way to correct this deficiency. Not sticking the poor and middle class with a tax they cannot afford.

You fix the problem, not add more regulation and taxation.  Smaller more limited government works every time its tried… although that doesn’t happen in Illinois much.