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Rebate Plan Will Mean 30 Percent Property Tax Refund for Homeowners

Post Date:02/07/2019 10:05 AM

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – A proposal to rebate $15 million of Valley Hi Nursing Home’s fund reserve will make most McHenry County homeowners eligible to recoup just under 30 percent of county government’s share of their2018 property tax bill.

The $15 million rebate, almost double the $8.8 million first proposed by County Board Chairman Jack Franks, will still leave the county-run nursing home west of Woodstock with more than two years of reserve funding. Franks, D-Marengo, said the $40 million Valley Hi reserve – which is about $6 million more than the entire municipal budget for the City of Woodstock – is the result of years of overtaxation.

“The McHenry County Board and I have proven our commitment to tax relief by reducing the county tax levy by $18 million since I took office. However, we can’t truly say we’re fighting for the taxpayers while Valley Hi is sitting on a reserve big enough to cover more than three years of expenses. Rebating a healthy portion of that to homeowners while still leaving Valley Hi a responsible fiscal cushion is the right thing to do,” Franks said.

To be eligible, homeowners had to have taken the homestead exemption during the 2017 tax year for bills payable in 2018, and had to have paid their taxes on time. Homeowners who are exempt from paying any property taxes under the disabled veterans’ homestead exemption do not qualify.

If approved by the County Board, homeowners will fill out a form with the Treasurer’s Office to verify eligibility. The amount of the rebate will be calculated by a formula based on the amount the homeowner paid in taxes to county government in 2018. About 88,000 properties in McHenry County could potentially qualify. A homeowner who last year paid $500 in property taxes to county government would get just under $150 back under the proposal.

“McHenry County’s homeowners pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, which is one of the main reasons why people are fleeing Illinois for tax-friendlier states. We owe it to taxpayers to do whatever we canto help, and righting this wrong without hurting Valley Hi’s mission to care for our indigent seniors is an important step,” Franks said.

The resolution will go before the Finance and Audit Committee on Thursday for discussion, and could go before the full County Board for a vote in March. Valley Hi’s revenue comes from Medicaid and Medicarereimbursements, the property tax levy, and from some private-pay customers.