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McHenry County Approves 2020 Budget With Permanent Tax Cuts

Post Date:11/21/2019 9:03 AM

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – The McHenry County Board on Tuesday evening approved a budget for the 2020 fiscal year that further reduced its tax levy and made the levy reductions from the previous two fiscal years permanent.

Tuesday’s vote marks the third straight year that the County Board has reduced its property tax levy – taxpayers stand to save $28 million over the three-year period had the levy remained at its 2016 amount.

“McHenry County government is leading the charge on behalf of our taxpayers,” County Board Chairman Jack Franks, D-Marengo, said. “We’ve reduced taxes for the third straight year, for a total of $28 million. Tuesday’s vote also comes a little more than a month after we started mailing checks to rebate more than $8.5 million from the Valley Hi Nursing Home fund surplus to qualifying homeowners who applied. The County Board understands that McHenry County homeowners are overtaxed, but we’re only one of many local units of government. People are being taxed out of their homes – we need all our other taxing bodies to understand that they must do all that they can to reduce their property tax levies.”

The County Board, working collaboratively with Administration and department heads, has reduced its property tax levy by more than $18 million over the previous two fiscal years – most of it through abating the money back to taxpayers to preserve the county’s taxation ability in the event of unforeseen circumstances. However, after three years of not having to undo the abatements because of the county’s solid financial footing and prudent fiscal management, the County Board directed county staff to make the reductions permanent.

The $218.1 million budget is balanced, and like previous years, does not cut or diminish any services – and in fact expands some services, such as the impending opening of a 24-hour homeless shelter in McHenry County.

The reduction of the tax levy does not guarantee that a taxpayer’s bill next year will not increase due to a higher property assessment or other local governments increasing their tax rates. County government accounts for slightly less than 10 percent of a McHenry County property owner’s tax bill.