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Valley Hi Rebate Ends With $6.7 Million Returned to Nursing Home

Post Date:04/03/2020 8:21 AM

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – More than $6.7 million in unclaimed money from the Valley Hi Nursing Home fund rebate is returning to the nursing home’s coffers.

County Board Chairman Jack Franks, D-Marengo, proclaimed the rebate program that took place last year a resounding success. More than 47,700 checks were mailed to qualifying households, totaling more than $8.2 million of the $15 million allocated by the County Board.

“The rebate worked exactly the way it was supposed to. We spent down part of the excessive fund surplus that Valley Hi had accumulated by giving homeowners some much-needed property tax relief, and left Valley Hi with a very healthy and responsible reserve. That reserve just got healthier with the unused funds returned to it. This was a win-win for homeowners and fiscally responsible government,” Franks said.

Homeowners who qualified received just under 30 percent of county government’s share of their 2017 property tax bill they paid in 2018. More than half of the county’s eligible homeowners applied. An unforeseen benefit of the rebate program was that hundreds of homeowners discovered that they had not been receiving the homestead exemption, which reduces the taxable value of an owner-occupied home by $6,000. As a result, many are now signed up and will receive the exemption moving forward.

“Not only did we give county homeowners tax relief, but we helped many attain a reduction they should have been getting,” Franks said. “Eligible homeowners no longer overpaying on their property taxes was the cherry on top of the sundae."

Six million dollars of the unclaimed funds have already been transferred back to Valley Hi. The remaining $763,000 will be returned once the remaining outstanding checks have been cashed by their recipients. The returned surplus leaves Valley Hi with a projected $28.6 million reserve, which is enough to fund more than two years of operations.

The rebate is the latest in a series of tax relief measures approved by the County Board. McHenry County over the past three years has reduced its property tax levy by more than $28 million, and has made the reductions permanent. The county also has significantly reduced its recording, court, and permit fees. The current 2020 budget made the tax abatements from the previous two fiscal years permanent.

Recognizing the financial burden many homeowners and business owners are facing because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the County Board this month will vote on a resolution to waive late fees and interest for 90 days on the first installment of this year’s property tax bills.

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