Patch Poll: Reduce Property Tax Levies by 20 Percent?

If you had to vote today, what would you say about the non-binding referendum urging all taxing bodies to reduce their levies?

Shall every levy of every governing body within the County of Kendall, Illinois be reduced 20% over the previous year’s levy?

That might be an easy "yes" for you. Who enjoys paying property taxes?

The premise of the question is thoughtful, though.

A grassroot group called the Kendall County Property Tax Revolt on the November ballot. Elected officials won't be required to do anything based on the outcome of the referendum, but group leaders are hoping it sends a message to trim the non-essentials and provide Kendall County property owners some tax relief.

The levy process itself can be a little hard to understand. The "levy" is essentially the amount of money a government body - say, a city - requests in property taxes. Of course, the city gets money from the state and federal government, from sales taxes, from user fees and a variety of other sources, so asking city leaders to reduce their levies by 20 percent is not asking them to slash their budgets by 20 percent. Some taxing bodies are more reliant on property taxes than others.

That can lead to a circular argument among government leaders: Some city or county leaders would say, "If you want to reduce your property taxes, talk to school leaders. That's the biggest portion of your property tax bill." But then school leaders will point out that a significant part of their funding is property taxes and another significant portion (state funding) has been unreliable in recent history.

So where does that leave you, the average taxpayer? I think it's left the folks at the Kendall County Property Tax Revolt determined to remind public officials that it is their job to look out for the taxpayer, not to pass the buck to other taxing bodies.

I'm curious about what you think, though. How would you vote on this referendum?


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Jeri August 08, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I would cut all defined pension plans to 401k's all across the board, (every person ) bust unions, and change the attitudes of all municipal employees (school, fire, all village ect....)so they know where their pay comes from. Job requirement = attitude of gratitude.
russ harrison August 09, 2012 at 02:59 PM
How about we explore dropping the big one and see what happens? We're carrying a debt load that is breaking many families backs. WE,( and that's every taxpayer and not just the elected officials), have allowed spending and debts to mount up to an unbearable and unsustainable tax burden. Pretty much everyone agrees that this County pays a lot more in taxes than most other places, and that those taxes can be raised perpetually under the current government system....and it is certain that more tax raises will be coming down the pike. So.....drop the big one and see what happens. Throughout the US, several cities, counties, and various taxing entities have threatened to BK or default on their obligations.The argument exists that forcing a reduction or elimination of debt by this tactic is damaging to the credit worthiness, and that the result will be a lowering of the credit rating, forcing a higher interest on future borrowing. Big deal!The credit worthiness is already jeopardized due to the delinquent property taxes and the obscenely high number of foreclosed properties and delinquent mortgages. The damage is already done, folks. Maybe this is an option we should look at. Other Counties have enacted a "State of Emergency" to deal with fiscal crisis. This allowed them to negate union contracts, rework payments on debt, and write off certain debt completely. It's time to cancel the credit cards and demand a lower payment, folks.
Tim August 09, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Bingo - here we have the perfect mentality of Kendall County residents. "Who cares, let someone else deal with the problems we caused" A drop in your credit rating is not a little thing. I don't think you are aware what double digit interest rates on your future issued bonds will do to your town. Walking away from your obligations sends a CLEAR message to any business entertaining the idea of moving to Kendall... DON'T DO IT. You keep right on thinking that using the same line of thought that brought you to where you are, will somehow magically fix your problem. Not one single time have I seen the residents stand up to say 'we owe this money, and we need to pay it'. Just a long chain of trying to find a way out of existing obligations.
Tim Jr August 09, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Tim - as a non-resident of Kendall County you sure spew your hate for everyone who does live here. Why don't you wash your footie PJs, clean up those cheese curls from your basement hideout, promise to quit playing your Ipod, and get out of mommy's basement to find a job?
Tim August 09, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Ah, personal attacks. Does it bother you that I do have a job that allows me the free time to post here? Does it bother you that I chose not to live in Kendall County when I built my house, because I took the time to look over the finances of the taxing bodies? Does it bother you that all of your problems could be avoided if you spent more time looking at the already existing data, instead of trying to one-up people on a message board? How exactly is that going to help your bottom line? And take notice, that I do not spread hate for 'everyone' that lives there, just those who are so blissfully unaware of the world they live in, that they think it is the responsibility of everyone else but themselves to fix it. You may have noticed that I pointed out that there are people who actually want the services they are paying for, and they voted for it, AND WON. You lost, and are being pushed out by those wealthier than you, whom I have no hate for whatsoever. Either pay your taxes, or move. The bonds that need to be paid off aren't going anywhere for a few decades, so this 'reduce everything by 20%' shows just how unaware of reality this group is.


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