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Property tax levies

To the Editor:

Property tax is our largest single tax bill for many of us. Property tax is a tax levy imposed by local taxing districts. Based on the levy, McHenry County calculates tax rates and apportions the cost among the properties in a taxing district according to equalized assessed values.

Even though your home’s value has dropped over recent years, your property tax burden has increased to meet the levies.

The taxing districts collect their levies regardless of our property values.

Our local taxing bodies have yet to feel the financial impact of the economy. That said, local taxing districts all must follow a legal process to increase their property tax levies.

If a taxing district proposes a levy that is more than 5 percent higher than the previous year’s levy, they must publish a public notice in the local newspaper. The Truth in Taxation Law requires the taxing district to publish this notice within 15 days of its levy adoption.

Last November, the Algonquin Library published a tax levy notice to increase its levy by 20 percent, increasing its budget by 20 percent. The levy was passed with little discussion among board members. Regrettably, we cannot just increase our household revenues by 20 percent with a wave of the hand.

Over the next month, any taxing district considering raising its levy beyond 5 percent must post a notice in the paper. When this occurs, I encourage the Northwest Herald to publish the taxing district’s decision and list the names of the board members. We have the right to know who is raising our property taxes.

Joseph Greenwood

Lake in the Hills

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