To the Editor:
Growth is stagnant in Illinois and McHenry County. Property taxes in the county are among the highest in the nation, and Illinois has recently pushed up our personal income and corporate tax rates. One out of two Illinois residents wants to leave the state for less costly places to live. We are losing residents at a higher percentage than all but one other state, and our unemployment level is near the top in the nation.
So what does our county do to help address this sorry state of affairs? It proposes to re-engineer a 3.5-mile stretch of Randall Road to help manage a possible increase in traffic volume in the area. The price tag for the proposed Randall Road project comes to an astronomical $135 million.
The projected traffic growth that would justify the need for this costly transportation improvement project has not been established, in my opinion, and it could cost each household in the county an estimated $1,200.
We are misappropriating our precious tax revenue for a project with no clear positive return on investment. What is our County Board thinking in pushing for this project? Are they still stuck in the past, when McHenry County was rapidly growing?
Illinois was a good place to do business, and controlling spending didn’t seem all that important. We must now very carefully manage where we spend our tax revenue or face long-term negative consequences.
Richard L. Brook