What are school districts, townships, other taxing entities and residents facing when it comes to property taxes
For Illinoisans, property taxes are a sore spot. Illinois has the second highest property taxes in the nation, and McHenry County is in the top 10 for highest property taxes in the state. Illinois also ranks first in the country with nearly 7,000 taxing districts, which makes examining one’s tax bill a confusing exercise. While taxpayers are annoyed by the price tag, property taxes are also a primary source of revenue for local taxing bodies. This series examines some of the issues in Illinois for residents and taxing bodies.
Part 1: McHenry County residents vote with their feet
High property taxes in Illinois and McHenry County have residents fleeing for other states. For residents paying close to $10,000 in taxes alone, many have decided that enough is enough. Lowering property taxes is among the items on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda.”
Part 2A: McHenry County school officials point to bonds, other factors to explain tax rates
The bulk of property taxes in Illinois, around 62 percent, goes to public schools. How much individual residents pay varies from school district to school district. What are among the reasons that some residents pay more than others?
INFOGRAPHIC: 2014 McHenry County school tax rates
Take a closer look at McHenry County's 2014 school district property tax rates
Part 2B: Townships 'most frugal' government level, township supervisor says
One effort to ease property taxes has been an attempt to consolidate townships, which hasn’t gotten much traction from the McHenry County Board. We’ll take a look at the township portion of property taxes.
Part 3: McHenry County taxing entities strategize as maxed-out tax funds see revenue loss
Some taxing bodies are maxed out on what they’re allowed to tax, which they say has been difficult as property value has declined. In 2014, 34 of McHenry County’s 117 taxing bodies reached the maximum tax rate in one or more of their funds.
Part 4: Money in the bank — good investment or slush fund?
A few taxing bodies have been building huge cash reserves, which is frustrating for taxpayers who are still paying high tax rates.
Part 4A: Taxing entities save up for big purchases, uncertainties
Some McHenry County taxing entities are saving for major projects they have planned.
INFOGRAPHIC: McHenry County taxing entities' cash on hand at end of 2013-14 fiscal year
Take a closer look at how much cash on hand McHenry County taxing entities had at the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Part 4B: McHenry County school districts plan projects to spend down savings
At least one McHenry County school district is making some efforts to change the trend of keeping a large surplus.
INFOGRAPHIC: McHenry County school districts' cash on hand at end of 2013-14 fiscal year
Take a closer look at how much cash on hand McHenry County school districts had at the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year.