Local Editorials

Our view: Pay attention to tax protesters

Taxpayers fed up with ever-increasing property taxes have more options to voice their displeasure to elected officials, many of whom don’t seem to care.

Voters in Cary and Fox River Grove will join their counterparts in Lakewood in having the opportunity to let their local elected officials know that they’re fed up with their property taxes increasing every year despite diminished property values.

All three villages will have nonbinding referendums on the Nov. 8 ballot asking whether any taxing bodies within their corporate limits should be required to seek voter approval by referendum if they want to increase their levies. Governments do not have to go to referendum to raise taxes within the annual rate of inflation under Illinois’ tax cap law.

We expect voters in all three villages will overwhelmingly vote “yes” to the requirement.

While it is a nonbinding referendum, we hope the message resonates with those elected to boards and councils with taxing authority.

McHenry County property owners have the 29th highest tax burden of all counties in the U.S., according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. And Illinois has either the highest or second-highest burden of all 50 states, depending on the study.

Several county residents also recently joined to form Illinois Tax Revolution, a grassroots group that seeks to call attention to frustrated homeowners’ excessive property taxes and to fight for relief.

The group was formed by Dan Aylward of McHenry, who recently made headlines by paying his property tax bill with $1 bills, longtime anti-township activist Bob Anderson of Wonder Lake, McHenry Township Republican Central Committee Chairman Steve Rooney, Republican McHenry County Recorder candidate Joe Tirio and Lakemoor resident Rose Venegas.

Illinois Tax Revolution plans three upcoming rallies, including one at 11 a.m. Aug. 31 at the McHenry County Treasurer’s Office, 2100 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock.

As Anderson said in a recent Northwest Herald story: “If we’re going to make any changes, it’s going to have to come from a grass-roots effort.”

We expect elected officials will start paying attention.

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