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McHenry County committee backs $100-per-household Valley Hi surplus rebate

McHenry County Board
McHenry County Board

A McHenry County Board committee moved forward a resolution that would rebate $100 to qualified households out of the $40-million Valley Hi Nursing Home surplus.

Proposed by Chairman Jack Franks, the resolution would siphon $8.9 million from the surplus for $100 rebates to all homeowners who qualified for the homestead exemption on their 2018 tax bills – and have paid their taxes on time.

If approved by the full County Board, those residents – an estimated 88,000 households potentially qualify – would receive a check before the end of February.

“[This] act is in good faith to alleviate the tax burden on McHenry County homeowners,” the resolution said.

“A responsible government should have a rainy-day fund, but the reserve that Valley Hi has accumulated is enough to fund several years of operations,” Franks said in a statement. “That’s obscene, especially given how brutally overtaxed the homeowners of McHenry County are.”

Unanimously approved 7-0 in the county’s Public Health & Community Services Committee, the resolution will now go before the Finance & Audit Committee at 8:15 a.m. Thursday at the County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock. If approved, it will advance to the full County Board on Oct. 16.

“Rebating some of this surplus back to taxpayers fits in perfectly with our mission to provide whatever tax relief we can,” Franks said.

Money from Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, property taxes and private-pay customers is what makes up Valley Hi’s revenue stream.

“A $40 million surplus for Valley Hi is indefensible,” committee member John Reinert, R-Crystal Lake, said in a statement. “Giving some of that back to the taxpayers without hurting Valley Hi’s financial stability is the right thing to do.”

Committee member Chris Christensen, R-Cary, said the rebate resolution “is a step in the right direction to right a wrong without hurting Valley Hi’s mission.”

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