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McHenry Township trustee's property taxes sold at auction in 2018, unpaid again in 2019

Mike Rakestraw's taxes sold at auction in 2018, late again for current year

Trustee Mike Rakestraw listens to disapproving public comment made by Mary Mahady during a McHenry Township Special Meeting to appoint Steve Verr as trustee in the vacant position left by former trustee Bill Cunningham at the McHenry Township Town Hall on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 in Johnsburg.
Trustee Mike Rakestraw listens to disapproving public comment made by Mary Mahady during a McHenry Township Special Meeting to appoint Steve Verr as trustee in the vacant position left by former trustee Bill Cunningham at the McHenry Township Town Hall on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 in Johnsburg.

McHenry Township Trustee Mike Rakestraw failed to pay his property taxes in 2018 and has yet to pay in 2019, county records show.

Rakestraw owns a single-family home on the 1700 block of Meadow Lane in McHenry. He owed $3,514 in property taxes in 2018 but failed to pay. The taxes went to auction and Evanston-based tax-buyer Central Buyer Corp. bought them, according to county records.

When property taxes are sold, the investor puts a lien on the property that it can then hold for two and a half to three years. If the owner of the property doesn’t pay back the taxes, the investor can take control of the property.

Rakestraw has yet to redeem the taxes, and could risk having his current taxes go to auction as well if he doesn’t pay by the September deadline.

He currently owes $3,718 to McHenry County, which includes a $28 penalty. The first installment of $1,887 was due June 3. The second installment of the same amount is due Sept. 3. If he fails to pay, those could be purchased by a tax-buying company as well.

Rakestraw claimed and was granted two exemptions in 2018, including the senior homestead and owner occupied exemptions.

The portion of his bill owed to the township he represents is 1.1% or $39.62.

Rakestraw recently made a controversial vote to eliminate the township’s senior bus program and cited high property taxes as a reason to do so. He said at the meeting that taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for services they don’t use.

“The taxpayers in this county have had it up to their heads,” he said at the meeting. “You can’t force somebody to pay for this service but you are asking members of this board to do it for you.”

Rakestraw is serving his first term. Trustees make $100 per diem when there is a meeting.

Rakestraw didn’t return an email and phone call requesting comment.

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