Local

McHenry County budget with permanent levy reductions approved

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks speaks Oct. 2 at the McHenry County Administrative Building in Woodstock.
McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks speaks Oct. 2 at the McHenry County Administrative Building in Woodstock.

The McHenry County Board approved its fiscal 2020 budget, which makes property tax levy reductions from the past two fiscal years permanent, and its levy ordinance Tuesday.

Last year, the board passed a budget with more than $9.8 million in tax cuts, $7.53 million of which came from abatements and $2.3 million of which came from permanent reductions in the county’s property tax levy.

With the permanent reductions in place, the county’s fiscal 2020 property tax levy request will be $69.35 million with no abatements, which is down from the estimated $80 million the county collected in property taxes for the 2016 tax year.

The levy ordinance was approved unanimously Tuesday.

Although the county’s levy has reduced, it does not necessarily translate to a lower property tax bill for McHenry County homeowners next year.

Depending on the tax rates of other local governments – such as school districts, library districts and townships – or a higher property assessment than last year, homeowners still may see a tax increase.

The balanced budget will not cut services, McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks said.

Several county funds received lesser levy amounts than last year, including the veterans assistance fund, highway fund and Social Security fund. However, the loss of levy revenue is expected to be made up by additional surplus revenue coming out of each fund.

Motor fuel tax fund revenue projections jumped from $5.2 million last year to $8.5 million mostly because of a 19-cent-a-gallon motor fuel tax increase approved by the Illinois General Assembly.

This additional revenue is projected to help fund projects outlined in Gov. JB Pritzker’s multibillion-dollar capital plan, which will include work on Route 47 from Route 120 to Route 14.

The McHenry County Board voted, 22-2, in favor of the budget with board members Jeffrey Thorsen and Mary McCann voting against it.

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