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UPDATE x1: Governor faces decision on bill that could eliminate property tax-capped funds




UPDATE X1: Sue Handlesman answers a crucial question raised by an IR commenter about this legislation. (See below in the comment section)

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Blog featured Woodstock resident Susan Handlesman's assessment as to why a bill sitting on Governor Rauner's desk should be vetoed.

She says to veto HB5529 would line up with the governor's agenda to restrain the state's property tax debacle from getting worse and more complicated. 

Ms. Handlesman writes:

Schools have specific tax caps in discrete Funds. For example, 4 percent of EAV is maximum allowable rate in Education Fund.

Bruce Rauner promised many times to rein in real estate taxes. This is his first chance to do so.

One way schools evade these maximum rates allowed by law is to deliberately over-levy in another Fund (like Transportation Fund), then transfer excess accumulation of tax money into the tax capped Funds (like Education Fund).

This tax cap evasion loophole, which destroys the only real protection property taxpayers have left, is on Rauner’s desk to be signed.

The Governor has the power to STOP this House Bill 5529.

HB 5529 provides perversion of the spirit of the school code, which seeks to restrain school spending within (generous) limits relative to the means of the taxed community.

How did the state lawmakers vote on this measure? 

HB 5529 was sponsored by a Democrat – Fred Crespo – and a Republican – Robert Pritchard. Three Democrats – Chapa LaVia, Drury and Franks – voted no along with one Republican – David Harris.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 3.29.27 PM

And in the Senate, only Democrats sponsored the bill. Eight Republican senators – Althoff, McCarter, McConchie, Nybo, Oberweis, Rezin, Righter and Rose – voted against it.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 3.31.44 PM


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  1. If Rauner signs it, won’t that mean another 3 year extension of this bill which enables school districts to transfer excess money from a non-tax capped fund into the education fund (which is tax capped)? Won’t this encourage school districts to over-levy in a non-tax capped fund, as happened in d36?

  2. This is the first explanation of WHY school boards transfer money from their “transportation” funds into the education fund.
    I have been asked about this but now I can provide the answer.
    Consolidated elections are coming again in 2017. Time to find NEW candidates to replace complaisant incumbents.

  3. In Woodstock our property tax rate is 4.6% of total home fair market value.
    Woodstock D200 published Budget Book which must by law project next 3 years’ finances.
    They intend to use this tax-cap-evasion mechanism to fund Ed Fund expenditures (which are more loosely defined by law). Our tax rate is apt to exceed 5% of home value shortly. (Because who would knowingly build or buy in a 5% property tax rate municipality when Chicago is around 2.5%, the National Average property tax rate is 1.4%, Indiana is capped at 1%?)?
    More facts about Woodstock D200:
    Tax rate in Woodstock 4.6% of home fair market value.
    Debt encumbrance on Woodstock D200 homes is above 6.5% of total home fair market value (statutory max is 4.6%; statutory max only includes principal. WATCH OUT FOR THOSE SNEAKY CAPITAL APPRECIATION BONDS! WATCH OUT FOR LOOPHOLE BORROWING MECHANISMS LIKE ILLINOIS TECH BONDS!).
    Equalized Assessed Value of Woodstock real estate has fallen sharply during the recent economic recovery when real estate all over America (and in Chicago) was going up in value.
    Woodstock school board and Woodstock Mayor have recently ‘collaborated’ on plans to waive impact and transition fees (which will need to be paid now by current taxpayers) on a new subdvision expected to require subsidies from current taxpayers forever going forward.
    Woodstock D200 refused to file suit to stop a TIF District formed by a wealthy neighboring municipality which will dump all taxpayer cost for education of TIF children into impoverished D200, while wealthy TIF municipality collects all TIF revenues.
    Woodstock D200 performed most recent interfund tranfer of $2.8 million from Transportation Fund into Ed and Ops&Maintenance Funds IN VIOLATION OF SCHOOL CODE! KNOWINGLY.
    This is of interest to all Illinois citizens because NO Illinois agency claims to have jurisdiction to enforce compliance with school code.
    I filed complaints/called/wrote/emailed:
    Regional Superintendent of Schools Schermerhorn.
    Attorney General OMA PAC
    AG criminal division
    County Clerk
    Attorney division ISBE
    School Superintendent (who refuses to cite source of permission to violate the Statute cited and printed in the Resolution to perform inter-fund transfer: 105 ILCS 5/17-2A (from Ch. 122, par. 17-24)
    Woodstock D200 student enrollment has been flat to down for a decade. The GSA is up by more than 100% in the past 4 years, and the levy is up too.
    The school board has no restraint, and no one to restrain them.
    Yes elections are coming up and yes, citizens will step up.
    We are warned that we will be retaliated against by union thugs.
    I didn’t realize details like what I am printing until recently. Maybe just getting information out there will do some good.
    Good people are being destroyed by schools’ profligacy in Woodstock. They have no seat at the table, no voice.
    Maybe someone will finally listen.

  4. Yes, and your district is 32% Hispanic and that is growing fast.
    The implications are obvious for anyone who actually pays taxes such as yourself. However, few have the guts to say it.
    Good luck, but you won’t get it.

  5. Ohhhhh. Thanks for the info, Frank. That means that lots of pandering is going on in district; lots of $$$ flushed on trying to close the impossible-to-close evil horrible white people created “achievement gap” that never seems to close even with bilingual pandering. It’s funny how we can never talk about the fact that this “achievement gap” never goes away IN MEXICO.