After the Kane County Board Finance Committee Chairman proposed a 2013 budget that would raise the property tax levy in spite of declining real estate values, Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay countered with her own budget proposal that freezes the levy on existing property for the second consecutive year.
"I could not stand by and watch an irresponsible budget increase the burden on the taxpayers," said McConnaughay, Republican candidate for state senate in the 33rd District. "When property owners are seeing values go down it is unconscionable to raise their taxes, especially without any coherent reason why."
County Finance Committee Chairman Jim Mitchell wrote a budget that increased the county tax levy in spite of a 6.8 percent decrease in assessed valuation in the county. Mitchell said the tax hike would pay for across-the-board salary increases and other unspecified spending increases.
"During this prolonged recession Kane County has cut spending and headcount, made government more efficient and sought to reduce, not raise, the burden on the public, and that is what we must continue to do."
McConnaughay introduced her alternative budget, which freezes the levy on existing property, in a meeting of the Board's Executive Committee on Wednesday, saying the Finance Committee had had their chance to produce an acceptable budget. The Executive Committee passed McConnaughay’s flat-levy unanimously.
"I am gratified that the committee unanimously agreed that we could not increase the burden on property tax payers," said McConnaughay. "I am just astounded that this tax hike plan was allowed to get this far and required the drafting of an alternative budget to protect the public."
The full county board must still vote on the new budget plan before it is final.
SOURCE: Karen McConnaughay press release
- Daily Herald: Kane County reverses budget plan, eliminates tax increase
- Kane County Chronicle: Board likely to reject tax levy