Commissioner Barr Casts Sole “No” Vote For Question To Raise Property Tax Cap Rate For Forest Preserve

Commissioner Barr Casts Sole “No” Vote For Question To Raise Property Tax Cap Rate For Forest Preserve

The Lake County Forest Preserve District voted to request Legislative Authority to ask voters to exceed the Illinois Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) Property Tax Cap. The Resolution passed 20 Yeas to 1 Nay, with Commissioner Barr casting the sole “nay” vote.

Below is a quote from the April 25th Chicago Tribune article reporting on the story.

Not everyone on the forest preserves board was in favor of the move toward asking to exceed tax caps. At the April 9 meeting, member Dick Barr of Round Lake Beach cast the sole vote against the resolution, saying “one of the biggest complaints in my district is since the housing bust in 2008, the values of their properties have declined. Some are starting to stabilize, yet their property taxes are continually increasing.”

“I do object to the language in the resolution that refers to the reduction in the home values as one of the reasons we need to increase this,” Barr added.

On his Facebook Page, Barr defended his “no” vote, stating:

I ran on a platform on reducing property taxes. I could not, in good conscience, vote to allow a referendum that could increase them.

I was the only ‘no’ vote to get legislative authority to increase the Forest Preserve Property Tax Cap. Some Commissioners said we are not voting to increase the tax cap, we are voting to give the Public the opportunity to vote to increase the tax cap.

They are correct.

However, my District represents 1/21th of the County. Our property taxes are nearing 5-6% of value. I don’t want the other 20/21th of the County, most with far lower property tax ratios, raising the property taxes in our District.”

With the resolution passed, the FPD Legislative Committee will engage state lawmakers in a process to allow the Forest Preserve District to have the Legislative Authority to ask the voters at a future election if they will allow the Forest Preserve District to increase.

Barr stated that he will not support or campaign for any referendum initiative that will lead to an increase in Property Taxes.

The County should focus on new economic development to generate additional funding opportunities for our Forest Preserve. We can no longer keep going back to the residents for more money when it is clear they are growing more and more frustrated with constantly rising taxes. Until more viable funding options are on the table, we have no choice but to tighten our belts and limit our spending.”

Click here for the full story at the Chicago Tribune.