Problem with Lake County Property Tax Bill Problems Identified

Problem with Lake County Property Tax Bill Problems Identified

It has come to my attention that a number of Property Tax Bills have been reported to not include the correct eligible exemptions for property tax payers. As such, some bills are reporting too high and some bills are reporting too low.

I encourage all residents to evaluate their bills for accuracy, and to confirm that you are getting all of the exemptions you are eligible for.

This guide will help you determine if you are receiving your eligible exemptions.

If you have any questions about your bill or your exemptions, please contact the Lake County Treasurers Office at 847-377-2323 or email at treasurer@lakecountyil.gov. You can also contact your local Township Assessor for more information.

Lake County Approves IGA to Consolidate Lakes Sanitary Region

Lake County Approves IGA to Consolidate Lakes Sanitary Region

***CONSOLIDATION ALERT***
***PROPERTY TAX REDUCTION ALERT***

I am delighted to announce, that on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019, the Lake County Board voted unanimously to approve an IGA between Lake County and the Lakes Sanitary District to assume all responsibilities of the District and allow the Lakes Sanitary District to dissolve by 2021.

The functions of the District will be taken up by Lake County Department of Public Works. Residents will not experience any disruptions in service as the dissolution advances.

For the 6,000 +/- homes in the District, myself included, they will no longer pay a tax to the Sanitary District, which represents about $175/year on a home valued at $250,000.

Total estimated tax savings to residents to be about $1.25 Million per year!

Lake County Forest Preserve Bike Path Survey

Lake County Forest Preserve Bike Path Survey

We want your input!

The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) is conducting a countywide Bike Path Wayfinding and Signage study. The purpose of the study is to develop a wayfinding strategy and establish guidelines and sign templates to enhance the bikeways in Lake County. Ultimately the goal is to help the public using the bike paths have a better understanding of where they are on the trails and make it easier to find connecting destinations.

A public meeting was held May 1 to share information and gather feedback about biking in Lake County. Even if you could not attend the meeting, we want to hear from you.

Tell us what you think!

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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.

 

Lake County Board’s Dick Barr participates in NACo’s Legislative Conference

Lake County Board’s Dick Barr participates in NACo’s Legislative Conference

Administration and congressional leaders highlight county role in serving residents

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lake County Board Member, Dick Barr, joined nearly 2,000 other county leaders in Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual Legislative Conference March 2-6. Participants met with members of the Trump administration and Congress on key issues like disaster recovery, the opioid and substance abuse epidemic, Veteran issues and revitalizing American infrastructure.

“As a new County Board Member, I wanted to see the value that a nationwide conference of County officials could provide. I was blown away at the quality and quantity of information available, the A-List of speakers, and the personal contacts, not just U.S. Congressmen, Senators and their aids, but Federal agency, and other county official contacts from all over
the country to share experiences with,” said Barr. “I must have walked away with 50-60 business cards of leaders throughout the country whom I can call on for valuable information, to bounce ideas off, and to see how they solved issues that are currently affecting Lake County.”

“Decisions made by the White House, Congress and federal courts have major impacts on our ability to lead our communities and pursue a better future,” said NACo President Greg Cox. “This conference is an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our federal partners as we help residents forge pathways to live well and thrive.”

In meetings with lawmakers and administration officials, county leaders outlined several key federal policy priorities including:

  • Promoting county infrastructure priorities in a comprehensive infrastructure package
  • Supporting the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) programs, which honor federal commitments to publiclands and timber counties
  • Promoting mental health, substance use disorders treatment and criminal justice reform, and
  • Boosting broadband deployment and accessibility while preserving local zoning authority.

As part of its policy advocacy, NACo launched an updated “Counties Matter” campaign to illustrate counties’ vast role in advancing America’s policy priorities at the local level.

NACo also launched a new and improved County Explorer. The tool, which allows users to map data at the county level, now works on mobile devices and is more user-friendly.

“When I first was introduced to the “County Explorer” tool, I was amazed at how much data is available to us through our association with NACo. At the click of a mouse we can compare our county, based on size, demographic, population, rural/urban landscape on metrics such as economy growth, opioid deaths, number of hospitals, veteran population, homeless, affordable housing, number of exports and imports, along with hundreds of other metrics,” said Barr.

“Being able to access this data instantly, and printing a beautifully
formatted and easy to read report is an invaluable tool for advocacy when speaking with our local, state and federal leaders.”
Conference participants heard from congressional and administration leaders, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst, Amy Klobuchar and Marco Rubio, Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor Kellyanne
Conway and Co-Founder of America Online Steve Case.

Counties officials were very active on Capitol Hill, meeting with senators and representatives on key County issues. The conference featured three briefings on Capitol Hill: one on strengthening human services; one on fixing the FAST Act, focusing on transportation infrastructure; and another on how counties are reimaging health care in county jails. NACo also announced a joint task force with the National Sheriffs’ Association
to examine the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy, which strips federal health and veterans’ benefits from individuals upon admission to jail – not upon conviction – leading to increased recidivism.

Dozens of county officials also rallied at a press conference with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders to underscore support for key public lands programs, Secure Rural Schools and Payments in Lieu of Taxes. Watch the press conference here.

There were more than two dozen policy workshops featuring county officials and other leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. They focused on topics like the opioid crisis; early childhood investments; workforce and economic development; transportation and infrastructure; public health and safety; mental health and jails; and cybersecurity and
technology.

“The NACo Conference was just the beginning. Now I need to take advantage of the information I learned and work with my colleagues on the Board to evaluate how Lake County can benefit from these best practices,” said Barr. “Cultivating the relationships obtained in Washington over the coming months will be instrumental in building on the
concepts gathered at the conference and solidifying ideas to benefit all residents of Lake County.”

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Lake County Board Eliminates Pension Contributions For Elected Members

Lake County Board Eliminates Pension Contributions For Elected Members

On Tuesday, January 15th, the Lake County Board, in its first regular session of its new term voted down a resolution that would have continued tax dollars funding pension contributions for County Board Members. The vote fell largely along party lines, with one Democrat voting with the Republicans to kill the resolution. One Member, Paul Frank of Highland Park was absent. The vote was 10 Members in favor of continuing Taxpayer funded pension contributions to 10 Members opposed to Taxpayer funded pension contributions. The rules of the Board require a majority of Members present to pass any vote. In the event of a tie, any vote fails.

On his Facebook page, newly elected Board Member, Dick Barr, had this to say:

I am very proud of what the County Board was able to accomplish today, which allowed me to fulfill a campaign promise.

We eliminated Taxpayer Funded Pension contributions for all County Board Members.”

Barr thanked his constituents who responded to his survey requesting their opinion on the matter. He indicated 94% of respondents opposed a continuation of Board Member pensions.

When it was realized by the Board the measure would likely fail, due to the absence of Member Frank, Member Bill Durkin of Highland Park made a motion to postpone the vote to a later date.  Immediately after the motion, Member Barr called a Point of Order to invoke a little known rule from Robert’s Rules of Order that had most of the room stumped, causing a recess to allow time for the Chair and Parlimentarian to review the invoked rule.

A motion to postpone is out of order when the date of the next regularly scheduled meeting passes a statutory time deadline. Further, no motion to postpone can be made to a special meeting that is not already on the calendar,” said Barr.

The failure of the motion to postpone caused a vote to be called and subsequently fail.

While this represents minimal savings, I consider this a huge win for the taxpayers, and hopefully a model of what all Governments should be looking at for part time elected officials,” said Barr.