Property Taxes in Lake County, Dick Barr Argues For Lowering – Video

At the full Board Meeting of The lake County Board on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, County Board Member Dick Barr made an impassioned plea for the necessity of lowering property taxes. Citing that property taxes have never been lowered in at least 20 years, as far back as his data goes. Barr presented data going back to 2020 showing major decreases in new business development (90%), as well as the County’s Property Tax Levy increasing by 100% in that same time frame.

A resolution to increase the 2020 levy by $605,000 was presented to the Board to vote on.  Barr attempted to amend the resolution to freeze the levy, which would have provided tax savings to existing tax payers, albeit slight. He argues that while the savings are small, it is necessary to start a trajectory in the right direction.

Barr’s amendment failed to get the 11 votes necessary to pass.  6 Board Members voted in favor of Barr’s amendment, including Republicans Michael Danforth, Judy Martini, Brent Paxton, Ann Maine, and one Democrat, Diane Hewitt.

Keep up to date on Lake County issues at Dick’s Facebook Page www.Facebook.com/DickBarrLakeCounty 

Please Support My “No Growth 2020 Property Tax Levy” Amendment

Please Support My “No Growth 2020 Property Tax Levy” Amendment

The County Board will be voting on an estimated 2020 Property Tax Levy (amount collected in property taxes) tomorrow (September 10th) at the full board meeting at 9 AM on the 10th Floor of the Lake County Administration Building at 18 N County St in Waukegan.

I will be proposing an amendment to the resolution to freeze the levy at the 2019 amount, opting to not increase the levy with new growth.  Instead, the new growth will be used to reduce the existing tax base portion of the levy, however slight.

Watch the video the explains the Levy and my reasons for proposing an amendment.

My reasons are many:

  • Primarily, I am very concerned that new growth tax revenue in Lake County has declined by 90% since 2020, from $6 Million in 2000 to $605 Thousand projected in 2020.
  • The Lake County property tax levy has increased 100% since 2000, from $80 Million in 2000 to the current $162 Million. Even when adjusted for inflation that number has risen from $125 Million in 2000 to the current $162 Million, an increase of 30%.
  • Lake County will be receiving additional revenue from the state next year, partly due to increased transportation revenue from the State’s Motor Fuel Tax (estimated between $5-7 Million a year), and Lake County will also receive sales tax revenue from any marijuana retail that goes anywhere in the County, including within municipalities. (I am not currently aware of any projections or estimates on marijuana tax)
  • Cuts to services are not necessary to accomplish what I am asking, although during the budget process over the coming months I will be looking very closely to areas where cuts are warranted.
  • Lake County Government has not lowered its levy going back at least 20 years (as far back as my data goes). This is an opportunity to show residents that we care about the current trajectory of Property Taxes, and are committed to reversing that trajectory for the first time in decades.
  • Every $48 of property tax affects home equity by about $1,000. $480 of property tax affects about $10k in home equity and $4,800 in property tax affects about $100,000 in equity.  This is because lenders approve mortgage borrowers based on their monthly debt to income ratio taking property taxes into account.
  • While my proposal will mean very little on the individual tax bills, I hope its effect will be example setting and educational so that residents can ask the same of other taxing bodies that make up the 95% of the tax bill that County Government does not control.
  • Property Tax Payers have been investing in maintenance and infrastructure to make new development growth possible, but under the current system of not using new development growth to lower property taxes, residents never earn a return on their investment.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you.  Please let me know if you have any questions at all!