McHenry County Board adopts spending plan with $9.8M in tax cuts

The McHenry County Board has passed a fiscal 2019 budget that includes more than $9.8 million in tax cuts.

Of that amount, $7.53 million comes from abatements and $2.3 million comes from permanent reductions in the county’s property tax levy.

“In 2018, we voted to give $8 million back to the taxpayers, and next year, we’re giving back almost $10 million,” County Board Chairman Jack Franks said in a statement. “Every local government in Illinois needs to be following our example. We promised the voters of McHenry County, who shoulder one of the heaviest property tax burdens in the nation, that we would do whatever we could to lighten their load, and for the second straight year, we’ve delivered.”

Last year’s budget included a $71.8 million property tax levy. The 2019 budget includes a $69.8 million levy. The budget was released for a 30-day review last month, and the board unanimously voted, 19-0, to approve it Tuesday night.

The bulk of the permanent cuts comes from retired debt that rolled off the government’s books. A reduced workforce head count also contributed to the cuts. Abatements target line items throughout the budget, but those cuts will not affect services, according to the county.

County Board members approved a $217 million budget for 2019 that does not eliminate any programs or services. The board approved a $216 million budget for 2018.

Additions to the budget include $6.7 million to fund new police and emergency radios, a reconfiguration of the McHenry County Administration Building, and construction of the courthouse parking lot.

“I’ll say it again – the McHenry County Board is leading the way in reform and doing the people’s will,” Franks said.