McHenry County Board authorizes $15 million property tax rebate

McHenry County homeowners can apply to recoup just under 30 percent of last year’s county government property tax bill.

The county board Tuesday voted 18-6 authorizing a $15 million property tax rebate from Valley Hi Nursing Home’s abundant reserves — an issue several board members have talked about for years.

The county-run nursing home has had ample reserves — about $40 million — covering nearly four years of its operations. Even with the rebate, Valley Hi would retain more than two years worth of operating funds in reserve.

County Board Chairman Jack Franks said the fund’s rich balance was the result of years of overtaxation. He proposed the rebate last fall.

“When property tax bills are mailed out next month, they will include instructions on how homeowners can apply to get some of their tax money back,” said Franks, a Marengo Democrat. “I know of no other government doing this. We’re delivering tax relief while strengthening Valley Hi’s mission to care for our indigent seniors. That mission will be improved, courtesy of the long and thoughtful debates the county board has had in the months leading up to the vote.”

The county board also plans to begin studying the possible addition of a 20-bed dementia wing to the Woodstock facility. The board’s public health and community services committee will seek a request for qualifications for a market study for the construction of a dementia wing at its May 2 meeting.

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