Patch Poll: Reduce Property Tax Levies by 20 Percent?
If you had to vote today, what would you say about the non-binding referendum urging all taxing bodies to reduce their levies?
Shall every levy of every governing body within the County of Kendall, Illinois be reduced 20% over the previous year’s levy?
That might be an easy "yes" for you. Who enjoys paying property taxes?
The premise of the question is thoughtful, though.
A grassroot group called the Kendall County Property Tax Revolt circulated petitions to get this non-binding referendum on the November ballot. Elected officials won't be required to do anything based on the outcome of the referendum, but group leaders are hoping it sends a message to trim the non-essentials and provide Kendall County property owners some tax relief.
The levy process itself can be a little hard to understand. The "levy" is essentially the amount of money a government body - say, a city - requests in property taxes. Of course, the city gets money from the state and federal government, from sales taxes, from user fees and a variety of other sources, so asking city leaders to reduce their levies by 20 percent is not asking them to slash their budgets by 20 percent. Some taxing bodies are more reliant on property taxes than others.
That can lead to a circular argument among government leaders: Some city or county leaders would say, "If you want to reduce your property taxes, talk to school leaders. That's the biggest portion of your property tax bill." But then school leaders will point out that a significant part of their funding is property taxes and another significant portion (state funding) has been unreliable in recent history.
So where does that leave you, the average taxpayer? I think it's left the folks at the Kendall County Property Tax Revolt determined to remind public officials that it is their job to look out for the taxpayer, not to pass the buck to other taxing bodies.
I'm curious about what you think, though. How would you vote on this referendum?
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