May 29, 2023
Local Editorials

Our view: Tax vote will send another message

Most McHenry County homeowners feel they are overtaxed.

We’re comfortable in making that statement because we see it and hear it from taxpayers most every day. We’re homeowners, too, and we see it in our own tax bills.

In spite of this, some government agencies think it’s OK to continuously raise residents’ taxes each year. School boards and other taxing bodies who vote to increase their levies to the maximum they can without holding a referendum are an example of this. They are able to do this without the public’s approval under Illinois’ flawed tax-cap law.

Voters in the village of Lakewood will have another opportunity in November to let elected officials know how they feel about their ever-increasing property taxes.

We have a pretty good idea how that’s going to turn out.

Lakewood Village Trustee Paul Serwatka and a group of volunteers last week submitted 510 signatures for an advisory referendum asking whether taxing bodies with any boundaries in the village should be required to seek voter approval by referendum if they want to increase their levy, according to a story by senior reporter Kevin Craver.

Since it’s an advisory referendum, it does not force taxing bodies to abide by voters’ wishes.

But the referendum can serve as another message to elected officials, many of whom have been deaf to their constituents’ concerns.

Stop continuing to raise taxes. Cut expenses and live within your means.

Serwatka specifically wants to send a message to his fellow village trustees, who are considering plans to build a new village hall.

“Nobody wants it. I’ve literally talked to a thousand people, and no one wants it,” he told Craver.

We’ll find out for sure after the November election. But then, we already know what the outcome will be.

Taxpayers already are stretched. They don’t want to pay more.