Will Co. Board member seeks no-tax-hike referendum on March 2016 Homer Township ballot
Will County Board member Steve Balich wants taxpayers to send a message to all taxing districts in Homer Township — people are against any property tax increase, no matter how small.
He’s collecting the required 2,000 signatures to place a nonbinding referendum on the March 2016 ballot that will ask voters, “Shall each taxing body located wholly or partially within Homer Township be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax levy?”
“We want to tell taxing bodies that we are fed up. They have no respect for taxpayers,” Balich said, adding that the referendum outcome will “end the debate once and for all about property tax increases.”
He said local government spending plays the biggest role in whether property tax bills rise or fall because the governments boost their tax levy, the amount of revenue the district seeks to collect via the property tax.
“Candidates run for office and say they are against property tax increases,” Balich, R-Homer Glen, said. “They get elected and say the tax is only going up a little so the people won’t mind. They forget that a little is a lot when every taxing body raises taxes a little, and over time these yearly increases add up to quite a big amount.
“If people speak up loud and clear that they are fed up (by voting for this referendum plan) maybe elected officials will change their tune,” he said.
If a taxing district wants more money, it should only be able to raise taxes for a specific purpose by referendum and then end that tax increase when the money is not longer needed, according to Balich.
Taxing districts — such as counties, towns, townships and school, park, library and fire protection districts — are limited by the property tax cap, which allows an annual tax rate increase of no more than 5 percent or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. But Balich called the tax cap a “scam” because most taxing districts raise their rates up to the legal limit.
Taxpayers also have the right to address tax issues during tax levy hearings that local governments are required to conduct every year, but Balich said no one ever attends.
The referendum is way for people to “express their feelings” about property tax increases, he said, adding that if the Homer Township referendum measure succeeds, he hopes the anti-tax-hike movement will spread throughout the state.
“Once people see that it can pass, others will follow,” Balich said.
Will County’s preliminary home inspection code questioned
Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 5:33 p.m. CDT
By LAUREN LEONE–CROSS – firstname.lastname@example.org
JOLIET — Tom Joseph, a local watchdog for homeowners and real estate agents, is accusing Will County’s Land Use Department of conducting preliminary home inspections beyond the scope of individual permit applications — a practice he believes to be overreaching.
Will County’s preliminary home inspection code questioned
“If someone puts in (an application) for permit work, that’s the work that should be inspected,” said Joseph, who serves as the government affairs director for the Illinois Association of Realtors and the Three Rivers Realtors Association.
Joseph raised concerns earlier this spring to the Will County Board’s Land Use and Development Committee, saying the practice violates a homeowners’ fourth amendment rights.
“We don’t believe that’s the intent of the law,” he said.
But Will County Land Use Director Curt Paddock pushed back against the accusations Tuesday during a meeting of the Land Use and Development Committee. He pointed to the 2012 International Residential Code adopted by the County Board last year.
The code states that “before issuing a permit, the building official is authorized to examine or cause to be examined buildings, structures and sites for which an application has been filed.”
The department does not conduct inspections without the homeowners’ consent, he said.
If a code violation is “in plain sight” during a pre-inspection, the official has a right to cite it as a violation, he said. For example, if someone applies for a permit to put in a new water heater, he said, and the building official notices a live wire sparking while walking down the steps of the basement, that’s fair game.
“Their perspective is ‘You should have had blinders on,’” Paddock said.
At Tuesday’s meeting, committee member Steve Balich, R-Homer Glen, spoke out against the Land Use Department’s interpretation of the code.
“If someone comes and inspects my house, that’s one thing. But when I apply for a permit, the person should be allowed to only inspect what that was for and nothing else,” Balich said. “That’s way, way out of our boundaries.”
Paddock said during Tuesday’s meeting that there’s concern that the Land Use Department is conducting preliminary inspections “triggered by the current or proposed ‘for sale’ status of a property.”
“That’s simply not true,” he said, noting that the only condition triggering pre-inspections is a property owner’s permit application.
But Joseph alleges the department “on three occasions” attempted to or conducted pre-sale home inspections — a program not adopted by the county.
Alternatives were presented at the county’s Land Use and Development Committee Tuesday.
Balich initiates Referendum———-Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township, County of Will, State of Illinois, be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total Property Tax Levy?
By Steve Balich 815 557-7196
I am initiating this Referendum to ask the voters to end the debate once and for all about tax increases. Candidates run for office and say they are against property tax increases. They get elected and say the tax is only going up a little so the people won’t mind. They forget a little is a lot when every taxing body raises taxes a little, and over time these yearly increases add up to quite a big amount.
Do voters want their taxes raised based on the vote of 3 to 8 people on a Board?
Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township, County of Will, State of Illinois, be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total Property Tax Levy?
Local government spending plays the most significant role in whether or not your taxes increase or decrease. If taxing districts increase their spending, the tax rate will often increase to cover their expenditures. Therefore, even if your Property value goes down, your taxes can go up. Conversely, if taxing districts decrease spending, your property taxes may decrease even if your assessment goes up.
For example, suppose the Township decides they need $1 million in property taxes to operate for the year and the value of all the property in your community is $100 million. The property tax rate is calculated by dividing the amount of tax to be raised by the total value:
Money needed to operate/ Value of all the property in the Township= Tax Rate
$1 million/ $100 million = 1% tax rate
If money needed to operate increases the tax rate will increase. If spending decreases the tax rate will go down since the amount needed to operate is less.
If your property’s value is $100,000, your tax bill would be calculated by multiplying your value by your tax rate:
Value $100,000 x Rate 1% = Property Tax $1,000
If the amount of money requested by the Township to operate stays the same $100 million, and the overall value of your property increased from $100,000 to $125,000, your taxes would increase:
Value $125,000 x Rate 1% = Property Tax $1250
If the total value township property doubles from $100 to $200 million but the amount of money needed to operate stays the same, your tax rate would go down.
Total needed to operate/ total value of all property in Township= Tax Rate
$1 million/$200 million = 0.5 %
This is where the taxing districts say they are capturing the new growth. They raise the Tax Rate to capture a new $100 million in property value. In doing so they raise the tax on everyone.
Property Value $100,000 x Increased rate of 1% plus the original 1% (2%)= property tax $2000
When property values go up unless the rate drops, there will also be a tax increase. Home values are depressed right now and will eventually go up.
Therefore an increase in the Levy (property tax) raises the taxes for everyone in the Township.
If your tax rate increased from 1% to 2%, even if your Property value decreased from $200,000 to $195,000, your taxes would go up:
$195,000 x 2% = $3900 property tax
$200,000 X 1%= $2000 property tax
Foreclosures can cause property taxes to increase because they bring down the total value of the district. Less money to pay the cost of operation.
The township says if they don’t raise the taxes they lose the money forever. They are referring to the compound effect of raising taxes each year. By raising rates 1% every year in 5 years the Rate is 5%
2014 rate is 1%
2015 Rate increased 1% to 2%
2016 Rate increased 1% to 3%
2017 Rate increased 1% to 4%
2018 Rate increased 1% to 5%
The last 2 years capital projects were discussed over and over. I heard costly consultants, and studies and listened to continued discussion on what the County could do to remedy the situation which gets worse the longer it is talked about without action. The Republicans took control of the Board in the 2014 election, allowing for new chairs of the committees, and a new leadership. It is clear that the Appointment of Mike Fricilone and Reagan Freitag ushered in the action that is needed to get these much needed projects started ASAP. They are not messing around with more expensive studies and Consultants. They are moving forward! They are doing their job. I am sure some will want to try to slow down the process, but rest assure the Citizens of Will County will not stand for more indecision, costly studies. The people want and deserve action.
Will County will get funds for a new courthouse from a variety of places including asking City of Joliet for $3 Million Dollars, since Joliet will benefit by the Court staying in Joliet. The cost of the Court House will be estimated at $175 Million according to Mike Fricilone, the County Finance Committee Chairman.
Ragan Freitag County Chairman of the Capital Improvement Committee, and Fricilone said Joliet needs to help make this happen in order for the Court to remain in downtown Joliet. They want to work with Joliet, and feel it is Joliet’s best interest to work with the County. County Board Members like Steve Balich agree with Freitag and Fricilone. Balich said “The idea of building new on an empty piece of land is also attractive and would provide a long term vision with a campus setting. The Structures could be built to the specific needs of the County with everything new.” If Joliet wants to partner, County Board Members including Balich would find that desirable. Ragan Freitag said we need Joliet to contribute if they want us downtown. Fricilone agreed saying The County could break ground quickly. There were no objections to the plan at the joint Finance and Capital improvement meeting.
Fricilone said we could get the necessary funds from The Court User Fee, $2.4 million in money from last years property tax increase, investment from Joilet, and the RTA fund. When asked about a Public Service Tax, he said we can move without it, but the Board could go to referendum later.
Fundraiser for Steve Balich Will County Board Dist. 7
Tuesday June 16th 6:30pm to 9:30pm
St. Dennis Church 1214 Hamilton Lockport IL. 40441
Music by Dave Molinari Includes Open Bar and Hors d’oeuvres
Chicago Blackhawks: Grant Mulvey, held the record for being the youngest player since expansion in 1967 to score an NHL goal, scoring his first goal at the age of 18 years, 32 days. He kept the record till October 3, 2013
State of Illinois Senate Minority Leader: Christine Radodgo
State of Illinois House Minority Leader: Jim Durkin
Speaker of the County Board: Jim Moustis
Las Vegas State Central Committeeman & Talk Radio Host : Pat Casale
Master of Ceremony: Dan Proft WIND Radio Host
Gold Sponsor $1,000 ________ Silver Sponsor$500_________ Bronze Sponsor $250________
Checks can be mailed to: Elect Balich 12259 Derby Lane, Orland Park, IL. 60467
(815) 557- 7196 WWW.ElectBalich.com Sbalich@Comcast.net
“A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois
Paid for By Elect Balich
March 3, 2015 the Will County judicial Committee met. Legislation was brought forward for a $300 Administration Fee charged to individuals when their car is towed. Presently there is no Administrative fee, but there is a towing fee and a storage fee that must be paid by the individual regardless of the verdict in court. Therefore the Judge can find you not guilty and you still must pay the storing and towing charge. With this new legislation, the administrative fee can be returned to you if the Judge orders it, but the towing and storage charges are the individuals expense even when found not guilty. Nothing is changed accept adding an administrative fee.
As a member of the Judicial committee I spoke firmly against what I consider unethical, immoral, and just plain not fair. With a not guilty finding the Judge should be able to refund the towing fee, the storage fee, and the administrative fee. Just because cities charge these fees to people found not guilty does not make it right. It should be the Judge’s decision if the fees should be returned. Will County would then have to pay the towing and storage charges, and not collect the Administrative fee.
The Committee argued that the administrative fee may be too high putting a burden on people. I felt like they thought the towing and storage fees were just an acceptable part of the process. One member said it is just like getting a lawyer; the court doesn’t reimburse that cost. I explained that you can represent yourself at no cost, and there would be no fees if your car was not towed unjustly in the first place.
Steve Balich (815) 557-7196
Will County Board District 7
Will County Board Members Steve Balich and Mike Fricilone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Recorder of Deeds and Coroner offices
Tuesday January 20th 2015, Will County Board Members Steve Balich and Mike Fricilone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Recorder of Deeds and Coroner offices, 158 N. Scott St. Joliet, Il. began at 9am. Will County’s Larry Walsh, County Board Members: Jim Moustis, Deniese Winfrey, and Ragan Freitag, as well as Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante spoke of all the work that went into getting the building opened. They expressed that Will County Government being located in downtown Joliet is what helps give the downtown life. The cost was partially funded from revenue from the county’s energy plant which operates at the county’s Prairie View landfill converting gas from the landfill into useful energy.
The building is energy efficient using led lights with dimmers that react with sunlight entering the room. There are 2 tankless water heaters which will also save energy. The Building has plenty of parking and is very easy to get to from I- 80 or Rt. 30. It is estimated that this building will save $250,000 in rent.
I don’t understand the concept of making a new law when there is already on on the books. Despite not agreeing with letting a judgement call from the code enforcement officer be the determination of a violation, a light nuisance belongs in the nuisance law.
The State of Illinois Democrats, in an effort to expand voting; which has already expanded with extended hours, being open on weekends, early voting, absentee voting, and voting by mail passed SB0172. This forces Counties into a huge unfunded mandate in excess of 1 million to start for Will County. This bill was sponsored by Democrats with no concern to expense or need, and for what reason. Voting laws were changed last election for that election alone not to require ID to early vote. This was “Very Suspicious”, as to the integrity of the vote. At that time I wondered if we needed to ask Russia to monitor our election. Knowing that was a bad idea and would never happen I found myself relying on the honesty of the people that oversee the election process.
When voter machines showed up changing Republican votes to Democrat it was deemed an error. I could not figure out why the machines only broke in favor of Democrats. I understand the concept of early voting but feel there is too big a chance for fraud, and there is a huge cost attached to this effort. The State provides no funding because it is broke. Our State expects Counties to pick up the tab which means possibly being forced to raise taxes. There was ample opportunity to registrar, and vote in prior years. What changed? Why do we need to spend Millions to allow registration and voting on the same day at the polling places?
http://thewillcountynews.com/?p=2798 Video for Will County Clerk explaining crushing costs and vote integrity.
Sponsors for SB0172
Sen Don Harmon [D] Sen Kwame Raoul [D] Sen Terry Link [D] Sen Jacqueline Collins [D]
Sen Michael Frerichs [D] Sen Melinda Bush [D] Sen Michael Noland [D] Sen Emil Jones [D]
Sen Mattie Hunter [D] Sen Toi Hutchinson [D] Sen Patricia Vanpelt-Watkins [D] Sen Kimberly Lightford [D]
Rep Michael Madigan [D] Rep Barbara Currie [D] Rep Naomi Jakobsson [D] Rep Louis Lang [D]
Sen. Pamela Althoff [R] Oppose
Sen. Jason Barickman [R] Oppose
Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant [D] Support
Sen. Daniel Biss [D] Support
Sen. Tim Bivins [R] Oppose
Sen. Bill Brady [R] Oppose
Sen. Melinda Bush [D] Support
Sen. James Clayborne [D] Support
Sen. Jacqueline Collins [D] Support
Sen. Michael Connelly [R] Oppose
Sen. John Cullerton [D] Support
Sen. Thomas Cullerton [D] Support
Sen. William Cunningham [D] Support
Sen. William Delgado [D] Support
Sen. Dan Duffy [R] Oppose
Sen. Gary Forby [D] Support
Sen. Michael Frerichs [D] Support
Sen. William Haine [D] Support
Sen. Don Harmon [D] Support
Sen. Napoleon Harris [D] Support
Sen. Michael Hastings [D] Support
Sen. Linda Holmes [D] Support
Sen. Mattie Hunter [D] Support
Sen. Toi Hutchinson [D] Support
Sen. Mike Jacobs [D] Support
Sen. Emil Jones [D] Support
Sen. David Koehler [D] Support
Sen. Dan Kotowski [D] Support
Sen. Darin LaHood [R] Oppose
Sen. Steven Landek [D] Support
Sen. Kimberly Lightford [D] Support
Sen. Terry Link [D] Support
Sen. David Luechtefeld [R] Not Voting
Sen. Andy Manar [D] Support
Sen. Iris Martinez [D] Support
Sen. William McCann [R] Oppose
Sen. Kyle McCarter [R] Oppose
Sen. Karen McConnaughay [R] Oppose
Sen. Pat McGuire [D] Support
Sen. Julie Morrison [D] Support
Sen. John Mulroe [D] Support
Sen. Antonio Munoz [D] Support
Sen. Matt Murphy [R] Oppose
Sen. Michael Noland [D] Support
Sen. Chris Nybo [R] Oppose
Sen. Jim Oberweis [R] Not Voting
Sen. Christine Radogno [R] Oppose
Sen. Kwame Raoul [D] Support
Sen. Susan Rezin [R] Oppose
Sen. Dale Righter [R] Oppose
Sen. Chapin Rose [R] Oppose
Sen. Martin Sandoval [D] Support
Sen. Ira Silverstein [D] Support
Sen. Steve Stadelman [D] Support
Sen. Heather Steans [D] Support
Sen. John Sullivan [D] Support
Sen. Dave Syverson [R] Oppose
Sen. Donne Trotter [D] Support
Sen. Patricia Vanpelt-Watkins [D] Support
Democrats try to give the perception that they are for the working class yet fight for tax increases every time. There has not been a tax the Democrats have not liked, and they are all ears to finding new ways to raise cash for a government that like a BEAST needs more and more nourishment. The Will County Board was split 13 to 13 with the deciding vote going to the Democrat County Executive Larry Walsh. The 2014 November election gave the majority back to the Republicans who will be take office in December. The Democrats still had control at the Lame Duck Secession with Executive Walsh’s vote. Democrats voted to raise the following Property Tax Levy’s:
1. Corporate Fund
4. Tort Immunity Fund
5. Workman’s Comp Reserve Fund
6. TB Sanitarium Fund
7. County Highway Fund
8. County Bridge Fund
9. Federal Aid Matching Fund
Republican control begins in December. A time of Fiscal Responsibility will return to the Will County Board. Unlike Democrats who refer to the Property tax increase as just $5 to 10 Dollars, Republicans understand the increase coupled with the other property tax increases puts an increased burden on families. Will County Board Member Steve Balich said, “Obamacare cost for health insurance has increased with less coverage. It cost more for food, and other taxing bodies especially the schools keep raising our taxes, causing the disposable income of families to be less.” Walsh said in a Southtownstar article “For the average homeowner, the higher levy will mean paying $5.50 more per year in property tax. The levy increase includes $1.6 million more in the actual levy (a 1.5 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index) plus $1.3 million from new property.”
Before the vote, Republican board member Mike Fricilone (Republican) proposed cutting the budget $1.8 million, taken from the county’s capital improvements budget.
Republicans Jim Moustis and Steve Balich as well as a citizen from Tinley Park, pointed out that homeowners have seen property taxes continue to rise while home values go down.
“Balich said, “Everybody’s struggling right now. Any tax increase at this time is bad.”
Jim Moustis said “Will County is just one of many taxing districts in the county. This is death by a thousand cuts. Will County can go forward, in my opinion, and accomplish our goals without raising taxes. Property Tax is only about 1/3 of the total revenue sources.”
Chuck Maher saw no need to raise the budget with $100,000,000 in reserves and savings not included in the budget from re-financing Bonds at a lower rate. Contrary to a statement made by the Executives Chief of staff that Republicans said nothing in Committee; Balich said he asked to have 1cent cut from every line item during the finance committee meeting on the Budget.
Mike Fricilone said “As I stated at the Board meeting its time for the County to show some leadership and hold the line on tax increases so hopefully other taxing bodies, like the Schools, Fire Districts, Townships, Library’s etc. will take a cue from will county and stop over taxing the residents of Will county.”
In a Times Weekly Article Walsh said, “Republican Will County Board members didn’t just vote against the 2014-15 budget Thursday but against all 11 levies needed to fund county government after Dec. 1.” This action incensed Will County Executive Larry Walsh. As a resident of Will County I am incensed at this Property Tax increase and increases by the other taxing bodies. I can’t believe especially the schools need to have so much of my hard earned money to operate. District 33C in Homer Glen/Lockport cost $19,000 per student per year. The Fire Districts, Library, and the rest raise property Taxes to the max because they can. There is never an effort to cut the spending and taxes.
When asked, Mike Fricilone the Republican Caucus Whip said, “The intent was never to shut down the government.” Fricilone repeated that the County needs to take a leadership role in stopping over taxation by every taxing body.”
A gentleman from Tinley Park at the Board Meeting spoke in comments from the public saying when will it end. How long before I am taxed out of my house. These increasing taxes are un-sustainable.