Category → Political Philosophy
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%
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
Tax bump, new superintendent in store for Homer Dist. 33
School board approves tax levy, receives list of superintendent finalists
Will County Board member Steve Balich wields an oversized tax bill on a placard as he addresses the school board in Homer Community School District 33C on Dec. 17. Balich was one of a handful of residents to oppose an increase in the district’s property tax levy. (Patrick Guinane, Special to the Tribune / December 20, 2013)
By Patrick Guinane, Special to the Tribune
12:52 p.m. CST, December 20, 2013
Slightly higher taxes and a new superintendent are in store for Homer Community School District 33C.
The school board got an earful from several residents Dec. 17 before backing a higher property tax levy that is expected to cost the average homeowner about $50 more next year.
Board members later held a closed session to receive a confidential list of six candidates to replace longtime Superintendent J. Michael Morrow, who is retiring in July. School Exec Connect, which received a $16,500 contract to lead the hunt, chose the finalists.
“We were really happy,” board President Angela Adolf said. “They told us we had 45 applicants. They personally interviewed 21 and narrowed that field down to the six that they presented.”
The list is being kept under wraps to protect the finalists’ current jobs, Adolf said. All of the candidates are relatively local, she said, but declined to say whether any District 33C employee made the list.
The board now will schedule private interviews with the finalists with the goal of finalizing a contract and announcing the next superintendent on Jan. 28. Morrow, who has said he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren, is being paid about $182,000 in the final year of his second three-year contract.
The next superintendent can expect some fiscal certainty as the board voted 6-0, with member Cindy Polke absent, to raise the property tax levy by 4.9 percent. The tax hike sounds like a bigger bite than it really is, stressed John Lavelle, the assistant superintendent for business.
A state tax cap will limit the district’s increase to inflation – 1.7 percent this year – plus new property growth, Lavelle said. The estimated revenue boost is 2.5 percent, or $1 million.
Assuming property values fall 5 percent, the owner of a $295,000 home would pay $3,585 to the district next year, an increase of $53. For a few audience members, including retirees who urged spending cuts, any increase was too much.
Steve Balich, a Will County board member, brought a placard emblazoned with an oversized tax bill to drive home his point.
“This is a tax bill. It’s big, and it’s getting bigger because every (taxing) district, every local board in our township except the library is raising your taxes,” he said. “The school district, this one, is raising it the most.”
The district relies on property taxes for 80 percent of its funding, Lavelle noted, and homeowners bear the brunt because area real estate is 90 percent residential and just 8 percent commercial. Meanwhile, 84 percent of the district’s operating budget is negotiated employee salaries and benefits. That, board members say, makes cutting the budget difficult.
“Nobody wants to raise taxes,” board member Patrick Dwyer said. “We want to make sure we have the funding for the kids.”
Lavelle said the district has done it best to curb costs through efforts such as installing more efficient heating, plumbing and lighting; pursuing state grants and keeping buses for seven years instead of five. Some parents, meanwhile, would like to see the district shell out for more.
“The voice that we have here tonight is the taxpayers who don’t want it increased. I understand that, I’m a taxpayer, too,” said board member Ed Campins. “But I’m also receiving a lot of emails saying: Why don’t our schools have full day kindergarten? Find new money for that. Why don’t our schools have world-class art programs?'”
Balich Ordinance not allowing aerial photos to initiate code violations is now law after Executive Order by County Executive
Balich Ordinance not allowing aerial photos to initiate code violations is now law after Executive Order by County Executive
The process addressing use of aerial photos in code violations began in April 2013 when Balich first brought a Resolution to the Legislative Committee. Balich said he was having trouble getting it to the right Committee. The issue was moving from Land Use to Judicial with not much happening. Balich eventually decided to move it forward as a change to the ordinance which required a public hearing and a full vote of the County Board. After playing ring around the Committees for a few Months moving from Judicial to Land Use to Executive and finally to a joint meeting of Land Use and Judicial in December 2013, it passed and was to be set for public hearing. Finally May 6th 2014 there was a public hearing, and immediately after the hearing the Judicial Committee voted it down. This was a shock for Balich who thought it would pass with no problem. It was dead as far as Reed Bible, Tom Weigel, Ken Harris, and Jacky Traynere were concerned. Balich said it is not over, he was not giving up. He said this is a people issue and could not understand why the Democrats and Weigel did not get it.
At the May 13th Executive Committee Jim Moustis motioned to put it back on the Agenda, for a vote of the full board. Reed Bible and Herb Brooks voted no the rest of the Committee voted yes giving the ordinance new life with a vote of the full Board. Jim Moustis made the valid point that 4 people from a committee should not have the power to kill an issue. Mr. Moustis also pointed out that anything can be added to the County Board Agenda by the Executive Committee. Balich was confident there were enough votes to pass from the full Board.May 14th the County Executive passed an Executive Order, putting Balich’s ordinance into law before the vote of the full Board. Balich is extremely pleased with Walsh’s decision standing for the people of Will County.
Executive Order 14-30
Aerial Photography Prohibited
Lawrence M. Walsh, will County Executive, hereby prohibits the Land Use Department and its personnel from using aerial photography to initiate an internal Land Use complaint of an ordinance violation. Dated May 14, 2014 and signed by Will Vounty Executive Lawrence M. Walsh.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhfvw22pCVM&feature=related Adam Andrzejewski former Republican Candidate for Governor Said Steve Balich is a tremendous Candidate
http://www.youtube.com/user/SteveBalich?feature=mhee#p/u/4/R6mri_Rffuk Bill BradyRepublican Candidate for Governor 2010 said No one is more enthuastic with the ability to lead and bring people together than Steve Balich
http://www.youtube.com/user/SteveBalich?feature=mhee#p/u/3/82Xh4GHPWnI State Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno Said Steve is a supporter of Smaller, efficient, and More Responsible government . He is a good man and do a good job at whatever office he gets into.
Dan Proft Republican Candidate for governor and WLS Radio Host said he was Chris Christy before it was cool. He has common sense and is straight forward. Steve knows what is right thing to do is, and is willing to fight for it as he has demonstrated. Steve is somebody you want on Will county board or any other Board for that matter.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frFkCW2kAR4&feature=related Jack Roser renaissance pack, Family taxpayers Network, Champion News said we need to support Steve Balich
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCJuDLT9LsE Tim Kraulidis Joliet Taxday Tea Party, will County Tea Party Alliance said We are going to support Steve through the end.
http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/metro/steve-balich-mark-witte-discuss-possible-debt-ceiling-20110602 Steve Balich on Fox TV said we need to get our spending, regulations,and taxes under control. We need Jobs. We can’t Borrow money we don’t have to give away.
http: www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/good_day/english-only-township-homer-rule-steve-balich-20100719 Steve Balich on Fox TV stands for the Rule of Law regarding immigration
https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150253381215573&ref=mf Steve Balich speaking at Americans for Prosperity “November is Coming” rally. Says we can win by getting out our voters.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1snOPHjgDaQ Steve Balich at Crunch Time Rally with Governor Bobby Jindal, Governor Haley Barbour, Governor Bob Mc Donald, and Republican candidate for Governor Bill Brady
Steve Balich on Champion News talks about How and why he got involved with the Tea party. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvuFuGrNFJQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enK07Yv9k58&feature=related Balich says we need to stand for traditional America. Character matters.
http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/democrat-tea-party-steve-balich-dan-seals-obama-state-of-the-union-20110125 Steve Balich on Fox TV said government needs to stop raiding the social security fund. Actions speak louder than words.
http://www.beyondthebeltway.com/ April 17th, 2011 Steve Balich on Bruce Du Mont’s Belt Way Boys discussing the Republican field against Obama said Tea Party people like Candidates “to say it like it is”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSEgA8L_yQg Steve Balich Addressing H.S. District 205 School Board asking them not to raise the Levy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=1uFnEFLSgsc Steve Balich asks School district 92 not to raise the Levy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PopFVwGab7c Steve Balich tells it like it is at April 15, 2011 Tea Party Rally
“I have known Steve Balich since we attended high school together. Two of Steve’s most endearing qualities are his honest frankness about what he believes and his unflinching loyalty to things that truly matter. Over the years his loyalty to family, faith and freedom has prepared him for public life. I look forward to Steve’s success in the upcoming election and his continued advocacy on behalf of all taxpayers.”
Senator Pat O’Malley
“Steve is committed to the free market principles of less government, fewer taxes and more personal freedoms. Steve’s tireless work to educate and empower citizens in his community to become engaged in the political process has forced local, state and federal elected officials to become more responsible and accountable to the tax payers. I had the pleasure to partner with Steve and his grassroots supporters on countless efforts to hold elected officials accountable for how they spend our tax dollars at all levels of government. Steve’s passion and dedication to public service is inspiring and reflective of his true character. It is for these reasons and more that I support Steve Balich for Will County Board.”
Joe Calimino, Former State Chairman for Americans for Prosperity
Steve Balich is the type of person that needs to migrate to a leadership position. Steve has the drive, the people skills, the backbone that cuts through all the BS and gets results! Illinois needs a positive leadership example, so we can clean up this broken mess.
Steve Weber, CPA
Will County Treasurer
This came to me from a good friend. I have been saying we need to get back to living within our means. I said it is absurd to raise the debt ceiling. There is only so much that can be borrowed, taxed, and spent before we become like a third world nation or less.
The budget explained in plain English
Awesome way to simplify things so everyone can understand them
United States tax revenue……………………………………………… $2,170,000,000,000.00
Federal budget……………………………………………………………. $3,820,000,000,000.00
New debt…………………………………………………………………… $1,650,000,000,000.00
National debt………………………………………………………………. $14,271,000,000,000.00
Recent budget cuts………………………………………………………. $38,500,000,000.00
Now let’s remove 8 “zeros” and make this a household budget
Annual Family Income…………………………………………………… $21,700.00
Money the family spent………………………………………………….. $38,200.00
New debt on credit cards………………………………………………… $16,500.00
Outstanding balance on credit cards………………………………….. $142,710.00
Recent budget cuts [which politicians brag about]…………………. $385.00
This is insane. How could a family with 142,710 in debt with an annual income of
21,700 and new debt of 16,500 be happy about saving $385.00? They can’t!
My name is Steve Balich. As a Homer Township Trustee for 8 years, I voted to increase the Levy in order to capture “New Growth”. I did not understand the levy process until 2009 when I attended training from the tea party. I now know that boards can levy for no increase and still get the new growth in about 1 ½ years. I now know that increasing the levy dollars increases the tax on everyone. The Rates are just part of the levy formula which determines the money needed by each taxpayer to get the dollars needed form the levy. Your assessed value goes down, and the rate goes up to get to the necessary dollar amount needed by the taxing bodies in their Levy.
In October/ November of 2008 before Obama became President, I voted to increase the salaries of the new board to be elected in April of 2009 as required by law. The New Board after the election had 4 completely new people, and 2 people at new positions. At the time of the vote the economy was not in the depression it is now. As the current Clerk I hold an administrative position. I have not voted since I took office May 2009. I do see Supervisor Meyers, Trustees: Bozen, Neitzke, Sowa, and Kruczek as doing what it takes to spend wisely. This board is working with about the same levy amounts for the last 3 years.
In around 2007 I worked with Mike Costa, and Jim Lamatta to find a way to fix the over taxation of residents of Homer Township City of Lockport concerning the Road District Levy. We were later joined by Jack Jarrett from Lockport citizens for fair taxation. Today through intergovernmental agreements, the Homer Road District gives City of Lockport substantial funds in an effort to fix some of the in inequity in the levy. The other Townships in City of Lockport do nothing to help remedy this inequity and that’s wrong.
In around 2007 the Supreme Court said government could take from a private person and give it to another private entity if it benefited government. I saw this as an attack on personal property rights, and feared the capping of wells, so I brought a resolution by Gary Yambor which was passed by the Board saying we won’t have it in Homer Township. In 2009 I wrote a resolution which passed our current board saying English is the official Language of the Township, existing immigration laws will be enforced, and schools will verify residency.
In 2009 I called Vivienne Porter and asked her to help form the Homer Lockport Tea Party. Together with our members, we became one of the top Tea Party’s in Illinois. We have held numerous rallies; conceal carry classes, town halls, and monthly educational meetings. We encourage people to get involved and even run for office. We have been going to local boards telling them not to get “raise my tax itis”, in an effort to stop them from raising the levy. With 70% of property tax going to 3 school districts, we started with the schools.
I am called a tea party nut by some, and taken to task by others for my conservative positions. I have got behind candidates that did a good job and made the mistake of backing a few that didn’t do such a good job. I am not afraid of standing firm for what I believe, and admitting when I am wrong. Bottom line is; I will to do what is right, in the best interest of everyone in the Community, to the best of my ability, with the help of God. www.electbalich.com http://www.examiner.com/will-county-libertarian-in-chicago/steve-balich https://www.facebook.com/ElectBalich
Stop the local taxing board’s disease raise my tax-itis
My name is Steve Balich, and I say no more, the taxpayers have had enough with local Boards raising their Levy’s (property tax). November 21st about 60 people showed up to the Lockport H.S. School Board meeting. The people understand that increasing the levy makes their property tax go up. Local school, fire, library, etc. boards think they need to raise taxes to the max allowed every year. These elected board members forget they represent the people paying taxes in their Districts.
When all these boards raise their portion of your tax bill just a little, it adds up to a substantial amount of increased money on the property tax bill. On a $5000 tax bill, a 3% yearly increase equals $466 more in 3 years.
Increased taxes is forcing people who have lost income, jobs, or on fixed income into a position where they have to sell their home or face foreclosure, or a tax sale. The schools give raises saying it is for the children. School Boards expect taxpayers to believe that paying a larger salary will make our children learn more. They refuse to recognize that increased taxes force children of families that can’t afford the increases out of the school district, and their families to do with less. Every dollar paid in tax is a dollar less for food, clothes, and other family necessities.
Taxpayers need to remember they have the power to remedy the situation by voting out any board member who votes to raise property tax without a extremely good reason. Government needs to cut spending and stop expanding in this time of economic crisis. Taxpayers should also consider running for a position on these local boards, as well as attending their meetings.
Steve Balich 815 557-7196