Edgar Co. (ECWd) –
The Kansas Township Board will be discussing the upcoming tax levy for the Township, which includes a potential tax spike above the 5% increase above last year’s levy. Their meeting is on October 1, 2022, at 8 am at the Township Office.
The State has a program for additional funding to Townships, referred to as “needy townships”, but there is a hook. IDOT informs the County Highway Department as to which Township Road District, according to the state, is not taxing enough, and tell them if they increase their tax to a certain level, they will “give” the Road District more money through an IDOT program.
Having served on the Township Board for 10 years, at no time were we lacking funding to provide services within the township. At no time, even going back 20 years, has a single former township board member opined that they believed the township was “needy”.
The argument that is made to support this tax increase is that a few dollars of increase to every property taxpayer are worth it since they will receive approximately $40,000.00 from the state. Some say it’s a no-brainer. Additionally, the Road District Highway Commissioner wants to ensure every township road that has a resident on it is oil and chipped so they don’t have to drive on gravel to get to town. While that may sound great, long-term maintenance of those increased miles of oil and chipped roads is not cheap and is the very reason many roads stayed gravel. With most if not all of the available motor fuel tax funds depleted with this oil and chip program, it appears more taxes are their solution.
Food for thought.
- The State created a program to declare a township needy based on their tax levy to entice them with your tax money to increase their local taxes even more, which the state gets a piece of. A state declaration of a township being needy does not make them needy.
- There is no such thing as free money from the State. In this case, not only is the money not free as some have insinuated, it’s the taxpayer’s money that is being held as a form of ransom. Increase the tax levy locally and then the state will give you some of your own money back. How special.
- The public is being hammered with tax increases from almost every taxing body every year. So the argument of its only a few dollars does not hold water when all the other taxing bodies say the same thing. Has anyone’s overall tax bill gone down in the last 5 years?
While the township board contemplates a tax increase, they should think about what the current inflation has done to the people in their township as well as the impact of other taxing districts raising their rates every year.
- Increased gas prices
- Increased food prices
- Increased propane prices
- Increased electric rates
- Increased natural gas prices
- Increased health insurance rates
- Increased vehicle insurance rates
- Increased interest rates on any debt people may be struggling with.
- Increased rent prices
- Increased prices on virtually everything people need to buy every month.
It is our opinion, the taxpayers deserve a raise from their government. The only way that is possible is for local governments to reduce tax levies. Anyone that thinks raising taxes during the inflation times we are facing is a good idea is probably not looking at the big picture and how people are being impacted.
According to the agenda, there is no action that can be taken as it’s listed as a discussion item. We urge citizens to attend their local government meetings to provide their input on matters directly affecting their pocketbook.