By A Kane County Voter
No, seriously. What are they doing and how am I supposed to feed my family and pay my bills with less and less all the time? Let’s see if we have some layers of the proverbial onion to peel.
Thanks to someone finally willing to ask the “hard questions” in an effort to do what is right, not what is popular (among the Political Crowd). Thanks to someone who is an expert in his role, identifying the spaces where what he knows about things such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP Accounting) and compares it to what he’s observing, and where the two don’t seem to align, formally asking the questions. Thanks to someone who attends the meetings to understand the issues, stays awake, takes notes. Thanks to someone who is looking out for the interest of the people. WHO is this someone? I see you, County Treasurer Chris Lauzen. I see you sir, and I thank you.
In a memo written September 29th, 2023 by Kane County Treasurer Chris Lauzen; to Finance Committee Chair Berman and Vice-Chair Lenert; with a CC to Madam Chair Pierog as well as the rest of the Kane County Board and Finance Director Kathy Hopkinson; Mr. Lauzen wrote “The desire of a Ruling Majority (with several important exceptions) and its Chairwoman to raise property taxes, gas taxes, sale taxes, and others should not necessitate, nor justify, the inaccurate redefinition of fundamental budgeting and accounting principles.”
Mr. Lauzen further writes; “At the September 26, 2023 Committee of the Whole and September 27, 2023 Finance Committee, it was posited as dogma to Kane County Board Members and the public that ‘Interest Income is Savings (and shouldn’t be used as the revenue resource, that it actually is, to fund the FY 11/30/24 budget expenses”’ and that Interest income should be calculated based on some type of future mark-to-market accrual basis, rather than on a modified cash-in-the-bank cash basis. Both of these statements are not accurate in basic accounting/bookkeeping terms and represent departures from at least a decade of Kane County budget practices.”
Treasurer Lauzen provides 3 attachments to his memo, supporting his statements and questions. The first two, which offer support to his questions and provide further detail to the relationship between GAAP accounting and Governmental budgeting can be reviewed here:
Of further note, a third attachment from Nasdaq, retrieved September 28, 2023, discussing “Where Real Estate Taxes Are Highest” offers some interesting detail. The article examined taxes paid by homeowners across 330 U.S. cities and compared taxes paid - to home value. In the top 20 highest of those 330, are SEVEN cities in Illinois, TWO in Kane County. Elgin and Aurora we’re looking at you friends, in the number 4 and 5 spot on the list of 20. Another way to look at the information; in 27-28 years, homeowners will pay enough out in real estate tax to “buy” their home for a 2nd time. Check it out for yourself.
We deserve better. Please consider showing up to speak at a County Board Meeting. Nov 1st at 9AM in Geneva is ideal, while they’ve not yet reached final vote status. If you’re unable to attend, here is contact information for your Kane County Board.