It is my honor to be elected to serve as both a representative of the Kane County Board and a commissioner for the Kane County Forest Preserve. These are dual roles that are not always simpatico, but held by the same 24 individuals throughout Kane County. In November, we will be faced with the approval of two separate budgets which will specifically affect the tax levies for each governmental entity. On the county side of the equation, we are poised to approve a flat tax levy for the fifth consecutive year. During a time of economic hardship, I am proud to say that Kane County refuses to add more burden on our residents. I am grateful that Sheriff Kramer has come to the table and helped resolve the remaining difference, which ultimately lead to a flat levy. I would be remiss if I did not also thank Chairman Lauzen, Circuit Court Clerk Hartwell, Chief Judge Brawka, and State's Attorney McMahon for their commitment to preserving the freeze.
On the forest preserve side it appears that my colleagues and I may disagree. The Executive Committee recently voted unanimously to raise the levy to capture new funds at a time when the commission has retired outstanding bonds. Basically, it is being advocated that instead of allowing the Forest Preserve's taxes to fall to pre-bond levels, we will raise the levy to somewhere in the middle. While your taxes will still go down if the measure is approved, they won't go down to the level they would if the tax levy remained frozen. Many will state that this is only a symbolic gesture on the part of those who like myself will be voting against the increase, and in many ways it is. While the Forest Preserve is only a fraction of your overall tax bill, it is a portion that I have been duly elected to represent. I think residents deserve a break, even if its only a small break.
I promised my constituents that I will not support an increase in the tax levy. In November I plan to keep that promise at both the county and forest preserve.
Below are all County Board Committee meetings scheduled for October which Kurt is a member: