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updated: 1/31/2011 6:01 PM

Dist. 19 candidate would cut taxes, but has no plan

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  • Roberta Potempa

    Roberta Potempa


Roberta Potempa, the Democratic challenger for the Lake County Board District 19 seat, said she will cut taxes if she is elected Nov. 2.

However, when pressed for a plan on how to accomplish that, the first-time candidate said she didn't have any specific ideas she'd pursue if she wins the seat.

"When I get in there, and the board is willing to open things up, I will come up with things I can do," she said. "However, I don't have any specific plans at this time."

Potempa, from Lake Zurich, is facing incumbent Craig Taylor on the Nov. 2 ballot. Taylor, a Republican from Lake Zurich, was appointed to the Dist. 19 seat when former board member Michael Talbett stepped down.

Lake County Board District 19 covers most of Lake Zurich and Kildeer, as well as portions of Long Grove and Hawthorn Woods.

Potempa stressed her stance to cut taxes for Lake County voters during question and answer sessions with the Daily Herald editorial board on Sept. 28, and in a recent telephone interview.

Each time, she said she wants to cut taxes to ease the burden on senior citizens living on fixed incomes who are struggling to pay property taxes.

When pressed, she said she did not have a plan for reducing taxes for those homeowners.

"Our property taxes are outrageous and the highest in the state," Potempa said. "And the current board isn't doing enough to reduce the tax burden on the people of Lake County."

Taylor pointed out Lake County government represents 7 percent of the property tax bill, meaning that when a property owner pays a $10,000 tax bill, $700 is retained by the county.

"I would be less than honest if I said we will cut taxes. No one can make that statement in this day and age," he said. "However, the Lake County Board has made the necessary steps to keep taxes as low as they can without cutting services to people."

He pointed out Lake County collects property tax payments, then distributes the money to other taxing districts such as schools, park districts, fire protection districts and the state of Illinois, so the perception may be the county is responsible.

"To try to keep taxes from going up, the county has cut $6 million out of their operating budget in the 2010 budget and intends to cut $9 million out of next year's budget," Taylor said. "People don't always understand that when they write their tax check, the county just collects the money, then passes it onto the other taxing agencies."