Lake County voters face a plethora of ballot questions

 
 
Updated 9/8/2018 5:13 PM
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  • An advisory question will ask Barrington voters if local residents should get preferential parking in the town's commuter lots, such as this one near the Metra station.

    An advisory question will ask Barrington voters if local residents should get preferential parking in the town's commuter lots, such as this one near the Metra station. Daily Herald File Photo

  • Voters in Vernon Hills-based Hawthorn Elementary District 73 will decide if the district should borrow $48.7 million for renovations and expansions at existing schools and a new kindergarten center.

      Voters in Vernon Hills-based Hawthorn Elementary District 73 will decide if the district should borrow $48.7 million for renovations and expansions at existing schools and a new kindergarten center. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

Nineteen referendums will appear on Lake County ballots this fall, asking voters about school construction projects, water system improvements and many other issues.

Most are for specific school districts or municipalities, so no voters will see all 19 questions. Many will see two or more.

Here's a look at some of the issues:

Barrington

Barrington voters will decide if a 1 percent sales tax should be imposed to fund street repairs and other projects. The tax could generate up to $1 million annually. It would bring the total sales tax on goods purchased on the Cook County side of Barrington to 10 percent and on the Lake County side to 8 percent.

Green Oaks

Voters will be asked if they want to create a village property tax rate to pay for road repairs. The owner of a $200,000 house would pay about $62 in property taxes to the village the first year. Residents rejected a similar proposal in November 2016.

Round Lake Heights

Voters will be asked to approve a $2.7 million loan to build an independent water and sewer system. The village now buys water from neighboring Round Lake Beach. If approved, the owner of a $200,000 house would pay about $388 more in property taxes to the village the first year.

Gavin District 37

Ingleside-based Gavin Elementary District 37 officials want to borrow $6 million to fund roof repairs, security improvements and other projects at Gavin Central and Gavin South. The district's property tax rate is set to drop after a loan is paid off this year.

If approved, owners of a house valued at $200,000 would pay about $30 less in property taxes to the district the first year. If voters reject the plan, the tax decrease will be about $186 the first year.

Voters rejected a similar request earlier this year.

Hawthorn District 73

Folks in the Vernon Hills elementary school district will decide if officials should borrow $48.7 million to renovate and expand schools and to build a new kindergarten center.

If approved, property tax bills will fall starting the first year because debt will be extended. Average annual payments to the district for bonds over the next seven years would be about $54 lower for the owner of a $200,000 house, officials said.

The seven-year mark is important because that's when a current loan will be paid off and the tax rate will drop again. The drop will be greater if voters spurn the plan.

Voters rejected a similar plan in 2017.

A separate question will ask to increase the property tax rate to fund school operations. If approved, the owner of a $200,000 house will pay about $61 more in property taxes the first year, officials said.

Round Lake Fire

Residents in the Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District will be asked to approve a $4.5 million loan to fund renovations at the three fire stations, and equipment and vehicle purchases.

Officials want to improve the living spaces for firefighters, and replace an ambulance and a fire engine that dates to the 1990s.

If approved, the owner of a house valued at $200,000 would pay about $30 more in property taxes to the district the first year.

Townships

Voters in unincorporated areas of Avon, Fremont and Shields townships will decide if the townships should approve garbage collection contracts.

Vernon Township voters will be asked if the township road district should be abolished. Township trustees want to eliminate the position of road commissioner to save $107,750 per year in salary and benefits. Officials say service will not be compromised and no staff layoffs will result.

Advisory questions

Lake County voters will be asked if the General Assembly should amend the Illinois Constitution to ban a statewide property tax increase.

Barrington voters face two advisory questions. One asks if residents should get preferential parking privileges in the village's commuter lots; the other asks if the village should consider using renewable energy sources for municipal projects if they won't increase costs by more than 10 percent.

Other issues

Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor and Zion residents will find ballot questions specifically for them, as will people who live in the portions of Lake County that are in McHenry Community High School District 156 and the Harper College District.

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