by Lake County News-Chronicle
April 5, 2013 at 10:48 am in Lake County News-Chronicle
Tags: Opinion 1 Comment »
“Let’s hope that HF 747, a bill to delete the SR property tax classification, will pass and our schools can once again receive operating revenue from all resident property owners in the county.”
When considering removing the seasonal/recreational property designation and its exemption from school taxation/levy, let’s not forget why the classification was set up as it presently is.
Legislators realized if they allowed taxes to be assessed against the properties, there would be no choice but to let the non-resident property owners vote on any levies. In addition, these folks were already contributing to schools in their own resident districts, so they weren’t avoiding paying their fair share. If property owners also voted in the districts of their seasonal property holdings, most likely they would vote against any additional levy funding. That might doom the chances of any levy passing.
The original classification criteria, therefore, was wisely crafted to keep levy decisions in the hands of local district residents, and placate seasonal property owners by not making them financially liable for school funding decisions.
In effect, it was “no taxation without representation”.
Other county taxes on these properties cover road maintenance, fire, sheriff and other services which affect all properties equally. No one argues about the need to pay for these services, resident or not.
If the criteria are changed, I suspect there will be a demand by these seasonal property owners to vote, which could backfire on the schools.
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