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Our view: An April event that is important to your property tax bill

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 1:41 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 1:41 p.m. CDT

As in past years, Kendall County property owners should find their annual property tax bills in their mailboxes at the end of April or in early May. If the long-established trend continues, most property owners – much to their consternation – will notice that the amount they will owe on their bills is continuing to creep upward. But before those tax bills arrive we want to remind property owners of another event that will be held earlier in April that will affect how much they pay in property taxes. The other event is the next local election set for April 4.

In the election, voters will be asked to cast ballots for candidates seeking election to local governing boards, including city councils, townships, village and school district boards. Of those agencies, the school districts account for nearly 70 percent of the total amount owed on property tax bills each year.

All of the officials elected April 4 will have a role in determining how much local property owners will pay on their tax bills beginning next year and beyond. Sadly, however, local elections here – despite their significance to the local taxpayers' bottom line – have historically attracted low if not dismal turnouts. For example, just 11 percent of all voters registered in Kendall County in 2015 cast ballots in that year's local election. This spring's voter turnout will likely be no different. However, on the plus side those voters that do cast their ballots will see their ballots really count. Often in local elections the winners are determined by a handful of votes.

In the coming weeks we will email questionnaires to the local candidates and publish their responses in our pages and in "Election Central" on our website at KendallCountyNow.com.

Nearly three quarters (71.67 percent) of all of Kendall County's registered votes took the time to cast their ballots in the November presidential election. That election – like all elections – was crucial to the future course of our country. Voters should remember this spring that the April 4 local election is crucial to the future direction of the very community in which they live and how much they will pay in property taxes.