What will "home rule" mean for Woodstock, when the day comes that the population of Woodstock hits the magic 25,000 mark?
Last week's Northwest Herald reports that the City of McHenry has hit that population threshold, and the Daily Herald reports today on Batavia.
There can be no doubt that Mayor Brian Sager and City Manager Tim Clifton are already into planning for home rule. What will it mean for residents and taxpayers of Woodstock?
According to the Daily Herald, "First on the (Batavia) mayor's list: Instituting a program to license and inspect rental and multifamily housing."
That newspaper adds, "Home rule gives a town more abilities to regulate things and raise revenue. "
"Among the things Batavia can do now, if its leaders choose:
"• Tax gasoline sales.
"• Raise property taxes by more than the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation, as it now is not subject to the property tax cap law.
"• Borrow a little more than $1 million without have to get voter's approval.
"• Institute a tax on the transfer of real estate."
What does all that look like? Money, money, money.
With property tax revenues likely to drop as three-year rolling averages of home taxable values finally start to drop, cities will be clamoring for revenues to replace those lost in dropping property taxes.
Should cities trim services to adjust for dropping revenues? Or will city managers figure out how to maintain income levels by new taxes?
Any suggestions on actions property owners should take right now?