Thanks To One And All

I have a tendency to be a bit long winded when it comes to presenting my position or explaining something. I want my comments to be thorough and complete as possible. That’s what the public deserves from a public official, but in this case I will try to keep my message short and simple.

I would sincerely like to thank everyone for the support they have shown me during the recent election. During every election cycle I meet new people and forge new relationship that make me a better person and a better elected official, and that is a good thing. It is now time to put the past behind us and set goals for the next several years and start working toward them.

With your help we will continue down our path to expanding our tax base and continued controlled growth that will keep this village alive and thriving into the future. Together we can accomplish much. For those whose support I have yet to achieve, I urge you to reach out to me so I can gain a better understanding of your needs and position. Again, thanks to one and all.
Sincerely,

Mike Einhorn

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This Election Is Pivotal – Make Sure You Vote

The next few years will be pivotal in the history of the Village.  We have a difficult road to travel into the future.  Retail operations are in trouble throughout the entire county, industrial expansion in Illinois is a challenge, and the Indiana effect has stunted our residential growth.  We are blessed with abundant land and natural amenities, but we need to grow a little every year to survive, prosper and insure our future viability as a village.  Understanding, managing, and working through these issues should not be left to chance or inexperience.  There is too much risk for that.  I have the necessary experience, drive and ability to deal with all that faces us.  Now is not the time to gamble with Crete’s future.  I have a proven record of being a very good steward of your tax dollars and will guard them in the future.  We are working with basically the same real estate tax dollars today as we did four years ago.  I am not going to make suspicious promises like my challenger.  What I will promise is that, if necessary, I will carefully use incentives to bring new businesses to town, but it has to be good for both the business as well as the village.  With the new comprehensive plan in place we have planned out growth in an appropriate fashion by putting more intense uses out on our perimeter to allow our core residential areas to remain insulated from any adverse effects that development can bring.  I am very focused on our quality of life, and that is why I created the train horn quiet zone, and we are implementing iron removal for our water system.

I am a “hands on” public servant, making the right decisions not political ones.  I do my best to listen, do my homework, and get the facts before crucial decisions are made.  I am focused on honesty, truth, integrity, accountability, fiscal responsibility and open communication in government.  I offer proven and predictable leadership and a wealth of knowledge unmatched by any challenger.  Just because there is a write-in candidate I am not taking this election for granted and you shouldn’t either.  Your support and vote on April 4th is critical.  You and only you can make this campaign a success.  And, unlike my opponent, I haven’t had a “For Sale” sign in front of my house for the last year.  Tell your friends, family and neighbors to get out to the polls and vote tomorrow and thanks in advance for your support!

Village President Mike Einhorn

Good News About Real Estate Taxes

One of the most encouraging pieces of news that came out at the last village board meeting is that our overall property values (EAV – Equalized Assessed Value) for all properties within the Village of Crete have actually increased by almost $4.5M in the last calendar year.  This number converts to a real value increase of $13.5 million.  After six years of declining values it appears that we have turned the corner and we are on the way up, which is great news.  I am optimistic that the home rehab activity will continue, which should lead us even higher.  And as homeowners, taking care of our property is one of the basic essentials that we can all do to maintain our property values.  Committing to doing your share would be a great belated New Year’s resolution.

As a result of this modest increase in EAV it has also provided one additional benefit and that is a reduction in our tax rate by roughly 4.6 cents per $100 of EAV.  For all intent and purposes the Village will actually receive basically the same amount of real estate tax dollars this year as it did last year.  By law we could only receive seven tenths of one percent in new money, which amounts to about $19,000.00 out of a total tax amount of just over $2.5 million dollars.  Real estate taxes amount to less than 20% of the funds we collect to operate the Village.  As you can see, other forms of revenue make up the lion’s share of our revenue.  This is why shopping locally helps support your community.

As we move into the final days and hours before the election, I would like to reiterate to all that I am always available by phone to address your questions and concerns.  Just call the main village number 708-672-5431, and choose extension 130.  Leave a message for me and I will return the call as soon possible.  The message will be immediately sent to my phone via email.  Please make sure that you take time on Tuesday to go to the polls and vote.  I hope I have earned your support and look forward to working with you to make Crete a better place to live, work, and play.

Understanding The Real Estate Tax Issue

Lately it seems that I am spend a good amount of my time educating the residents about the finer points of municipal government so they can understand the misleading and false promise that they have made by my opponents.  Unfortunately, I am also educating them at the same time on subjects they should already be fluent with if they are going to run the Village. 

The most common complaint that I hear from residents is that the real estate taxes are too high.  I believe I can identify with that since I pay about $14,000.00 in taxes each year.  High taxes affect me just like everyone else.  However, the Village of Crete is only responsible for about 12.6% or one eighth of the total real estate tax bill, about $2.4 million dollars per year.  While this may seem like a lot of money, it only represents about 23% of all the dollars the Village uses to operate in a year.  It is the only predictable source of income the Village has.  In the coming year, your tax dollars will be collected in the following amounts for the purpose shown:

  • General Operations                    $540,000.00
  • Street Lighting                            $  46,000.00
  • Police Protection                        $300,000.00
  • Police Pension  Fund                 $230,000.00
  • Public Benefit Fund                    $  18,000.00
  • Ill Muni Retirement Fund        $120,000.00
  • Social Security                           $150,000.00
  • Bond & Int. Debt Service          $  94,250.00
  • Fire Protection                           $650,000.00
  • EMA                                             $  61,000.00
  • Auditing & Accounting               $  36,000.00
  • Liability Insurance                     $225,000.00
  • Crossing Guards                         $  28,000.00

All spending not covered by the real estate tax collections shown above are covered by revenue generated from other sources.  The amounts shown above, for the most part, are equal to or less than what the yearly expenditure will be in the fund.  As an example, we spend just over $28,000.00 to pay the crossing guards that assist children cross streets on their way to and from school.  Our Liability Insurance bill is right around $225,000.00 per year.  On the other hand Police Protection costs about $1.9 million per year, with the additional dollars coming from a variety of other sources to make up the difference.  If you are going to cut real estate taxes, which of the above items can actually be cut, and if you do cut the tax collections by lowering the rate, where will new revenue come from to replace the loss?  Keep in mind that currently every penny of tax rate is equal to roughly $18,000.00 in tax dollars to the Village.  That same penny in tax rate, viewed as a reduction in the tax rate, on a house valued at $150,000.00 will produce a $5.00 reduction in the tax bill.  Put another way, you have to drop the levy request (as shown above) by $18,000.00 to see just a $5.00 reduction in the tax bill of a $150,000.00 home.

Note: This illustration applies only to the Village portion of your real estate tax bill.  Similar calculations could be performed for all taxing bodies listed on the tax bill to illustrate what affect a penny reduction would have for each.

As one can see, cutting taxes is a difficult task, because it takes a certain amount of money to cover all the village funding needs, and the costs of operation are always increasing.  Funding municipal government is a complicated and difficult task that requires skill, planning and knowledge of where money comes from and flows to.  My superior knowledge of this subject allowed me to skillfully guide the Village through the last very financially difficult years.  My management has produced a good bond and financial rating, a small reserve fund and a very conservative approach to spending.  No other candidate for Village President has anything close to this experience and record of successful operation.  There is no room for error in finance.  It’s so easy to spend money when you don’t have to be responsible for where it comes from.