Frustrated Illinois Taxpayers Pay Property Tax With $1 Bills

Tyler Durden's picture

Jeff McGrath has been fed up about his property taxes going up for years in McHenry County, Illinois. However when McGrath was told that taxes would go up another 26% this year and nobody could provide any explanation for it, he had enough, and decided that a statement needed to be made.


That statement, as it turns out, was to pay the first installment of his commercial and residential property taxes in single dollar bills. McGrath said that by doing so, perhaps someone would relay that to the tax assessor that people are not happy about what's taking place.

"I built my house in 1999, here in Woodstock inside the city limits. The first hint I got was a $13,000 permit fee so that we could even start building. The taxes in the first year and the second year were like $2,500 a year and then seventeen years later, this year they jumped 26%, and I'm at $11,600 a year, and no one can explain why. Why 26% in one year, I didn't change anything, I didn't build anything, I didn't add anything, it's just out of control."


"Out of frustration, I said that because the tax bill jumped like that for no explanation then I'm going to pay it in single dollar bills. I would like to pay it in change but they don't accept that. I started gathering up singles, and a lot of them, the first installment for my commercial property and my residential was almost $16,000 in singles. The company, I gave them $9,995 singles because the accountant advised not to go over $10,000 because you'll draw an IRS tax notice, so they got $9,995 in singles and then they got a check for the difference. And my residential property I gave them all singles for that as well."


"The reason why I did it was because I was hoping that they saw an average Joe show up angry displaying his displeasure that maybe they would mention it to the assessor, maybe they would mention it to the assessor's boss. Maybe they would say 'hey look, whatever you guys have done has drawn a red flag, people are angry."

McGrath isn't just sitting around waiting for taxes to get magically lower though, he purchased land in Wisconsin and is planning to build a house and a new business there in the future in order to escape the Illinois taxes.

"Something has to change, otherwise we're packing up and we're moving on. A couple years ago I bought residential property in Wisconsin, it's just empty land that I was going to build my future house on. Last year I bought commercial property in Wisconsin as well to develop another business similar to the one I currently run in hopes that the taxes won't be so overpowering there."

McGrath wasn't the only one to pay taxes this way, Dan Aylward also paid his McHenry County taxes in singles as well. Aylward arrived with neatly bundled packages of singles stacked inside a black suitcase, along with two dimes to pay a bill of $5,734.18. "I gave them the two cents for my opinion" Aylward said.

Aylward went on to explain that "the American dream is to own a home. My home is more than the American dream. To me it's part of my family. When I leave this driveway because I'm forced to sell it because I can't afford to pay the taxes anymore, I will cry. I will fight with every breath that I take."

McHenry County treasurer Glenda Miller said that as a taxpayer herself, she understands the frustration but paying taxes with loads of cash hurts her employees who are not at fault. "I understand your grief, but I don't know what you are going to prove by putting more burden on my staff in processing your payment" Miller said.

* * *

To say that Illinois finances are a disaster is an understatement. The state remains without a budget, and as its fiscal year ends soon, it will go into its second year without a plan to address the massive deficit. Residents have already started to leave the state, and as evidenced by McGrath, even more are planning to. The state will continue to lose its tax base, and devolve further and further into complete insolvency - but hey, the Cubs are in first place in the NL Central, so who cares right?

Finally, a question: why pay with singles - the much desired currency of choice at every "gentlemen's venue" around the globe - when quarters, nickels and dimes would serve even better?

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Boris Alatovkrap's picture

This note is legal tender for all debt private and public. Take that and put sock in it!

UCC §3-603 Legal Tender

31 USC §5103 Tender of Payment

Citxmech's picture

The story of the "tiny dot" - a gang of a few hundred extorting all of us.

froze25's picture

by Law they have to accept change too.

MalteseFalcon's picture


Next year he'll have to come up with 26% more one $ bills.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

This is remind Boris of funny story about how are you say, Traversing Salesman, in Amerika. Two is drive in car and driver is very much inflamation of bowel movement and must stop. But is no toilet paper! But is idea! Ahah, and is reach into wallet and grab dollar. Later is come back from behind tree on roadside and is smile with happy.

Later, is still drive in car, and other salesman is also now feel movement of bowel. Stop! But is cannot find wallet, so is ask first salesman for dollar. Off is go behind tree. Not so happy, is come back with excrement all over hand and clothing. First salesman is ask, what is happen?

"You are try better with three quarter, two dime, and nickel!"

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Somebody ZHer is maybe find predicament too familiar and only is loose change, so is downvote Boris?

MisterMousePotato's picture

" ... I gave them $9,995 singles because the accountant advised not to go over $10,000 because you'll draw an IRS tax notice ... ."


That, believe it or not, is a federal crime known as 'structuring'. Grounds for the IRS to sieze all the money in his bank accounts. Hope they don't hear of this, or his problems might get a lot more serious than having to pay thousands of dollars a month to The State for 'the privilege' of owning a home.


How the fuck did our forefathers allow this to happen? And when the fuck are we going to organize and put an end to this tyranny?

Oldwood's picture

Tell us again, how much was income tax, social security tax and all the rest when they were initiated?

There is nothing static about government. Like cancer it can remain relatively small and innocuous over a period of time, but once it gets growing, it gets hungry fast. It is a parasite but also "of" the body, not some foreign invader and as such we tend to tolerate it better. The difference is that WE are somewhat willing to coexist with it, live and let live, while the cancer has no such compromise. It eats and the more it eats the bigger and more hungry it becomes, completely oblivious to the consequences to its host. It has become convinced that IT is the host and WE are the parasites. It is all a delusion...we thinking it will simply all work out, that its just one more setback or inconvenience that we surely can survive, while the cancer is oblivious to the fact that once it has killed off ITS parasites (us) that it will perish as well. The common factor is delusion, the inability to see reality. We see this in every aspect of our lives, and government is the epitome of it all.

BurningFuld's picture

Just checked what a building permit would cost in my town in Canada to build a house....$150.00. My new Son in Law lives in Seattle area he says 60K for the permit for the new home he wants to build.

I'm thinking your revolution is a bit overdue.

BarkingCat's picture

Seattle is a seriously fucked city.

I have see a builder take a single story house and raise it to put another floor under it.

Then they did something really strangle.

They replaced each wall on the upper (old) portion, one at a time.

When they were finished a completely new house stood there.


Mr. Lucky's picture

The State of Kansas Legislature has passed a law that places limits on property tax increases.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) froze25 Jun 17, 2016 3:04 PM

Poor guy.  The government is going to come take the rest of the money in his bank account for structuring a payment just under $10,000.  I guess he has his accountant to blame for that one.

NoDebt's picture

Yeah, this guy just screwed himself.  IRS coming, plus the locals will tack another $10,000 in fictitious unpaid taxes on his tab so he has to pay them before he can sell his house and get the hell outta there.  As he's heading out of town the IRS agent and the local tax assessor will be having a beer in a local bar together, laughing at him and saying "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, sucker!"


Scuba Steve's picture

Unless of course there is a fire mishap ...

He cashes out, he moves, their tax base went down.

Just like in Office Space ... fella sitting on the beach, sipping Margaritas chuckling, murmuring " I said, no salt, NO SALT"


NotApplicable's picture

And you know the bank reported him to the IRS with a "Suspicious Activity Report," otherwise they would get in trouble themselves.

Bunch of fucking gangsters. The lot of them!

jcaz's picture

Yep, dude got poor advice- $9995 gets reported.

$5000 is the new $10,000, dude....

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Plus the local and State Police are now circling his house hoping for a lottery ticket in the form of stopping him and then searching and confiscating his suitcases of tax payment dough...

This guy just became the lottery ticket for so many...

Antifaschistische's picture

So, what does it mean........when the endgame is that, you can buy a house for $10,000, as long as you pay the $1,800 per/month tax fee?   The $10,000 is nothing more than the "due at signing" fee like a 36 month car lease.

hint:  YOU DON'T REALLY OWN THE HOME  (just like you don't really own the car!!)'s picture

Yea, it is like getting a ticket for traveling 1 MPH below the posted limit.


 "We know you are traveling at that speed JUST to avoid getting pulled over."

BarkingCat's picture

You laugh but there was a case of someone getting pulled over for driving too perfectly. This included the position of the hands on a steering wheel snd wearing a seat belt.

The cop said it was suspicious. 

Sokhmate's picture

It happened to me. The cop asked why are you driving slow? I said I'm enjoying the scenery (close to the beach.) No cars ahead or behind me. The generous cop said amma check your record. if it's clean I'll let you go. Oss... Hooooool...?

Hmmmmm's picture

His accountant is guilty of conspiracy.

True Blue's picture

Well, they arrested a man a few years back for paying with pennies.

The problem with 'the Law' is that there is no mechanism outside the 2nd Amendment to make the Government obey it.

Oldwood's picture

No. There are laws against terrorism. 

This IS a cancer and as we can't effectively surgically remove it, we wil be forced to either poison it or starve it out.

MONEY is the transmission device, the thing that binds us to them. It will require great sacrifice but we will be forced to reject much of our modern conveniences, live a very basic life and simply deprive them of the "tax base" of which to "attach" us. 

ToSoft4Truth's picture

We're in a bundled system.  The dots aren't the problem.  The dots have enforcers. The enforcers are the problem. 

mojine's picture

McHenry County treasurer Glenda Miller said that as a "taxpayer herself"- bullshit!

She can't "pay taxes". She consumes taxes!

mojine's picture

McHenry County treasurer Glenda Miller said that as a "taxpayer herself"- bullshit!

She can't "pay taxes". She consumes taxes!

NidStyles's picture

He paid it though, so they don't give a shit. If he really wanted to send a message he would have moved out.

HRH of Aquitaine's picture
HRH of Aquitaine (not verified) NidStyles Jun 17, 2016 3:05 PM

He is moving.

exi1ed0ne's picture

Article says he plans to.  Wisconsin of all places, which has taxes and large jumps just like the guy in the article.  My taxes in BFE, WI are $2600/year!  Us cheese heads are just a little bit behind  the curve but will catch up soon!  All those MRAPS we bought for cheap aren't for maintenance, and Cops were exempt from Act 10.  Our school taxing authorities are also working over the tax payers like its a competition to bankruptcy.

Mars looks better every day.

DocBerg's picture

In Illinois, the township assessor's job is to come up with a fair market value for property.  I know a few of these hated persons, and they will generally admit that they cannot do this accurately without detonating all of the local taxing bodies.  I used to bring in my township assessor, who is an old friend, into my public administration courses at My Beloved University, and by the time he was done, he probably scared those yuplings into never buying a house.  The real problems are empire building in the local taxing districts, and excessive debt to fund these albatrosses.  There is no real representation of taxpayers in most local governments.  I know, I used to work in them.  So, the taxing bodies are free to go way into debt to build their edifices, and that costs a lot for the tax payers.

I am also planning to flee to Wisconsin.  Yes the taxes are high, but the public actually gets generally decent services for them.  This despite too much money going into sinkholes like Milwaukee and Madison.  This is bad, but not even close to the event horizon in Crook County, Illinois.

willwork4food's picture

Right but Woodstock IL is in McHenry County. The whole state is paying for the pension shit tornado that is going to become several F5's very soon. Get the F*ck out of there while you can.

Oldwood's picture

It is simple. Government consumption and entitlements are sucking them dry, and as such, they will go after the money anywhere they can find it. The trick is to hide it with minimal pain. 

My plan (if I didn't have a wife) is to build a decent size steel barn and once complete outfit the interior to level I wish to live. This would have to be rural of course because metro living will always have land value to eat your ass, but if it is permitted as a barn and they know no different, it can make a big difference. The hardest part is for many (especially women) is getting past the drive up (lack) of appeal. I currently pay $27k/yr from my home property taxes, and have no children and receive virtually no city services. A barn is looking better by the day.

FredFlintstone's picture

I am in the same boat. I read a biography where Karl Marx observed that his mother got more materialistic as she got older. I think it is universal: Women cannot downshift or downsize. A guy I know was let in on the mystery by an older woman he had dated. She said "do you know what women want?...... MORE." My wife is actually quite sensible and I may be able to negotiate a reasonable living accommodation for our retirement nest. It will be a compromise though.

DownWithYogaPants's picture mentioned at the end of the arty.......he's working on it and I suspect will follow through.  Illinois is the rectum of the nation.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Maybe Detroit is more apt description of rectum?

BarkingCat's picture

move out and demolish the house.

froze25's picture

A payment tendered and refused is still a payment.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

UCC §3-603. Entire debt is not discharge, but amount of tender and accumating interest is discharge. In Canada, currency law is much different, is only allow so much is pay in coinage:

Canadia Currency Act:

(a) forty dollars if the denomination is two dollars or greater but does not exceed ten dollars;

(b) twenty-five dollars if the denomination is one dollar;

(c) ten dollars if the denomination is ten cents or greater but less than one dollar;

(d) five dollars if the denomination is five cents; and

(e) twenty-five cents if the denomination is one cent.

So Canadia is weaker Legal Tender Law, but is stronger Law for Negotiable Instrument.

markpower49's picture

These middle class sheep wanted a welfare state and taking other people's money to pay for their kids public education, so now they are going to get it, good and hard lol. I hope to see them starving in the gutter.

max2205's picture

what a shithole

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

You are not fully appreciate civil dissobedience. In Amerika is still legal to protest in peaceful manner, use it or lose it!

BandGap's picture

Where he lives isn't nearly as bad as some places. I just had lunch with a freind with a house in Gurnee, about 10 miles east of Woodstock. He pays 12600 a year and is anticipating his increase any day now. Some people I work with pay >15K a year. That's another mortgage payment.

Don't you get to vote on property taxes?

Exodus to Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana out of Illinoink.

DocBerg's picture

People do not seem to realize that if they vote for school and other referendums that their taxes go up.  A big problem in Illinois is with municipalities like the one I live in that have Home Rule Powers.  These are almost always abused.  Home Rule allows municipalities to raise taxes without going out for a referendum.  Too many local governments, especially school districts, are padding pay before their employees retire, and this will detonate pension funds down the road a ways. 

Big Corked Boots's picture

You guys are pikers. Come to Jersey.'s picture

Now watch the assholes come after him for 'structuring' in his bid to stay off the radar w/ $9995 cash.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Fast track to inclusion on TSA No Fly List. Trouble maker is enemy of state.

Seeing Red's picture

Boris, is there any way to anonymously wire (or PayPal) you money for a case of beer (or in your case, a bottle of fine russian vodka)?

I just enjoy your posts that much.