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Kane Dist. 4 Democratic hopefuls have wealth of experience, differing levy views.

Byline: Harry Hitzeman Legal Affairs Writer -CLMN-

Kane Dist. 4 Democratic hopefuls have wealth of experience, differing levy views

Candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the District 4 seat on the Kane County Board bring a wealth of experience and differing views on the yearly county board tax levy, which has been frozen for years.

Angela Clay Thomas is seeking a second, 4-year term on the county board and is facing challenges from Mavis Bates and Nicolas C. Guillermo, both of Aurora.

Voters will decide on March 17 which of the three candidates will get the Democratic nod and advance to the November general election.

Next month's primary is the de facto election as no Republican has filed for the November election for District 4.

Thomas was first elected to the board in 2016. She cites her past policy work in higher education in the Washington, D.C., area before moving to Aurora, where she worked as a grant writer and consultant for nonprofits.

Bates is an area activist and small business owner who has a master's degree in computer science.

If she's elected to the county board, she said she also intends to keep her elected, yet unpaid, position as a Fox Valley Park District commissioner as long as she doesn't have to recuse herself from too many votes.

Guillermo did not respond to interview requests.

For eight years, the county board has frozen it yearly tax levy, also known as the overall amount it collects in property taxes. The tax cap limits levy increases to the Consumer Price Index or 5%, whichever is less.

Thomas said the county needs to explore other revenue streams and increasing the levy would be a last resort.

She said the county's portion of a property tax bill is only about 4% and any levy increase would be nominal.

"We'd be remiss in our duties to take anything off the table," Thomas said. "We have to reset expectation and increase understanding as to where your property taxes actually go."

Bates believes the county can grow its revenue through more business and state and federal grants.

"I have no intention to raise the levy. I've never had that intention," Bate said. "I think we need to look at the revenue side of this issue, such as bringing in more businesses."

District 4 covers portions of Aurora and Montgomery.

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Author:Harry Hitzeman Legal Affairs Writer -CLMN-
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Feb 13, 2020
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