Editorial note: The following Holiday message was posted by District 220 yesterday:

“At the Dec. 6 Board meeting, the Board held a public hearing for the estimated 2022 tax levy, which is the second step in the process to establish a final levy of property taxes to support the district in 2023. Barrington 220 collects property taxes from Kane, Lake, Cook and McHenry Counties, and property taxes account for approximately 81% of the district’s annual operating revenues.

If approved, the district expects to receive a 5.6% tax increase compared to last year, however it is requesting a 6.6% increase in the event new construction is larger than expected. Based upon projections, excluding bond and interest, the total expected tax revenue to be collected in 2023 is $140,318,584. 

Final Board action on the tax levy is anticipated at the Dec. 20 Board meeting. Click here to learn more about why a property tax levy is important for school districts.”


Members of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board

Members of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board

Members of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board is requesting improvements to their offices from the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission.

The five-member board, also known as PTAB, provides an unbiased forum for taxpayers and taxing bodies dealing property tax challenges. A taxpayer unhappy with an assessment decision before their county board of review can appeal to PTAB.

The most recent audit released earlier this year showed the agency “did not allow for the speedy hearing of all appeals,” among other findings. 

PTAB Executive Director Michael O’Malley told the audit commission that more resources are needed for agency workers to keep doing their jobs.

More here.

Election 2022 Illinois Union Amendment

Amendment 1 is now included in the Illinois Constitution after the State Board of Elections certified the Nov. 8 election results.

The Illinois State Board of Elections certified the November election results Dec. 5, adding the proposed Amendment 1 to the Illinois Constitution.

Constitutional Amendments require either a simple majority of those voting on the question or the approval of 60% of all voters in the election.

Amendment 1 failed to reach the 60% threshold but passed with a simple majority voting “yes” of all who voted on the question.

Here’s what Amendment 1 does:

  • Prevents commonsense, good-government reforms to use taxpayer dollars more efficiently – and potentially overturns more than 350 existing Illinois laws, including those that protect children.
  • Grants government union bosses more power than those in any other state, by far.
  • Locks in higher taxes and debt in Illinois, including an estimated $4 billion total property tax hike over the next four years on businesses, homeowners, farmers and more.
  • Worsens Illinois’ reputation as one of the least friendly states in the nation for small businesses.
  • Keeps more families out of school by allowing collective bargaining negotiations and strikes over a new, broad set of terms such as affordable housing.

Unless lawmakers make property tax relief a high priority in Springfield, Illinois is locked into a 5-year streak of having the nation’s No. 2 property tax rate, which is double the national average.

Read the full article here.

J.B. Pritzker

Tax friendliness reports ranked Illinois as the most expensive for middle-class families and second most expensive for retirees. Analysts cited high property taxes, sales taxes and income taxes as cinching the bottom spots.

Kiplinger’s annual state tax analyses found Illinois’ second-highest property taxes, eighth-highest combined sales tax and above-average income taxes are costing middle-class families more than anywhere else in the country.

The reports also determined Illinois retirees pay the second highest rates combined in the U.S. for property, sales, income and estate taxes. Only retirees in New Jersey paid more thanks to the state’s inheritance tax.

Corroborating reports show Illinoisans paid the nation’s highest taxes in 2022, costing each family 16.8% of their annual income. The same family would pay less than 10% of their income to taxes in 30 other states.

This nation-leading tax burden is driven primarily by Illinois’ second-highest property taxes, which are double the national average.

The Kiplinger report estimates property taxes cost Illinoisans $2,241 yearly per $100,000 of assessed home values. That means the median state homeowner is predicted to pay about $5,688 in 2022.

If Illinois property tax rates continue to increase at their long-run average rate, the typical homeowner will pay more than $2,100 in additional property taxes over the next four years. For middle-class families and retirees concerned with higher costs, that could mean considering a more tax-friendly state — and many already are.

More here.

Rail Repair

The Village of Barrington issued their latest Main Street traffic alert yesterday:

“On Wednesday, December 7, 2022 starting at 9:00 AM, the Union Pacific Railroad will be repairing a portion of their rail crossing at Main Street. While the road will remain open during this work, with flaggers on-site to direct traffic around lane closures, it will impact travel times.

Please anticipate delays and plan accordingly. This maintenance work should be completed by the end of day on Wednesday. More comprehensive repairs to this crossing are currently planned to take place in the spring.”


The Barrington Hills Park District Advisory Committee meets this evening at 7PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Explore request fo motion activated flood lights around exterior of RC – suggestion for solar powered
  • Explore Request for security camera outside: parking lot, tractor shed, stall aisles, outdoor arenas. mounted as high as possible. *Signs* that call out video surveillance could be a deterrent.
  • Explore request for Panic alarm suggested: at either end of barn aisle, two in the arena. A phone with direct line to 911 would be an alternative, and
  • Explore possibility of a better time for Riding Club on weekend

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.  Instructions for attending the meeting via Zoom can be found here

Chef Fabio

Chef Fabio Viviani cooking in the kitchen of his Barrington Hills home.

Chef Fabio Viviani’s 7-acre estate in Barrington Hills is expansive. The lawn is so big, a helicopter can land on it—and has. The wine cellar boasts 3,500 bottles, and he has one of the largest private spirits collections in North America. Add to that caviar, truffles and other indulgences flown in from around the world, and Viviani has crafted a recipe for exclusivity.

Chicago executives are more than willing to pay for a taste.

The celebrity chef—who moved to the United States from Italy in 2005 and captured America’s attention on “Top Chef” in 2008—launched his Private Estate Dining Experience to the public earlier this year. The members-only dinner series turns Viviani’s high-end home into a restaurant for the evening. A required $10,000 in dues covers two in-person dinners a year with wine pairing, four virtual events and six additional events at Viviani’s venues, plus concierge service. It’s another $2,500 to bring a plus-one. 

The dues might be out of range for the average diner at Bar Siena or one of Viviani’s other restaurants, but membership is alluring to companies looking for a place to wine and dine clients. The memberships are also being offered at a time when companies are re-evaluating how they spend their travel and entertainment budgets in the wake of pandemic-era restrictions. 

Roughly 80% of 2022 members were corporate executives, Viviani said, though he declined to say which companies have signed up.

“I have banks, we have legal firms, I have financial offices, software companies. . . .They buy 10, 15, 20 memberships,” he said. “They can invite their top-performing clients and customers, and that’s how they entertain.”

Read more here.


Members of the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education called on district parents to talk to their children about tolerance after a Black mother asked the board for help in the wake of her 11-year-old son being subjected to racial slurs at school.

The mother, who identified herself only as Charlize, confronted the board at its Nov. 15 asking for help and change for children who are being traumatized by racial slurs. She said she reported to school officials that her child had been racially profiled and she has repeatedly asked for help, as have other parents, but feels like she’s been dismissed.

She said she has missed work to take her son to therapy to deal with how other children are treating him in school. She did not disclose which of the eight K-5 schools in the district her son attends. Charlize did not specifically state what has been said or done to her son indicated it has been detrimental.

“My son is 11 and this trauma has changed him in a manner of two months of school — my child is a different child from when he walked through these doors,” Charlize said. “I’m asking for change at every level, kindergarten through senior year. Racial slurs should not be used, children shouldn’t feel like they’re not safe or that they have to look over their shoulder because they don’t know what’s coming next. It’s not fair, they’re children.”

SD220 enrolls about 8,100 students from pre-K through 12th grade, across 12 schools. According to student demographic data provided by the Illinois State Board of Education, 59% of the students in the district are white, 18% Hispanic, 17% Asian, 4% bi- or multi-racial and 2% African American.

In total, according to ISBE data, there are 129 Black students enrolled in the district — which also has two middle schools and one high school. Six of the elementary schools do not have a count of the number of Black students enrolled and the number is listed as “redacted.” One school is listed as having zero Black students. At Sunny Hill Elementary School, there are 13 Black students, representing 4.7% of the student enrollment there, according to ISBE.

Read more here.

Editorial note: The recording of the November 15th Board of Education meeting seems to begin when the meeting was already in progress. They happen to begin as Charlize was speaking, and the link can be found here.

1525 S Grove

1525 South Grove Avenue

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Approval of purchase and sale agreement for real estate for purchase of 1525 S. Grove Avenue, Unit 104, Barrington, Illinois
  • Consideration to Approve Intergovernmental Agreement with the Village of Barrington for Access of Digital Images from District Cameras, and
  • Consideration to Approve BHS Athletic Program Donation Agreement

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

Related:District 220 to lease office space for program helping high school grads with special needs

Lake Barrington Village

The Lake Barrington village board will meet Tuesday to discuss potential changes to the rules for short-term residential rentals.

The meeting is set for 7 PM at village hall, 23860 N. Old Barrington Road.

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