A group of frustrated taxpayers made good on a promise to return to the McHenry County Treasurer’s Office to again pay their property taxes in $1 bills.

At least three McHenry County property owners packed thousands of singles into suitcases and briefcases and hauled them to the treasurer’s office in order to pay their property taxes Aug. 31, the second time since June such a demonstration has taken place.

The unorthodox — and cumbersome — method of payment was described by participants as both an act of defiance and a way to show the magnitude of their tax bills. McHenry County’s property taxes are among the highest in the nation, according to a study by the Tax Foundation, with homeowners paying median property tax bills of $5,902 a year.

McHenry’s Dan Aylward pays much more than that. He tore up a property tax bill for $11,468.36 while addressing a crowd of about 50 people who gathered to watch the demonstration.

“The American dream in Illinois is now an American nightmare,” said Aylward, who paid the first half of his total bill in singles on June 13. He said taxes were forcing him to leave the state and the family home his uncle built, but he promised to return to Illinois to continue to fight for lower taxes even after he moves.