708 Board Building, the payment for which has diverted money that could have gone to services.
As I have reported in November, there’s an attempt to create a tax district similar to the 708 Board to serve the developmentally disabled population of McHenry County.
The problem, as I have pointed out, is that the 708 Board was created for that purpose.
How do I know?
I was County Treasurer when that referendum was passed in the late 1960′s.
It was supported by an organization that I remember being called the McHenry County Citizens for the Retarded.
When the taxes came in I took the first checks to both Pioneer Center, which was located in the old Terra Cotta School House off Route 31 and to Family Services, which was located on the street running from now-McHenry East High School to the Fox River (where the four-story city-subsidized four-story building is located).
As I remember, both those serving those then called “retarded” and those serving those with mental problems both got $25,000 checks.
The current maximum tax rate is 15 cents per $100 of Assessed Valuation. Because of the Tax Cap that rate has been forced back to 14.5 cents per $100. The taxes extracted last year approach $12.7 million.
The 708 Board started out giving 50% to the Developmentally Disabled side and 50% to the mental health side.
Over the years, Pioneer Center and others serving the same population have felt shortchanged.
That is the reason for the current referendum to create a special tax district to provide about two-thirds of money as the 708 Board collects. (If I am incorrect, please advise in the comment section.)
Just because the 708 Board is not living up to expectations of its responsibility of part of the population it is supposed to serve is not sufficient reason in my opinion, to vote to impose another layer of government and taxes on McHenry County.
I see Fox River Grove Republican Precinct Committeeman Andrew Gasser agrees.
His first article, “No on the 366 Board,” is unambiguous from the title on.
His second one, “The ‘Language’ of 377,” talks about who will be hurt most by permanent higher taxes.
This proposals proponents are running a virtual stealth campaign.
I found something on the internet, which I posted here.
Below is what you will see at the bottom of the ballot:
The 377 Board Ballot calling for a substantial tax increase. It looks like 10 cents per hundred dollars of assessed valuation.
The strategy of a stealth campaign, often run by school boards, is to let your supporters know and ignore the undecideds and those likely to be opposed.
Elections are about differential turnout, of course. In other words, which side can get more of its supporters to the polls.
I did find the following card supporting the tax hike:
This side of the campaign piece supporting creating of the 377 Board and its tax increase concentrates on the need.
The argument made on this side estimates the cost at $33.33 cents per $100,000 of home value. Virtually no one’s home is worth on ly $100,000, of course. If one’s home were worth $300,000, it would cost $100 a year, for example.
The tax would bring in about $9 million., the proponents say.