As I have stated since last fall, when I was McHenry County Treasurer I delivered the first checks approved by the new 708 Board.
To repeat myself, the referendum to approve the tax hike was supported by the McHenry County Association for the Retarded and the mental health advocacy group at the time.
I’m remembering that the checks I delivered were $25,000 for Pioneer Center (located then in the old Terra Cotta School) and $25,000 for Family Services down the street from now-McHenry East High School).
A 50-50 split.
Now I read in Bob McCoppin’s Chicago Tribune article that only “10 percent gotes to developmental-disabilities assistance.”
That sentence really deserves an exclamation point.
From 50-50, mental health to DD, to 10% for DD and 90% for mental health.
Talk about a governing board that has lost its way.
The folks at Pioneer Center think the answer is to pass a referendum Tuesday that will raise $9 million the first year.
The 708 Board billed $12,694,903.91 last year from property taxpayers. (I think I overestimated the amount in previous articles at $15 million. My apologiy.)
The 708 Board’s taxes bill more this spring.
If the 708 Board were giving DD services the 50% that I remember was the case in the late 1960’s, Pioneer Center and other agencies servicing the Developmentally Disabled would be getting about $6 million a year.
The other $700,000 ought to be enough for administration.
Actually 5% ought to be enough.
So, if DD services are now getting $1.2 million, as I deduce from the Tribune article, passage of the 377 referendum on Tuesday, would increase that amount to $9 million, plus what seems to be about today’s $1.2 million from the 708 Board.
Or, after passage, would the 708 Board forget why it was created and start giving DD services nothing?
There is an alternative.
And, maybe it will be considered if the referendum fails.
The McHenry County Board has ultimate budget power over the 708 Board.
If the County Board does not approve the 708 Board’s levy, its tax take would be zero.
So, why doesn’t the County Board set guidelines for the next levy?
Tell the Board it gets 5% for administrative expenses.
And require the grants to service agencies to be 50% to DD and 50% to mental health.
= = = = =
If you haven’t read my updated critique of the tax hikers’ deceptive robo-call, which came a second time Friday nigh, you can do so here.
In the article is the chart showing McHenry County having the 29th highest property taxes.
Not in Illinois.
In the United States of America.