McHenry County Mental Health Board Amends FY 2024 Budget

Anticipating Passage of Recommended 1.95% Levy Increase on November 21, Executive Director decision memorandum adopted

Exclusive to McHenry County Blog by John Lopez

At Tuesday’s (Oct 24) regular meeting of the McHenry County Mental Health Board (MCMHB), the nine-member appointed panel of the McHenry County Board voted to amend its FY 2024 (Dec 1, 2023 through Nov 30, 2024).

The 8-1 vote (MCMHB President Connee Meschini was lone “No” vote) adopted the recommended changes by the MCMHB executive director decision memorandum made public in the MCMHB meeting packet on October 20:

MCMHB executive director decision memorandum made public in meeting packet October 20 (page 205)

With the “Client Services — Direct to Providers” line item reduced by the $1,705,000 amount, the “Property Taxes” revenue line item was reduced by the difference between the County Board’s recommended increase of $525K from the increased property tax levy.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) interest income covering the $270K capital project support is included in the MCMHB budget for the first time.

The MCMHB budget includes the $1,000,000 spend-down plan from its reserve fund to apply to FY 2024 budgeted spending.

County administration recommended a 1.95% levy increase at the County Board’s special meeting on September 28 which was recommended at the County Board’s Finance/Audit Committee meeting on October 5 and the recommended at Committee of the Whole.

The County Board placed the recommended budget for 30-day review at the October 17 County Board meeting with final approval of the budget on November 21 (two days before Thanksgiving).

McHenry County Administration Recommended Property Tax Levy with all levy components

Does the Recommended Levy Increase have the Votes to Pass on November 21 at County Board?

At the October 12 Committee of the Whole meeting, the “tally” of County Board members supporting the recommended levy increase budget and those who want no levy/no new growth budget, was about even, based on Board members public support/opposition to the Recommended budget/levy.

Not all Board members were in attendance on October 12 or October 17, and the minimal 10 votes (including a possible tie-breaker vote by McHenry County Board Chairman Mike Buehler (R, Crystal Lake)) is being sought for passage of the budget, meaning defeating the Recommended budget/levy will require at least 10 votes from the County Board.

Terri Greeno

Some Board members are being very vocal they support a no increased levy/no new growth property tax levy, including Board Member Terri Greeno (R, Nunda Township), posted on her District 5 Facebook page:

“ATTENTION! It is BUDGET SEASON for McHenry County.

“We are VERY busy fighting to lower property taxes…TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY.

“After all, IT’S YOUR MONEY! Personally, I’m supporting No New Growth and ZERO increase in CPI. (It may not be familiar language to you but both will keep taxes down. The County is debt free and in excellent financial health.)”

Terri Greeno, District 5 Facebook Public Group post Oct 12, 8:51PM CDT

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Greeno, attending remotely the County Board meeting of October 17, also made clear if the MCMHB needed more revenues, she urged the MCMHB and their proponents to consider the transition to a sales tax via a referendum sometime in 2024.

While MCMHB’s amended budget is in sync with the County’s recommended 1.95% Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, will that be the final decision of the full County Board will not be known until November 21.

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