Our View: Referendum asks for funds to help developmentally disabled

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Voters in Kane County will be asked March 18 whether they are in favor of the county levying an annual tax to help individuals with developmental disabilities.

The primary referendum would authorize a maximum property tax of 0.1 percent of equalized assessed value of all taxable property in the county.

An owner of a home valued at $182,000 would pay about $55 a year, according to the Show You Care Kane organization, which is seeking passage of the referendum.

Benefits from the funds raised – estimated to total about $13 million – would help developmentally disabled people and their families, many of whom are on a state waiting list for assistance.

Money collected would be administered by a disabilities board, also known as a 377 board.

There is no question a need exists.

And funds raised surely would bring relief to a population of people who are unable to advocate for themselves.

More than 1,000 county residents who need help are on a waiting list that continues to grow, according to Show You Care Kane.

But opponents of the measure question the mechanism that would be set up to manage the funds, the additional drain on taxpayers and the total amount of money being requested.

Voters need to take a hard look at this important question, and they need to make a decision on what they think is best for themselves and Kane County.

If residents have any opinion at all on the matter, they need to get out and vote. It’s their judgment call.

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Jan Schlictmann at a Geneva law firm.

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