Following a special meeting of the Finance Committee Thursday evening, the full Livingston County Board is set to hold a special meeting next Thursday, during a week usually reserved for the meetings of its committees.
    The one item of discussion on the meeting’s agenda is a resolution to put binding referendums up for a vote concerning the raising of taxes and increasing the limiting rate applicable under Property Tax Extension Law Limit in order to fund the home healthcare programs the body politic voted in favor of during the November general election. If the resolution for the referendums are approved, the public will have to again vote to raise taxes to support home healthcare during the consolidated elections on April 2.
    In response to the shuttering of the Livingston County Health Department’s home healthcare program as it had existed in 2017, a large number of residents organized and began attending county meetings to voice their concerns. Eventually, a petition was drafted in support for the program, asking the public to vote on whether or not they supported a home healthcare program come the November general election.
    The county board then voted internally to seek clarification from its constituents by putting a followup referendum of its own on the ballot — one that asked if voters would be in favor of a tax increase to support the program. Both measures received wide majority support after all the ballots had been tallied from the Nov. 6 election.
    However, at its November meeting following the referendum, Board Chairman Bob Young stated a subsequent referendum would need to be taken by the public in order for the county to actually levy the tax. This was discussed at the Finance Committee Thursday evening, according to Livingston County Board Executive Director Alina Hartley. Hartley said that the county’s standing rules allowed for special meetings to be called with the consent of one-third of its members.
    As to why a second round of referendum votes was needed for home healthcare to receive funding, Hartley stated that the county had not realized at the time of the passage of the November referendums was that with the way PTELL was written, additional referendums would be need to receive majority support from voters in order to actually authorize the county to levy the tax increases.
    The first referendum asks voters whether “a new tax rate of 0.025 percent shall be imposed for the purpose of supporting senior citizen social services and more specifically, the Livingston County Home Healthcare Program,” while the second asks “whether an increase in the limiting rate
applicable to Livingston County, Illinois shall be imposed.”
    The ballot questions will also include supplemental information, including that the taxes extendable at the most recently extended limiting rate were $7,059,425.74, while the the approximate amount of taxes extendable if the proposition is approved would be $7,234,618.46. Another abstract notes that the approximate amount of the additional tax extendable against property containing a single family residence, having a fair market value at the time of the referendum of $100,000, is estimated to be $13.58.
    But for these questions to appear on the consolidated election ballot, the full board must approve them at Thursday’s special meeting.