GEO votes to endorse Township Referendum

On 10/22/08 the Steward’s council unanimously voted to ENDORSE THE CITY OF CHAMPAIGN TOWNSHIP BALLOT REFERENDUM PROPOSITION TO INCREASE THE LIMITING RATE.
“As we stand in solidarity with all workers on campus, we stand in solidarity with all workers in our community, especially those who, because of disability or illness, do not have a steady income. It is people in this situation that depend on the Township for financial assistance. The Graduate Employees’ Organization supports passage of this referendum and commits to educate our members about the referendum and to urge eligible members to vote “YES”.
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On election day, voters in the City of Champaign Township (concurrent with the city of Champaign) will have the opportunity to vote on a referendum titled “Proposition to Increase The Limiting Rate.”
A “YES” vote would fund the Township General Assistance program, which provides aid to residents in extreme poverty (those living on less than $3000 per year and who are ineligible for other aid) by enacting a property tax increase of 0.02% (or about $10/year for a property valued at $150,000).
The exact language on the ballot Nov. 4th will be: “Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for City Township be increased by an additional amount equal to .02% above the limiting rate for levy year 2007 and be equal to .0550% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2008?”
Translation: Vote Yes to tax about $10 to homeowners for a home with a market value of $150,000, the approximate median home value in Champaign. The additional funds would help reverse the drastic cuts made in a financial aid program for the poorest of the poor called “General Assistance.” This state mandated program assists Champaign residents who are living in abject poverty (less than $3,000 in annual earned income).
The October issue of the ‘Public I’ has a detailed article on the Township Poverty Referendum, as does the Indy Media Center website
(www.ucimc.org)
Pursuant to the GEO bylaw on endorsements, the GEO Coordinating Committee passed the endorsement of the referendum unanimously on Tuesday, October 21, 2008.