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Seniors want assistance-tax referendum on April ballot

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



A new tax to support senior services has been proposed for taxpayers in Oswego Township.

Property owners in the township are being asked to attend a special meeting at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Oswego Township offices, 4100 Route 71, to discuss the tax referendum proposal.

The township is seeking public support for a “senior assistance tax” that would help fund agencies which provide services and programs to seniors within the township.

The referendum, if support is evident on Tuesday, could be placed on the April 5 election ballot, according to Bob Wyngard, executive director of Oswegoland Seniors Inc., the nonprofit organization that operates the Oswego Senior Center.

Oswego Senior Center officials spread the word this week to guests of the center. They’re asking supporters of the center to turn out in favor of having a referendum.

The tax, which would be added to the Oswego Township levy, could generate about $300,000 for senior services in the township, Wyngard said.

According to the Oswego Senior Center, the owner of a $200,000 home would see a $14 increase to their taxes to the township for one year.

Money raised through the referendum would be available for qualifying agencies that serve seniors within Oswego Township. The Township Board would then grant allocations of that money to eligible entities.

Currently, the Oswego Senior Center is the only agency providing meals, health, educational and wellness programs to seniors in the township, according to Wyngard.

A tax to help fund senior services already exists at the county level. In 2010, the county expected to collect $305,605 from the tax. The funding is then distributed among nearly a dozen qualifying agencies that provide senior services in Kendall County, including Oswegoland Seniors Inc.

The Oswego Senior Center, housed in the old Traughber Junior High School on Franklin Street, runs on a $260,000 budget, with a large chunk of funding coming from the Northeast Illinois Agency on Aging. The Agency on Aging helps to fund weekly meals for seniors, a kitchen manager position and programs like health screenings. The senior center feeds about 150 seniors twice a week.

“People are looking at what (the Oswego Senior Center) is doing, and we want to reach out to anyone who can help us do what we can do better,” Wyngard said.



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