Referendum FAQ

In 1992 our library’s operating tax rate was .15 cents (or 0.15%) per $100 of assessed value.
In 2021 (30 years later) our operating tax rate is .15 cents (or 0.15%) per $100 of assessed value.
On June 28th we are asking the public to raise our operating tax rate to .25 cents (or 0.25%) per $100 of assessed value through the proposed referendum.

What’s a referendum?

A referendum is an election process that asks voters to make a “yes” or “no” decision on a proposal. 

What will the library referendum look like?

The question on the ballot can be confusing so we wanted to share what the question will look like:

Shall the annual public library tax rate for Chillicothe Public Library District, Chillicothe, Illinois be established at .25% of the equalized assessed value instead of at .15% the maximum rate otherwise applicable to the next taxes to be extended?

A “yes” vote in means you support this effort, and a “no” vote means you do not.

How will this work?

The library’s bond, used to build the current facility in 2004, was repaid in 2021, so the library would like to “swap” a portion of the bond levy rate and apply it to the operating tax rate, also known as the Corporate Fund.

a chart with three vertical bars of equal height; each bar is labeled with a year. 2020 shows a yellow section labeled "Bond rate 0.1542%" and a green section labeled "Corporate rate 0.15%". Below the 2020 bar is the total extension, 0.39065. The 2021 bar replaces the yellow Bond rate section with an empty, dotted line section labeled "Bond repaid" and a green section labeled "Corporate rate 0.15%". Below the 2021 bar is the total extension, 0.24347. The 2022 bar has a small empty dotted line section that is unlabeled and a larger green section labeled "Corporate rate 0.25%". Below the 2022 bar is the total extension rate, .34347. This chart has an information box below it, which states "If the referendum is approved, the total extension for 2022 will be -0.0472% less than the total extension for 2020."
Library Extension Rates by Year

How will it impact you?

If this ballot measure is approved, an average home valued at $100,000 will pay approximately $28 more per year. A historic look shows that in:

  • 2020 an average home value of 100,000 paid approximately $110 for library services.
  • 2021 (no bonds) an average home value of 100,000 paid approximately $70 for library services.
  • 2022 (if Referendum is approved) an average home value of 100,000 will pay around $97 for library services, or roughly $0.26 cents per day!

How do we compare to other libraries in the area?

This chart provides operating tax rates for a few area libraries:

Operating Tax Rates for Local Libraries
LibraryRate Setting YearCorporate Rate
Chillicothe Public Library1992.15
Lillie M Evans1991.30
Alpha Park2016.19

What will the library do with the increased revenue?

The additional revenue will offset increasing operating expenses for things like library materials & supplies, costs for programs, and minimum wage requirements.

Additionally, it will help cover upcoming capital improvement projects such as resurfacing the library parking lot, replacing the eroding guttering system, and repairing worn carpeted areas in the main body of the library. Importantly, it will allow the library to continue to provide the outstanding resources and services that our community deserves well into the future.

What’s the value of the library to the community?

Public libraries not only help create more literate, civil societies; they provide real economic value.

By providing loanable materials, computers & technologies, programming, and outreach services Chillicothe Public Library generated $1,266,436 of value in 2021.  This equates to a direct return on investment benefit to the community of $2.32 for every $1.00 the library spent.

Please remember to vote on June 28th, 2022!