Letter: Vote yes for mental health sales tax

Letter to the Editor

Primary elections are notoriously known for low voter turnout. However, whether you vote red or blue, the primary election on March 19 has a referendum measure that impacts all McHenry County residents.

A 2020 study conducted by Northwestern Medicine reported over 12% of McHenry County residents suffer from a mental health-related issue. That means for every 100 people in the county, 12 of them suffer from a mental health issue!

The referendum on this year’s primary ballot will remove the property tax levy that is currently earmarked for the Mental Health Board and add a countywide sales tax of 0.25% (one-quarter of one percent!) to fund mental health services instead. This is 25 cents more on a $100 purchase. Qualifying food, drugs and medical appliances are exempt from the proposed mental health sales tax!

This shift in funding is expected to add an additional $2 million to the mental health budget at the Mental Health Board in the first year. This measure was passed with bipartisan support proving that mental health issues are a human issue, not a political issue!

For the referendum specifics, visit mchenrycountyil.gov and click on the FAQ link. Remember that you can ask for a non-partisan, referendum-only ballot so you have no reason not to cast your vote for this referendum on March 19.

Vote YES for mental health on March 19!

Rusty Foszcz

Richmond

Mental Health Resource League for McHenry County