April 2, 2019 Referendum Information

Talcott Free Library receives approximately 2% of district tax payers’ property taxes each year which funds 86% of its budget. In its almost 130 year history Talcott has never asked for a permanent tax increase. Over the past decade expenses have increased faster than property values, and the library has come to a point where zero revenues can be saved year to year, creating an issue for building and equipment maintenance. In less than ten years (by 2027) Talcott will barely have enough funds to continue service levels as they currently stand.

On the April 2, 2019 election day ballot there will be a question asking to raise the library’s limited rate from .2149 to .288.

Building Renovation and Addition

A building and renovation plan was started in 2008 when a community member left Talcott Free Library $500,000 in his will specifically earmarked for expansion. This building plan will give the library multiple new quiet study rooms, a larger room for programs, better more accessible restrooms, and a new space for teens and their collection. Our Young Adult collection has circulated over 15,000 times in the past 3 years, so we feel it’s time to create a positive, safe environment for teens to feel a sense of belonging. In addition, a needed sprinkler system will be installed as well as updating all of the flooring, ceilings, and light fixtures– most of which are more than 25 years old. Dairyhaus will not be affected! See the images below for exterior renderings and a detailed floor plan:

If the Referendum passes:

  • Increased study room and collaborative meeting space
  • New/expanded teen/tween space
  • Improved/larger children’s program room
  • Better, easier to find, ADA code restrooms
  • DVDs/CDs available to browse on public shelves
  • More available outlets
  • Maintain or expand current hours/services
  • Long-term fiscal sustainability, allowing the Library to plan for capital maintenance through 2035.

If the Referendum fails:

  • Reduced hours and days of service by 2028.
  • Decreased access to new materials
  • Less programing
  • Technology updated less frequently
  • No study space/outlet availability

Talcott offers over 300 programs annually with more than 2,500 attendees. There are almost 3,500 card holders and 40,000+ visitors/year. With over 100,000 items available physically or electronically, plus free computer access and WiFi, Talcott staff works hard to serve everyone in the community.

Currently, Talcott has the LOWEST per capita budget for a public library in the surrounding areas. The library has worked very hard to keep to the budget that the levy has allowed, but has now reached the point where this is no longer fiscally responsible.

How exactly does this affect you? Using the chart below, find your property value in the left column and follow it across to see how your taxes will change in 2020 if the referendum passes. For example, a $150,000 home would see an increase of $32.12.

    Levy Year          
2018 Home Value
(Increases 1% per year)
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
$100,000 Total Tax $59.59 $58.74 $57.45 $58.38 $78.41 $79.64 $81.15
$ Change -$0.77 -$0.85 -$1.28 $0.92 $20.03 $1.24 $1.51
$150,000 Total Tax $95.92 $94.56 $92.49 $93.90 $126.01 $127.90 $130.22
$ Change -$1.23 -$1.36 -$2.07 $1.41 $32.12 $1.88 $2.32
$200,000 Total Tax $132.25 $130.37 $127.52 $129.41 $173.62 $176.15 $179.28
$ Change -$1.70 -$1.88 -$2.85 $1.89 $44.21 $2.53 $3.13
$250,000 Total Tax $166.41 $164.04 $160.45 $162.82 $218.42 $221.59 $225.52
$ Change -$2.14 -$2.37 -$3.59 $2.37 $55.60 $3.17 $3.93

The Ballot Question

Here is the exact wording you will find on your ballot on April 2, 2019:

Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the Talcott Free Public Library District, Winnebago County, Illinois, be increased by an additional amount equal to 0.0731% above the limiting rate for library purposes for levy year 2017 and be equal to 0.2880% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2019?





(1)        The approximate amount of taxes extendable at the most recently extended limiting rate is $419,349, and the approximate amount of taxes extendable if the proposition is approved is $561,994.

(2)        For the 2019 levy year the approximate amount of the additional tax extendable against property containing a single family residence and having a fair market value at the time of the referendum of $100,000 is estimated to be $24.

(3)        If the proposition is approved, the aggregate extension for 2019 will be determined by the limiting rate set forth in the proposition, rather than the otherwise applicable limiting rate calculated under the provisions of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (commonly known as the Property Tax Cap Law).

Vote Yes if you want the referendum to pass for better library services and spaces.
Vote No if you want the referendum to fail and want library services and hours cut within the next 10 years.