Livingston County voters on Tuesday approved a 5-cent tax levy to establish a Senior Citizens Fund.
The measure passed by garnering 56 percent of the votes cast. There were 661 'Yes' votes, and 523 'No' votes. The proposal needed a simple majority to pass.
The Senior Citizens Fund will be a dedicated fund that can only be used for the improvement of health, nutrition and quality of life of people living in Livingston County who are 60 years of age and older.
Chillicothe resident Ron Wilder advocated for the proposal.
“This is something that 11 counties in our area already have. Some of them have had it for a number of years,” he said as election results were being posted at the courthouse Tuesday evening.
“We really need something that is just for senior citizens,” Wilder continued.
With its passage, property owners pay an extra 5 cents per $100 of their assessed property valuation.
“It isn't a lot of money,” Wilder said. “It is a small five cents per $100 valuation, so the average person is going to pay $10 to $15.”
“It's a great thing for the community,” he continued. “I think it shows the support of the senior community here. Everybody is going to be a senior sooner or later, or at least they hope to be, and I think it is something that really everybody will appreciate.”
The fund is estimated to generate $78,964 per year for the direct benefit of present and future citizens 60 years of age and older.
“What it will do is set up a board of seven local individuals that will accept requests for grants,” Wilder said. “Then, the board decides whether to give the money according to what we think it will do for seniors. Any organization that solely works with seniors 60 years and older will be eligible to apply for a grant.”
The proposal passed in all of Chillicothe's wards, and several of the precincts outside the city. The city wards combined (not including absentee votes), produced 299 'Yes' votes, and 195 'No' votes.
The measure also passed in the voting precincts of Wheeling Township, Blue Mound and Monroe Townships, Green and Mooresville Township.
The proposal failed in the Chillicothe and Rich Hill townships, Jackson and Sampsel townships, Fairview and Grand River townships, and Cream Ridge and Medicine townships.
Wilder said he was pleased to see the measure pass by a large margin.
“I think it proves that the citizens of Chillicothe came through again,” he said.