At its May 12, 2020 meeting, the Lake County Board passed several measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An ordinance giving Lake County property owners more time to pay each installment of their property taxes due to impacts of COVID-19.
A temporary ban on open burning in unincorporated Lake County.
A resolution establishing a special committee focused on supporting residents and businesses with recovery and relief utilizing COVID-19 federal funds.
The allocation of $2.4 million in federal funds received by the County to nonprofit organizations in Lake County providing housing, food and utility assistance.
In recognition of the financial hardship that many Lake County taxpayers are experiencing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County Board enacted an ordinance that allows taxpayers to spread their property tax payments over four installments, instead of the usual two installments. If the second half of the payment is made by the second due date, no late fees will be incurred.
The payments were originally due on June 8 and Sept. 8. Under the ordinance, property owners must still pay the full amount of taxes due, but may spread them over four payments on the schedule outlined below without incurring any interest penalties for late payments:
50% of the first installment payment is due by June 8, 2020
50% of the first installment payment is due by Aug. 7, 2020
50% of the second installment payment is due by Sept. 8, 2020
50% of the second installment payment is due by Nov. 9, 2020
The Lake County Treasurer’s Office will be sending notice of the deferred payment plan to Lake County property owners through the mail. Lake County property owners will receive this notification in approximately two weeks.
“Lake County is working tirelessly to ensure we are utilizing every tool possible to help residents during this pandemic,” said Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart. “Our newly established special committee is the next step in providing recovery assistance to our local community.”
The Board passed a resolution establishing a special committee focused on COVID-19 recovery and relief. The committee will provide timely guidance and strategic priorities to the County Administrator for the planning and execution of the federal COVID-19 response funds provided to Lake County under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The special committee’s first meeting will be held virtually on Friday, May 15 and can be viewed online at lakecounty.tv.
In other action, the Board also enacted an emergency ordinance that temporarily bans open burning in unincorporated through June 10, 2020. Recreational fires that are no larger than 3’ x 3’ x 3’ used for warming, cooking, and other recreational purposes are not included in this ban. More information on the temporary ban and alternatives to burning yard waste can be found at lakecountyil.gov/openburning.
Lake County has already received the first allotment of entitlement funds through the CARES Act to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including $1,709,120 in additional Community Development Block Grant funding (CDBG) and $777,472 in additional Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) grant funding.
Also at the May 12, 2020 meeting, the Board approved the distribution of those funds to several Lake County nonprofit organizations that are working to provide assistance to those in need of housing, food and utility payment assistance. A list of organizations receiving the funding can be found using this link.
The proposed funding recommendations were designed to support high-capacity, vetted programs able to scale up rapidly and respond quickly to the crisis. United Way of Lake County’s 211 information and referral call service saw a 92 percent increase in call volume in the month of March, driven by an increase in COVID-19 calls. The top five needs identified in COVID-19 calls were: rental assistance, food pantries, electric service payment assistance, homeless shelters and gas service payment assistance.
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