State elections board plans hearing about Show You Care Kane campaign complaint
By Stephanie Lulay firstname.lastname@example.org December 17, 2013 9:04PM
Updated: January 19, 2014 11:51AM
The State Board of Elections will consider a financial reporting complaint Thursday against Show You Care Kane, a campaign that aims to pass a new property tax to support the developmentally disabled.
Allen Skillicorn, spokesman of a group called Kane Cares About Taxes, confirmed Monday that he brought the issue to the attention of the state board of elections. Skillicorn is an East Dundee village trustee.
Skillicorn claims that Show You Care Kane failed to report who donated $4,627 to the campaign in a December 2012 filing and misreported the category of a $76,000 Association for Individual Development contribution to the campaign in an October 2013 filing.
“While reviewing Show You Care Kane reports on the Illinois State Board of Elections website, (I) can’t help but wonder if disclosure abuses were intentional or just moments of strategic carelessness,” he said.
Lynn O’Shea, Show You Care Kane chairman and treasurer, said Monday that the accusations made in the complaint are false. O’Shea also is executive director of the Association for Individual Development, an area nonprofit that serves developmentally disabled people.
“The allegations state that we have been improperly raising and reporting funds, and there’s just no truth to it,” O’Shea said. “(Skillicorn) is misinformed.”
AID is fully funding the Show You Care Kane effort, a move AID’s board of directors supports, she said.
“If we felt there was a better solution, we would be doing it,” she said. “We have more than 1,100 on our waiting list, some of whom have been waiting more than 10 years, and the number just keeps growing.”
The closed preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. Thursday at the state board of elections at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.
If the Show You Care Kane referendum is approved by voters, the new property tax would raise money toward caring for the county’s developmentally disabled residents. The referendum question would appear on the March 2014 ballot.
The question would authorize a property tax of 0.1 percent of a home assessed value. For the average home in Kane County, it would cost about $55 per year. For a $300,000 home, the cost would be about $100 per year, or $2 per week.
The Thursday hearing concerns a second set of complaints filed against Show You Care Kane, records show.
In June, the state board of elections notified Show You Care Kane representatives that they were more than 60 days late filing a December 2012 contributions quarterly report and five days late filing a March contributions quarterly report. In July, a hearing officer then recommended the campaign be fined $2,150.
But the state board of elections then granted Show You Care Kane’s appeal and the fines were ultimately waived, said Andy Nauman, deputy director of the Division of Campaign Disclosure in Chicago.
Skillicorn said the late filings show that the group does not care about Illinois campaign laws.
“They broke state board of election laws,” Skillicorn said. “(Waiving the fines) doesn’t change the occurrence.”
O’Shea said Skillicorn is “certainly very busy making allegations.”
“A majority of Kane County taxpayers support us,” O’Shea said. “A minority may not, but we believe that a majority will prevail.”
State law allows for counties to create a developmental disability board and collect a property tax of 10 cents per $100 in equalized assessed valuation to fund support services.