Ballot drop-off box

MOUNT VERNON — The upcoming May 4 special election might not seem as exciting as a gubernatorial or presidential election, but it still has ramifications for local residents.

Of the four levies up for voters' consideration, two are new property taxes, one is a replacement property tax, and one is a renewal of an income tax.

It is important to know the difference between the different kinds of levies.

A new levy is an additional source of revenue and is based on current property appraisal values.

“A renewal levy is based on the value [of the property] when it was voted in,” explained Sarah Thorne, Knox County deputy auditor. “The replacement is going on the new value.”

The sole countywide levy is an additional property tax to support Knox County Children's Services. The 1-mill levy begins this year with the first payment being due in 2022.

The levy is based on current appraisal values and is expected to generate $1.654 million a year. The 1 mill equates to a cost of $35 a year on a $100,000 home. The levy runs for 10 years.

Matthew Kurtz, director of Knox County Job & Family Services, previously said the additional levy is vital for JFS operations in order to provide stability for families in crisis.

The other new levy is an additional 1-mill, four-year property tax for Pleasant Township residents. The tax will begin in 2021 and is first due in 2022. The new levy is expected to generate $62,000 and is for fire protection and emergency medical services.

The Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District replacement levy is 5 mills over four years (commencing 2021, first due 2022). The estimated revenue of $2.2 million is for fire and EMS services. The levy is based on current appraisal values; homeowners will pay $175 for every $100,000 in value. 

North Fork School District seeks to renew its 1% income tax. The three-year renewal commences Jan. 1, 2026, and is for covering current operating expenses. The renewal is estimated to generate $2.157 million.

In addition to casting a ballot on Election Day between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm, voters still have time to vote early in person or by mail.

“The early in-person voting ends this coming Monday at 2 p.m.,” said Kim Horn, director of the Knox County Board of Elections. “Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Monday, May 3.

“Actually, we will accept mail-in ballots up until May 14 as long as they are postmarked by May 3,” she added.

Voters can also deliver their ballot to the Board of Elections, using either the drop-off ballot box on the east side of the building or taking it inside. The BOE will accept drop-off ballots until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, May 4. The BOE is located at 104 E. Sugar St.

Horn said polling locations are the same as for the November 2020 election. Click here to find your polling location.

“COVID precautions are still in place like last November,” she said. “Poll workers will be wiping things down, masks are required, and 6-foot social distancing.”

For more information visit the BOE's website at

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