HENNEPIN — Putnam County voters may see a property tax referendum on the March 17, 2020, ballot.

During the Monday night monthly board meeting, board members discussed their intent of putting a voter referendum on the ballot.But chairman Steve Malavolti said he has to discuss the referendum’s wording with county state’s attorney Christina (Judd) Mennie to ensure everything is done the proper way before they vote to put it on the ballot.

Malavolti wasn’t able to provide a rate or how this will affect homeowners, but said it would be a smaller increase than a proposal last fall.

Charlie Lenkaitis said he and Brad Popurella can get together to create events to talk to residents about the referendum.

“Setting up some dates, some talking points” and “try to give the community as much knowledge as possible,” Lenkaitis said.

Malavolti said if the referendum is approved to be on the ballot, they’ll hold public meetings and possibly create a fact sheet to explain the referendum.

“That was a failure on the board’s part last time” said Malavolti about explaining to the public about the property tax referendum in the November 2018 election, when more than 75 percent of voters said “no” to the referendum.

“We did nothing,” said Sheila Haage.

When asked this morning if the referendum is for public safety, Malavolti said he’s not specifying anything right now because they’ve got to figure out the wordage, but did say “in reality” it would go to public safety because that’s the majority of the general fund’s budget.

The board may vote on placing the referendum on the ballot at the July board meeting.

Ali Braboy can be reached at (815) 220-6931 and countyreporter@newstrib.com. Follow her on Twitter @NT_PutnamCo.

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