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County Considers New Tax To Help Kids

Colin Carmichael

Leon County Commissioners are considering a new tax. Commissioners agreed during their Tuesday to look into a plan to would create a special taxing authority called the Children’s Services Council. The council could levy up to .5 mills annually. Commissioner John Dailey says creating the board is an obvious choice. He says there are countless issues that need more funding in order to be addressed.

“Prenatal care, infant mortality, child hunger, child homelessness, mental health screening in our schools, mental health screening for after school programs, youth incarceration, youth abuse. These are very specific issues that we are dealing with here locally. This is not big pots. This is real life," Dailey says.

Other members of the commission worried during a Tuesday meeting they didn’t have enough specifics on how the money the council collected would be used, or what the county’s needs in regards to children are. Commissioners asked their staff to gather information on the subject, with plans to hold another discussion on the topic May 22 and a public hearing on the proposed ordinance June 19. If commissioners vote in favor of the move it will then go to the November ballot. The Council’s creation requires final voter approval through a referendum.