Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
By Amy Kronenberger
New mental health, recovery services tax issue on ballot
The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties is asking voters in each county to approve a new 1-mill levy that would annually collect $3.2 million.
The proposed five-year property tax levy on Tuesday's ballot would support operations for current services and help create new programs that would provide mental health and addiction services to adults and children in the three counties, according to a release from the organization. Residents voted down the same levy request in November.
A resident with a $100,000 home would pay $30 per year.
Officials at the agency this year requested the additional funds in response to falling revenues.
The organization has lost about $3.3 million in state, federal and other funding since 2008. The board's annual revenue fell from $8.2 million in 2008 to $4.9 million this year, a release noted. At the same time, the need for treatments for opiate addiction, school tragedies, mental illness and substance abuse has increased.
Residents will continue to pay a .5-mill levy, which was originally approved in 1985 and generates $1.6 million annually for the group.
Programs funded by Mental Health and Recovery Services include Coleman, adult mental health and alcohol and drug treatment; FRC, children and youth mental health and alcohol and drug treatment and school outreach programs; PVFF, prevention programs for safe kids and communities; UMADAOP, criminal justice alcohol and drug treatment and prevention; SAFY, youth and adult mental health and alcohol and drug treatment; and school outreach programs.
The programs have served 16,602 people in the three counties, including 14,289 adults and children with mental illness and 2,313 adults and children with alcohol and other drug issues, according to the agency.
The same levy request narrowly failed at the polls in November with the combined counties voting 14,992 to 14,864. Auglaize County voters narrowly approved the measure by 51 percent and Allen County voters also approved it by a slim margin, however Hardin County voted it down by 55 percent.