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Children’s Trust tax proposal back for a second try on the May ballot

Lincoln County Commissioners this week approved putting a reduced tax rate on the May ballot for The Children’s Trust. The trust helps fund children’s assistance programs from Head Start to CASA, mental health services to child abuse intervention.

A November ballot issue for a 35 cent property tax rate failed by a wide margin. Trust officials told the commission that they got the message from the voters that in a weak economy the 35 cent rate was to high, so this time they’ll see if a 19 cent rate will fly. They say the difference between the two rates would push down the income for The Trust’s children’s programs to $1.2 Million a year.

The commission approved The Trust’s request and instructed County Counsel Wayne Belmont to prepare a measure for the May ballot for a 19 cents property tax increase. 19 cents per thousand on a $250,000 home would increase the homeowner’s tax bill by roughly $40 a year or just over $3 a month.

Supporters of the tax boost contend that it is far cheaper to intervene in the troubled life of a child than to pay much more later when the child becomes a problem for the community in terms of law enforcement, the courts, jail, parole and probation, welfare and other costly services.

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