Lincoln County Commission likely to put 19-cent tax override on May 21 ballot for Children’s Services
The Children’s Trust of Lincoln County is back before the Lincoln County Commission next Wednesday and they’re expecting the commission to give the Trust another chance to convince voters to approve a 19-cent property tax override to help many struggling local children and their families. The Children’s Trust measure would be on the May 21st Ballot.
An array of children’s advocacy, abuse and neglect prevention and service organizations are trying to help children from troubled families have a healthier launch into adolescence and adulthood. They reason that kids who get the help they need with school work, mental health issues, personal growth guidance, the arts, and wholesome recreation will save local taxpayers a lot of money downstream when kids don’t wind up in jail or worse, in prison.
The trust’s last effort to raise money for children’s advocacy was voted down by a wide margin when it was 35-cents a thousand of assessed valuation. This time, acknowledging the tough economic times we all live in, they’re asking for 19-cents a thousand which cuts their annual budget down to around $1.2 million under the reduced five year special levy.
If passed, the Children’s Trust would review funding applications from county-wide programs like OSU Extension, CASA, Samaritan House, Family Care Connection, PAADA and others. West County programs include Head Start Newport, Newport Back Pack, Newport Recreation Center after school program and more. North County programs include Head Start Lincoln City, Samaritan Early Learning Center Kids Zone, Oceanlake Back Pack, Taft Elementary Back Pack, children’s programs at the Community Recreation Center, and others. East County programs include Head Start Toledo, Toledo after school and summer programs, Toledo Back Pack, library programs, arts and culture, and parks and recreation programs. And in the South County area there is Yachats Youth and Family Activities Program, Head Start Waldport, Seashore Family Literacy Center, Waldport Junior League Sports and lots more.
If the override passes, funding would be distributed by a committee made up of representatives of each area of the county, one at-large representative, one appointed by the county commission and one from the Children’s Trust of Lincoln County’s Board. Advocates for the measure say the county commission will have full access to the decision-making process as to which local children’s service agencies are funded and at what level. Monitoring reports on how well the beneficiary agencies deliver children’s services, and there will be an annual outside audit of how dollars are spent and the effectiveness of the agencies.
The 19-cent override would raise the tax bill on a 100,000 dwelling by $19 a year, $38 dollars a year for a dwelling whose assessed value is $200,000, and $57 dollars a year on a dwelling whose assessed value reaches $300,000.
The county commission meeting on all this will be held Wednesday, March 6th, immediately following a joint session with the Yachats City Council, in the Yachats Commons, which begins at 6pm.