County puts Children’s Trust on Nov. 6 ballot
The initiative could raise $7 million its first year in property taxes.
The creation of a children’s services organization will be on the November ballot this year.
The Alachua County Commission voted at its public hearing meeting Tuesday to put a Children’s Trust initiative on the Nov. 6 referendum.
The board established the Children’s Services Advisory Board in August 2016. If approved by voters, the Children’s Trust will be created and will have the authority to tax up to one-half mill to provide services for children from birth to age 18 years. A mill is $1 per $1,000 of taxable property value.
The organization will have 10 board members, including Alachua County Public Schools’ superintendent, a member of the County Commission, a judge assigned to juvenile cases, a person nominated by the County Commission and members appointed by the governor.
The proposed ballot item reads: “In order to provide developmental, preventive and supportive services for children, such as early learning supports and out-of-school enrichment programming, should an independent special district titled “The Children’s Trust of Alachua County” be created and authorized to levy an annual ad valorem tax not to exceed one-half mill for 12 years?”
According to the ordinance passed Tuesday, the trust also will be responsible for providing and maintaining rehabilitative services for children and to collect data about children’s welfare in the county.
It also will employ needed personnel and work with other government agencies for administrative services.
Commission Chairman Lee Pinkoson said the Children’s Trust would act the same as the Children’s Services Advisory Board, but it would be an independent entity.
The property tax increase could raise as much as $7 million in the first year.
“It’s good for our kids, and it’s good for our future,” Commissioner Ken Cornell said during the meeting.