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Add this to the levies wish list

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Bocephus View Drop Down
MUSA Citizen
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    Posted: Jul 07 2011 at 8:26pm

All these levies keep adding up.But id be willing to vote for the mental health one if all the politicians in butler county agreed to treatment.Until then Hell no on any levies replacement or new it doesnt matter.

County mental health board plans to seek renewal levy

By Michael D. Pitman, Staff Writer 8:07 PM Thursday, July 7, 2011

HAMILTON — The Butler County Mental Health Board is seeking to place a renewal levy on November’s ballot, which could be chock full of levy requests from around the county.

Mental Health Board Executive Director Terry Royer, accompanied with about 50 supporters, asked on Thursday that the county commission place a five-year, 1-mill replacement levy on the Nov. 8 ballot.

If approved, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $30.62 annually, which is not an increase to taxpayers, and is anticipated to generate $7.8 million annually, Royer said.

Royer said “the mental health system in Butler County was in a serious crisis” when this levy first passed in 2006.

The need for the levy was due to the fact the 10-year, 0.5-mill levy — first passed in 1984 — was not generating new revenue and the state was cutting funding, all the while costs had increased, Royer said.

The mental health board, which served 8,614 in 2010, receives roughly $10 million from the two levies. If the renewal request fails, Royer said many services that have been implemented since 2006 would not be funded.

“We would be extremely tight and would not be able to offer the services that we offer now,” he said.

The levy specifically funds non-Medicaid services, such as a 24-hour mobile crisis team and Great Miami Services, a 15-bed unit at The Fort Hamilton Hospital.

Commissioners requested the county auditor certify the levy. The certified amount and cost would then go before the commissioners — which all three expressed support for the board’s services — for consideration.

“It is a very important service you and your providers serve to Butler County,” Commissioner Don Dixon said.

The mental health board’s levy would be one of many that are expected to be on November’s ballot.

Fairfield, Lakota and Ross school boards are considering levies; the city of Middletown is in the process of putting two on the ballot and Trenton is asking for a continuing levy for its fire and EMS.

Matt Mayer, president of the Columbus-based Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, said levy success depends on if they are renewals — which don’t cost extra for taxpayers — or new, replacement or continuing levies.

“What we are now seeing at the local level, the fiscal crisis that has been brewing is starting to hit,” Mayer said.

The Butler County Board of Elections’ deadline for levies to be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot is Aug. 10.

Contact this reporter at (513) 820-2175 or mpitman@coxohio.com. Follow at twitter.com/mdpitman.

Potential November levies

Trenton: Continuing fire and EMS levy, 4.5 mills, anticipated to generate $800,000 annually. Cost to owner of a $100,000 home: $45.

Butler County: Mental health board, five years at 1 mill, anticipated to generate $7.8 million annually. Cost to owner of a $100,000 home: $30.62.

Middletown: Middletown Senior Citizens Inc. levy, 10 years at 0.5 mills, anticipated to generate $422,138 annually. Cost to owner of a $100,000 home: $15.31.

Middletown: City health district levy, 10 years at 0.5 mills, anticipated to generate $422,138 annually. Cost to owner of a $100,000 home: $15.31.

Hanover Twp.: Fire and EMS renewal levy, five years at 1.75 mills, would generate about $300,000 annually.*.

Lakota Local, Ross Local and Fairfield City school boards are considering levies, but action to place the respective levies on the ballot has not been taken.

*Anticipated annual revenues and taxpayer cost was not available


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