Leon County to hold public hearing on children's services council

Leon County commissioners to vote on children's services council
Leon County commissioners to vote on children's services council
Posted at 5:04 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 14:18:14-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - The Leon County Commission is taking another look at the idea of a "children's services council."

The idea could be on your ballot this November.

$8 million: That's how much money Leon County could generate every year if voters approve a new property tax.

But before the idea even winds up on a ballot, commissioners say they need to talk about it some more.

A children's services council district would be funded through taxpayer dollars. A governing body independent from the county would use that money for specific needs.

The 2018 Florida Child Well-Being Index ranks Leon County as 10th in the state, but there were several areas where the county isn't doing so well.

The council would address those issues, which include economic well-being, family and community, and health.

Commissioners are split on whether or not the county needs a new tax to do that and to have an independent council make financial decisions.

"I really feel concerned about that -- just not having any kind of oversight on a very big property tax. It's going to be $8 million a year," said Mary Ann Lindley, a Leon County commissioner. "So, I'm concerned about getting some options other than the children's services council. It might be that, ultimately, but I want to see what else."

Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley says the county could lose millions of dollars if voters approve a new homestead exemption in November.

She says that hit plus adding a potential new tax leaves her with several questions she hopes the commission will answer before it goes before voters.

The county has scheduled a public hearing about the children's services council on Tuesday, June 19.