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"There won't be a reduction of services" - Leon CSC leader responds to concerns over funding for programs

Posted at 6:13 PM, Sep 12, 2023
  • Leaders with the Leon County Children's Services Council are discussing lowering property tax rates to support the program.
  • Community advocate Christic Henry and Commissioner Bill Proctor voiced opposition to lowering the rate.
  • CSC Executive Director Cecka Rose Green says they will still be able to provide the same services to the community.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Leaders with the Leon County Children's Services Council will discuss lowering taxes for the organization.

With a millage rate of .375, Leon County homeowners are paying 37 cents for every $1,000 dollars of assessed property value.

With the potential roll back, that could go down to 3 cents to 34 cents per $1,000.

The funding is used for programs that provide children early learning and reading skills, developmental care, mentoring and more.

"I do believe they're in the right direction, they have the right team, the right sauce," said community advocate and realtor Christic Henry.

People like Henry said they are concerned about lowering the rate.

"I don't want to see the value of the referendum be rolled back, because I don't think it's been given it's opportunity to find it's legs in the community," Henry said.

She said the CSC needs the money now more than ever.

"Think about the myriad of other needs that are there. Social and emotional health, constant and affordable healthcare," Henry said.

CSC Executive Director Cecka Rose Green said services currently provided will not be lessened if the millage rate goes down.

"There won't be a reduction of services. I think the concern is that there won't be a larger amount of money to be able to have more services infused into the community," Rose Green said. "Totally understand that, totally respect that. But it is a process."

With the proposed millage decrease, the CSC will still bring in around $7.64 million, about $7 thousand more than last year's revenue.

At a press conference Tuesday, Henry, alongside county Commissioner Bill Proctor, said more money needs to be given to help families with the cost of living on the rise.

"Not that this is to be a fund that buys shoes or buys clothes, but there's organizations that understand the construct of meeting the needs for folk," Henry said.

Rose Green said it is about exploring all options.

"We want to look at that needs assessment look at those recommendations, look at what we've already started and what makes sense to move forward," Rose Green said.

Leon County locals can voice their opinions on the proposed change at the CSC meeting on Thursday.