On November 8th, Jackson County residents will have the opportunity to vote on a levy tax that will make a big difference for Jackson County children and their families.
Too many children in our community are living in crisis. In a recent year, more than 4,000 children have been homeless and wait times for area shelters are 1-4 weeks. Nearly 6,000 children have been hospitalized due to mental health issues and wait times for mental health services are four weeks to four months. And on an average day, 1,785 children in our community are living in foster care and searching for safety.
What can we do?
Establishing a Children’s Services Fund will affect children in our community who need it most. The money raised through the sales tax will allow the Fund to provide critical resources for shelters so kids are safe and not on the streets. It will also provide interventions services that keep our neighborhoods safe and early prevention services that keep children out of crime in the first place. Most importantly Jackson County residents can have confidence in knowing that important resources will not only remain in Jackson County, but will be managed by an independent citizens’ board instead of a big government agency.
How does it work?
A 1/8th-cent sales tax will be established in Jackson County. Basically, for every $8 spent, one penny will go towards the Children’s Services Fund. A committee comprised of non-agency, non-political volunteers will oversee the distribution of funds. This fund will not be directed by the government. The board will appropriately distribute funds to organizations actively working to strengthen and protect children in Jackson County. This initiative can help provide $15 million each year for programs to help meet the biggest needs for the children most vulnerable in our community. A minor sales tax levy can play a major role in providing vital services to children and youth in Jackson County who need it most. This measure will help strengthen families and create a better environment for children to thrive.
Return on Investment
Seven other counties in Missouri have passed a sales tax initiative establishing a Children’s Service Fund, and the funds support an array of services that are having positive outcomes.
These outcomes include:
- reducing child abuse and neglect
- helping families regain housing and stability
- creating other positive outcomes in enabling children and youth to become productive members of their community.
Funds in other counties have shown that prevention helps lower health care costs, increases graduation rates, and lessens repeat offenders. For every $1 invested, $11 in taxpayer money is saved. Funds raised within Jackson County would be used for programs and services to benefit at-risk children and youth from birth to age 19 in Jackson County.