Indian River County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to advance a tax referendum aimed at improving children’s services in the county. Commissioners plan to ask voters in November 2022 to approve a ballot measure increasing property taxes to fund the Children’s Trust. But first they want to persuade five cities to go along and draft an ordinance establishing the framework for the new special district that would go to public hearing.
The issue had been scheduled for the November 2020 election ballot, but commissioners decided to hold off for two years amidst the economic crisis wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
County attorney Dylan Reingold will bring a draft ordinance before the commission later this year that’s expected to ask voters to increase taxes by 25 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value dedicated to the program in the first four years, increasing to about 38 cents in ensuing years.
Currently, children’s services are funded from the county’s general revenues as a line item in the budget. Under the new framework, children’s programs would have their own category on property tax bills.