KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County voters will soon decide if a tax that pays for a number of community services should be renewed and expanded.
Currently 1/8th cent of the county sales tax goes to the fund. Supporters hope to increase that to 1/4 cent in an upcoming election.
Voters approved the tax in 2016. The Children’s Services Fund helps dozens of organizations and programs provide everything from mental health and family counseling services to after-school care and child abuse prevention.
In 2022, the sales tax is expected to provide a total of $15.8 million to 102 programs across the metro.
Legislators said support to renew the tax is there, according to community meetings they’ve attended.
“The support for this effort to renew this and to increase its funding capacity to help the community. Just to hear the amount of people who’ve been helped by this and the number of kids that have been helped with everything from housing to mental health, family therapy, and a whole number of other things,” Tony Miller, of Lee’s Summit, said.
Supporters said they realize it means more money out of the pockets of taxpayers, but say it’s an important cause.
“I know over 64,000 children have been helped and also connected groups that we support here with outside agency funds also get help from the Children’s Services Fund. I do think it’s crucial, especially speaking with the parents,” Jalen Anderson, of Blue Springs, said. “This is clearly more than just politics. It’s clearly more than just left or right. It’s clearly very much been the focus of what we have to do to meet the challenges over the next few years.”
The Jackson County Legislator hopes to see the issue on a ballot as soon as November, according to Tuesday’s meeting.
During the meeting, Miller said if the issue fails in November lawmakers would be able to rework the language and put it before voters again before the tax expires.
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