ASK THE EXPERT
Every five years, the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services asks voters in Miami, Darke and Shelby Counties to approve a small property tax levy for the purpose of providing counseling and supportive services to children and adults through the operation of alcohol and drug addiction programs and mental health programs.
It is time to renew the levy on the November 2 2021 ballot, to be assessed beginning in 2022 and collected beginning in 2023, for five years. There is a long history of strong support for the Tri-County Mental Health & Recovery Levy. In 2016, voters overwhelmingly approved the measure, with about 2 out 3 votes in favor. In 2006 and 2011, voters approved by similar margins.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Because it is a renewal (not a new tax) most homeowners pay a reduced millage. One mill equals one tenth of one cent, and the renewal rate is 0.6 mill, or 6 cents ($0.06) for each $100 of valuation. With various rollbacks, the actual collected rate is closer to 0.43 mill. A typical homeowner (based on median home values) would pay about $20 a year or less, or about 5 cents per day.
WHAT IS THE MONEY FROM THE LEVY USED FOR?
Local funds ensure the availability of mental health and recovery services to all residents of Miami, Darke, and Shelby Counties—regardless of ability to pay—through a network of provider agencies. Services include (but are not limited to): counseling; 24-hour crisis services; access to hospitals and detox beds; medication-assisted treatment; supportive housing; criminal justice programs; suicide prevention; peer support; education and advocacy; prevention and wellness; community coalitions; and more.
While many clinical services are paid by private insurance or Medicaid, many other services are not. We refer to these services as what happens the “Other 23 Hours” in a day when a person is not in a clinical setting, that are critical to well-being and sustained recovery. As an example, recovery homes are very expensive to operate and staff 24/7, and are not reimbursed by insurance.
A wide range of mental health and recovery services are available in Miami, Darke, and Shelby Counties. The Tri-County Board is constantly working with local providers to close gaps in the “continuum of care.” Some highly-specialized services such as residential detox may be provided in adjacent counties, but residents of Miami, Darke, and Shelby Counties have access to them through local providers and with the support of Tri-County Board funding.
WHAT CAN I DO TO SUPPORT THE LEVY?
The most important action residents of Miami, Darke and Shelby Counties can take is to vote! Check your registration status and polling locations, request a yard sign or sticker, and get answers to your questions at www.YESforMentalHealth.com.