DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Residents of Montgomery County will soon have the opportunity to cast their votes regarding topics they feel most critical to their community. One of the issues on November’s ballot will be the renewal of the Human Services levy, which the county said will remain at 6.03 mils.
According the Human Services Levy Council, the tax, “primarily funds the work of county agencies such as Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS), Children Services, Developmental Disabilities Services, and Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County. This issue also funds key senior services, health care for uninsured individuals and selected social services delivered by non-profit agencies under specific contract.”
“We help over 50,000 of our residents here with this levy. And this levy is going to raise approximately $70 million,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge.
Dodge said for a home valued at $100,000, that would translate to about $18 each month. One of the primary reasons to continue the levy, she said, is to continue to supporting Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County throughout the pandemic.
“We’re not through with this pandemic yet at all, no question about it,” Dodge said. “And they are on the forefront. They make sure that as many of our citizens that want to get a vaccine — that it’s available there at Public Health.”
She said it will also help support services that many community members do not regularly consider, such as monitoring of air quality and conducting food inspections at local restaurants. However, local organizations said they are likely to suffer as well if the levy is not renewed.
The Artemis Center, which provides domestic violence survivors with shelter and support during legal proceedings is one of those organizations. They said if the levy doesn’t pass, that could mean a loss of jobs and help for survivors.
“If we don’t get the funds, that reduces our staffing and doesn’t allow us to do our critical services that we need so much,” said Jane Keiffer, executive director of the organization. “We serve over 5,000 individuals each year. And so if we don’t get the money, we won’t be able to serve that many survivors. And we know survivors need our services.”
The YWCA would be in a similar situation.
“On any given day, between Montgomery and Preble counties, YWCA Dayton is sheltering and supporting upwards of 100 women and children,” said Audrey Starr, director of marketing and communications. “So whether that is through the two domestic violence shelters which are the only one’s in each county, to callers into our 24/7 crisis hotline, to women in one of our four transitional housing programs that we operate — we are actively serving about 100 women and children every single day.”
Staff at Montgomery County said overall, the levy will give funding to the following causes:
- Protecting vulnerable children from abuse and neglect and preparing them to thrive in school
- Ensuring elderly people who struggle with physical challenges can obtain health care, meals and assistance in their homes
- Providing early diagnosis and treatment for children with mental and physical disabilities
- Helping adults with developmental disabilities find housing and jobs, and live on their own as parents age
- Keeping us all healthy, with immunizations, flu shots, restaurant inspections, and disaster planning
- Expanding alcohol, drug, and mental health services and crisis access and treatment
- Teaching unemployed adults to find training and jobs to reduce dependence and support themselves
Commissioner Dodge said Montgomery County homeowners will not see an increase in the amount they are currently paying for the tax.
To learn more about the levy, click here.