Boone Co. to Vote on Prop. 1

Sales tax increase would fund children's services in county

POSTED: 01:52 PM CDT Nov 01, 2012    UPDATED: 06:39 AM CST Feb 22, 2013 

Boone County voters next Tuesday will decide whether they want to fund children's mental health services through a sales tax. If passed, Proposition 1 would increase the sales tax by a quarter of a percent. Twenty children services agencies banded together to form a coalition to raise funding to help combat problems that children face in the county. "Kids that are homeless have no home, kids that were turned away would have shelter under this funding," said Christine Corcoran, coordinator of Putting Kids First. Putting Kids First did an assessment and found a nearly $4 million gap in funding, which they hope to fill with the sales tax increase. That means for every four dollars someone spends in the county, they would spend an extra penny in sales tax. Voters who talked with ABC 17 News say they usually do not like sales tax increase, but if it's going to help children suffering from abuse and depression, they support it. "Normally I wouldn't vote for a sales tax, but I think this was designed for people who are really in need," said voter Scott Cristal. "And therefore, I have decided to vote for this sales tax." The latest data shows that one out of ten kids in Boone County has considered suicide. Sixth to twelfth graders have an even higher rate of depression and substance abuse than the rest of the state. "I think everybody ought to read the proposition and then make a decision based on that," said Proposition 1 supporter Andy Simpson. "It does make a difference. Even one vote can make a big difference in an election." The proposition will need a simple majority for it to pass. If it does, the county commission will appoint an independent board of Boone County citizens to oversee the money. The board will also be audited to make sure the funds are spent effectively.