Hamilton County taxpayers will decide to raise mental health tax

In November, voters will decide if they want to pay more for mental health services.

The three-member Hamilton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to put a tax increase for the mental health tax on the ballot.

The tax, if approved, would increase the amount Hamilton County property owners pay for mental health tax on their property tax by 32%.

“We can see and we can hear what is happening in our community,” Hamilton County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Stephanie Summerow Dumas said. “Anxiety, depression and mental health issues are everywhere.”

The current mental health tax costs $40.93 per $100,000 of home value. The increase, the first since 2007, would increase the cost by $13.30 per $100,000 of value.

The levy would bring in $45 million a year. The current levy brings in $36.5 million a year, which is distributed by the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

Without this increase, mental health services would have to be cut, said the head of the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

The Mental Health Board does not directly provide mental health services. Instead, the royalty proceeds are split among 25 contracted providers.

Talbert House, a mental health and addiction treatment facility, received the largest share in 2022 with $7.6 million.

The next largest share went to Behavioral Health Services of Greater Cincinnati and its staff of 700, including psychiatrists, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, counselors, care managers, and health care specialists. employment. The organization got $6 million from the tax in 2022.

Some agencies provide housing and rental assistance.

“The royalty dollars support what it takes to rehabilitate someone to get a job and back into a living space to the point where they can support themselves and the royalty,” said Patrick Tribbe, president of the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

Now it’s up to taxpayers to decide, Commissioner Alicia Reece said.

“We’re only voting to put it on the ballot so it can go to the people,” Reece said. “The people will have the last word.”

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