During the recent Children’s Services Council (CSC) of Leon County meeting on June 16th, many citizens voiced concerns regarding next year’s millage rate. Due the recent increases in inflation, citizens suggested keeping the current millage rate or even reducing it.
“You need to think about what’s going on in the lives of the people who have to pay this tax. If you’ve been to the gas station or the grocery store recently, you know that inflation is really eating up everybody’s income,” said Emily Fritz, who opposed the tax when it was on the ballot in 2020.
Last year, the council approved a property tax rate of 0.375%, meaning Leon County’s residents paid $37.50 per $100,000 in taxable property value. The tax generated approximately $7 million in revenue for the CSC.
The maximum tax the CSC is allowed to levy is 0.5.
Treasurer Paul Mitchell recommended that the council reduce the millage rate to accommodate the rising property values. If the council agreed to Mitchell’s suggestion, the millage rate would lower from .375 to .343.
However, not all members agreed with the treasurer. Liza McFadden and Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna had the same idea to keep the millage rate the same. McFadden said she wanted to remain consistent with taxpayers. At the same time, Hanna argued to keep it the same and is against an increase.
The millage rate will officially be set at a future meeting.
At their previous meeting, the CSC allocated funds to priority groups for summer programs. However, some in the community criticized the council stating the first funding cycle by the CSC didn’t look good.
Cecka Green, the council’s executive director, said the funding was approved to close gaps during the summer and expand existing programs. She also said the allocations are projected to impact 13,000 youth and families.
TR has requested the anticipated number of children each organization will impact directly, the story will be updated when the information is available.
The first funding cycle by the CSC allocated approximately $1.6 million for more than 50 summer programs.
The top five most significant allocations are listed below with the organization’s stated goals.
The Young Engineers Tallahassee received $180,038. Their listed mission is to bring STEM resources to communities lacking access and those with learning disabilities—specifically, grades K-8 in zip codes: 32301, 32303, 32304, 32305, and 32310.
The Mount Olive Affordable Housing and Community Development received $150,000. Their mission is raise the health standards, economic, educational, and social levels of the substantially unemployed residents of the community or those whose income is below federal poverty guidelines.
The Leon County Schools’ 21st Century Community Learning
received $139,004. The free programs sponsored by this organization provides opportunities during afterschool and summer hours for academic enrichment, including providing tutorial services, particularly for students who attend low-performing schools.
The Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Inc. received $122,709. Second Harvest’s immediate overall goal is to increase targeted food distribution and food cost savings for food-insecure North Floridians. The Summer 2022 Child Nutrition Programming will provide interactive education sheets for various age groups and “Mommy and Me” recipe cards to encourage nutrition-based activities.
The Divine Healthcare Consulting, LLC received $101,737 to reduce the negative stigmas associated with mental illness by empowering, educating, and providing mental health wellness. The group will provide high-quality, low-cost mental health counseling to underserved Black and Indigenous communities and people of color.
Why is Hope in all the comments…
NE Moderate is spot on!
Follow The Money…
CSC pays Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber pays (funnels) funds to Foster’s 4TLH PAC to spew propaganda for candidates who voted to give $27 million of taxpayer funds to Doak… (all paid for by taxpayer monies and campaign contributions from special interests).. the cycle continues..
I believe the Chamber and the 4TLH PAC needs further scrutiny and investigation due to the funds the Chamber received from the CSC Director who was closely associated with two people who were just indicted for 21 financial crimes.
Who will sweep this under the rug and who will do an investigative report?
Commissioner Matlow’s public opposition to the CSC tax increase (which he’s being attacked over by Skip Foster’s new PAC “4TLH”) now looks wiser than ever with the abuse and waste coming from this “for the kids” slush fund.
Ambiguity intentionally written into public policy provides the very foundation for inevitable acts of Public Corruption… Blueprint, CSC, and so on…
There is definitely a train wreck here as the CSC committee is not doing their job. Committee members such as Rocky Hanna, Carolyn Cummings, Darryl Jones, Mark O’Bryant, Judge Sjostrom were stupidly influenced by picking Cecka Rose Green as the Director.
Apparently they didn’t do their research to know that she was closely involved in the Gillum financial mismanagement that resulted in the recent 21 count indictment. This should have eliminated her from consideration yet a simple letter from the mayor’s wife bestowing Green’s virtues suddenly the front runner drops out and Green is at the top of the list. This is how corruption works in Tallahassee, the perfect example. The complete committee should be replaced or indicted themselves.
The CSC Director, Cecka Rose Green, should resign immediately or be fired.
There needs to be an audit regarding her disbursement of funds to questionable organizations and at the top of the list the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.
It is only months since it’s Inception and all ready this organization is riddled with corruption. Who has oversight over this? Some legal and law enforcement intervention is needed here to protect our children – first and foremost – and the taxpayers dollars.
The CSC committee needs to be held accountable.
As I knew, they are doing the same thing (more money to same groups) and expecting different results. More money thrown at something that isn’t working to begin with isn’t money well spent. Where is ANY accountability here?
Good catch, Barb exposing the difference!
What about the CSC Director being so closely affiliated with Andrew Gillum’s campaign where she even gave a statement which Tallahassee Reports published that their shell company was legitimate?
Also, there is a $100,000 controversial payment to the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce from the CSC.
Barb is spot-on with her thoughts here. I noted way back when this felonious boondoggle was being set up, that this was going to require very close scrutiny and transparency. Oh, and since when does a “consulting” firm – an LLC mind you – provide mental health wellness services… and exactly who and what supports their accreditation to do so?… and will anyone challenge their blatant racial discrimination practices?
The tax generated was approx. $7 million and approx. $1.6 million was allocated to various programs. What happened to the difference?
Also, not all of the top five organizations receiving the most significant allocations serve children. One of the organizations serve unemployed residents and one of the organizations serve poor minorities needing mental health care (poor white people needing mental health care – too bad). I thought this tax money was for children’s services.
No Tallahassee politician is ever going to tell you he/she is going to reduce your taxes. No Tallahassee politician is ever going to tell you he/she is going to reduce (black) crime. It is time to say, enough is enough. Tallahassee is run by liberals that could never succeed outside government.