Montgomery County To Seek More Money For Human Services In November
Montgomery County is looking for more money to support services for senior citizens, foster kids, and the poor and unemployed by taking a request for a levy increase to voters this November.
The county says human services needs are growing, but resources are shrinking, mainly because property values have gone down, and that’s what property taxes are based on. Each year since 2010 Human Services has seen millions in cuts, totaling over $20 million.
Commissioner Judy Dodge says she hopes it will be affordable for most people to put in a slightly larger percentage—the county estimates the monthly additional cost on a $100,000 home will be $3 for an increase to 8.21 mills.
“I guess I could probably skip that cup of coffee when I go to Starbucks once a month,” said Dodge. She says human services has gradually eliminated 200 positions and cut costs where it can, but the issue is coming to a head. Earlier this year employees in children’s services threatened a strike over wages and benefits.
The agency estimates it serves approximately 50,000 people including job-seekers, children and the elderly.
Lewis Wallace is WYSO's managing editor, substitute host and economics reporter. Follow him @lewispants.