A renewal tax levy to benefit the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities will be placed on the ballot in March 2016.
County commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday to officially send the measure to local voters in the spring. The five-year, 2.1-mill renewal would generate about $13.4 million annually, according to Kristine Hodge, superintendent of the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
The tax burden on property owners would be 21 cents for each $100 of tax valuation. For a homeowner whose residence is valued at $100,00, it would amount to about $61.87 annually. If passed, the levy would go into effect in 2017.
Delaware County voters have supported the Board of Developmental Disabilities in recent elections. According to data from the county Board of Elections website, voters in May 2013 approved a tax levy by a nearly 2-to-1 margin to provide an additional 0.56 mills over eight years. In May 2011, a 2.1-mill, five-year replacement levy gained the approval of voters by a margin of 58-42 percent.
During a county commission meeting on Nov. 9, Hodge told commissioners that the Board of Developmental Disabilities has witnessed what she termed “astronomical growth” since 2010.
“Four hundred and 11 individuals was our net increase, so that’s an increase of 20.3 percent,” she said. “Every year it’s about 4 percent growth in the number of people served. Back in 2010, we served 2,108 people, and right now it’s about 2,429. We serve folks from birth, so from birth to age 3 is our early intervention program. From age 3 until folks pass, we serve them through support administration.”
Hodge said the demographics of individuals served by the Board of Developmental Disabilities breaks down to 80 percent children and 20 percent adults. She said the average annual cost of serving a child in Delaware County is about $2,000. The average annual cost of serving an adult is about $11,700. According to agency projections for the next 16 years past 2016, another 70 adults will be added to their service list, which will increase the service costs.
Hodge told commissioners that the agency’s estimated revenue for 2016 is $20.7 million, while expenses are estimated at $20.3 million. She said the agency will experience a reduction in the amount spent on salaries and benefits, but will see an increase of $88,000 in materials and supplies due to upgrades in information technology infrastructure and hardware replacement. She noted that there will also be an increase in the amount spent on services to individuals.