Fulton County voters will decide Tuesday whether to increase a levy that helps fund the county health department. The request is to renew the current 0.5-mill levy with an addition of 0.1-mill to pay for increased costs.
The Fulton County Health Department is funded by two 0.5 mill levies, along with grants, program fees and service fees. The levy on the ballot is the older of the two and a portion of it dates back to 1954, according to Kim Cupp, health commissioner. It has been renewed and replaced since then.
A replacement levy was approved by voters in 2003, increasing the amount collected.
According to the county auditor, the current effective millage is 0.382923 and generates $467,970.56 per year.
“We chose the renewal (0.5) with additional (0.1) rather than a replacement,” said Cupp. “When a levy is replaced, the qualified tax discount for owner occupied homes is required to be discontinued. Thus a replacement would cost the taxpayer more than the renewal with 0.1 mill additional.”
Cupp said the increase in millage is needed to cover the increased costs of operation. The services that are levy funded include those that cannot be funded through grants or service and program fees.
“Examples of those services include public health nuisance investigation, school building inspections, water and food safety consultations not associated with a permitted system or licensed facility, some disease investigation, certified car seat technicians who provide education one on one with parents on proper installation and fitting so the child is safely secured, and support for many other programs/services,” she said.