Voters Approve New Escambia Children’s Children’s Trust And Small Property Tax Increase To Fund It

November 4, 2020

Escambia County voters approved a new Children’s Services Council (CSC).

Complete, but unofficial, totals show 97,625 Escambia County residents (60.90%) voted in favor of creating the Escambia Children’s Trust, while 62,689 (39.10%) voted against

The Escambia Children’s Trust is the proposed name for the CSC in Escambia County. The sole purpose of a CSC is to invest in the well-being of children by maximizing resources and ensuring accountability.

The trust will not deliver service. Instead, it will fund community providers who can demonstrate measurable desired outcomes through a competitive review and accountability process.

The Escambia Children’s Trust will receive a new 0.5 mill county property tax that will cost the average Escambia County homeowner $40 per year. Other property owners will pay an average of $67 per year. The additional half mill will not be collected until 2022.

Of the funds collected, 90% of funds will go into direct programing, 4% will be  paid to the Escambia County Tax Collector for collecting the funds, and 6% will be used by the trust for administrative costs.

The trust will have an initial 10 year life before it must go back to the voters.

A 10-member board will govern the Escambia Children’s Trust. Five members will be appointed by the governor. The other five members will be the superintendent of schools, one school board member, the district administrator for the Department of Children and Families; one member of the Escambia County Commission and a  a judge assigned to juvenile cases.

The board will be required to submit quarterly and annual reports to the Escambia County Commission.

According to supporters, the Escambia Children’s Trust was needed in Escambia County because:

  • The substantial needs in Escambia County, especially now with the negative impacts of COVID-19, dwarf the resources of the service providers working in early childhood education, detection, prevention, and wellness.
  • We are 4th in the State in reported child abuse cases and 3rd in the arrest of Black males under 18.
  • Escambia County is 47th out of 67 counties in child well-being, an index of 16 areas that look at children’s overall quality of life. Santa Rosa County ranks 8th.
  • The Trust would provide additional success-based investments in programs to meet the critical needs of all of our children with evidenced based proven expanded and new programs.
  • The Trust would also have trained, experienced staff to help coach existing service providers and their staff in creating systems and processes to set programmatic success metrics and capture the data required to measure and report successes.
  • The Trust will have a significant advantage in that it will have a sustainable, recurring revenue stream with a ten (10) year life that is controlled locally.
  • Its funding comes directly to the Trust and is not dependent upon fluctuating annual governmental appropriations or the strength of the economy, which is particularly important in unstable times like these when contributions to service providers can drop while demand for services increase. photo.


8 Responses to “Voters Approve New Escambia Children’s Children’s Trust And Small Property Tax Increase To Fund It”

  1. Dale Barnes on October 31st, 2021 9:32 pm

    Majority of my property tax is for Escambia county schools. I have no children in school but am burdened with this tax as long as I own my property. Likewise, the childrens trust tax has been levied on property owners because it’s convenient for the county to collect it and again, those who have no children are paying for programs for other peoples children. The lack of fairness taxing homeowners when they get absolutely no benefit from what they are paying for. If children in this county are so in need of Services, there are more ways to insure the tax is distributed fairly, especially to those who have children.

  2. Gale on August 14th, 2021 3:53 pm

    To be fair let’s do a gas tax. That way EVERYONE will help pay for this instead of putting more burden on property owners who have struggled their whole life to own a home.
    I will always say NO to any property tax increase

  3. Rasheed Jackson on November 6th, 2020 1:12 pm

    Back in the early 1920’s my Granddaddy had an ole dog that decided to lay around the house and not hunt. They would take him out and he would beat them back to the house. He knew the dog was capable of pulling his weight and would make a good hunting dog. In those days there was no such thing as a pet. Every thing had a purpose and a job or they didn’t stay.
    One day he decided to make sure the dog didn’t share in the feeding time with the other dogs. Back then there was no special dog foods. The dogs would eat the scraps left from meals and trimmings from the game that was killed, fish heads, or what ever they could catch. When the free meals stopped and ole Stump got hungry he started hunting for something to eat. He turned out to be a pretty good contributor to the family.
    It seams our society has become full of ole Stumps. Not only will they not work to feed themselves but they won’t even work to feed their own children so we tax those that do and pander to those that don’t.
    Please before you jump in I am not talking about the children but their dead beat parents that are, in many cases, on government assistance. If the parents were doing their job there would be no need for programs like this.

  4. tax payer on November 5th, 2020 7:05 pm

    don’t have kids never will. should be a sales tax

  5. JD on November 5th, 2020 3:02 pm

    Maybe only people that pay property taxes should vote on things like this. I shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s children if it was fair it would have been a sales tax.

  6. William Radcliffe on November 5th, 2020 8:38 am

    Another bureaucratic program that will accomplish little and whose services could be provided within the current government structure. And all at taxpayers expense. Why not provide these services within an existing structure?

  7. Nod on November 4th, 2020 6:38 pm

    For the children. Like most programs people who own property pay for a giveaway program that will not work. I wish it would be a good program but I doubt it

  8. Josh Jones on November 4th, 2020 10:22 am

    I hope the governor appoints Quint Studer as a member of the board. His Studer Institute would be a great partner in this new Children’s Services Council.

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