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Community Members Show Support For County Tax Levies

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Ambriehl Crutchfield
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WVXU
Hamilton County Board of Commissioners listen to community members during public hearings Thursday night.

Hamilton County Commissioners are getting community members' opinions before voting next week on two tax levies to put on the November ballot.

One of the levies would cover developmental disabilities services, which impacts schools, adult services and early intervention programs. If it passes, property owners would pay roughly $114 per year per home worth $100,000. Hamilton County Senior Policy Manager Lisa Webb says for homes worth more than $100,000 the figure could double to $228.

Melissa Overbeck spoke at Thursday's meeting. She says her daughter has developmental disabilities and couldn't be a student in the Northwest School District. "We didn't know what was going to happen to her," she says. "However, this would turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to us because she was able to become a student at Bobbie B. Fairfax." She says her daughter has anxiety, sensory issues and is mostly nonverbal. Overbeck says being at a smaller school that specializes in educating people with developmental disabilities was invaluable.

The county is required to fund the levy. If it doesn't pass, the county will have to find a different way to pick up the tab.

Commissioners will also vote on a levy for family services and treatment, which provides services for people in the criminal justice system.

The renewal levy costs about $6 million a year.

Newtown Police Chief Thomas Synan spoke in favor of the levy. "We cannot punish addiction out of someone," he says. "Not only is the individual but the family and community is better served when we look at longer-term solutions in treatment."

Community members gave personal testimonies asking for commissioners to vote to put the levies on November's ballot.

The commissioners will vote on the levies at next Thursday's meeting.