According to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute, Florida ranks 49th out of 50 states in funding of mental health services.  Sarasota County wants your feedback on whether a referendum to fund the establishment of a local Mental Health Special Dependent District (MHSDD) through an increase in millage (Property Taxes) should be placed on the Nov. 3, 2020, ballot.

millage rate is the tax rate used to calculate local property taxes.  The millage rate represents the amount per every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.  Assigned millage rates are multiplied by the total taxable value of the property to arrive at the property taxes.  A millage increase could provide dedicated funding to expand the mental health services provided to Sarasota County residents.

Per Florida Statutes, a MHSDD may be established by Ordinance or a Referendum only; however, this proposal is to establish a MHSDD via voter Referendum, and the Board of County Commissioner would be responsible for: selecting the mental health programs and services to be funded; approving the annual budget; setting the annual millage; and, the MHSDD’s Revenue/Expenditures would have its own fund within the County Budget and would be included in the County’s financial statements. The range of services the MHSDD would provide is dependent on the amount funding derived from the millage increased through the referendum.

Feedback from this survey will be presented to the Sarasota County Commission in March 2020. Find information about programs currently funded by Sarasota County and Take the Survey (at bottom of page) here: Mental Health District Programs