The governing board of Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County on Thursday tentatively approved a 2019-2020 millage rate of .6497 – a 1.47% increase from last year’s rate of .6403.
The increase is necessary because of a decrease in the state’s reimbursement rate for Healthy Start (maternal health) services. If approved on Sept. 19, the new rate also will help the Council:
- Expand access to mental/behavioral health services
- Implement new literacy programs to ensure more young children are ready for kindergarten
- Increase access to mentoring programs to reduce the number of youth on the wait list
- Bolster investments in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) opportunities for youth in summer camps and afterschool programs
“Palm Beach County is a strong, resilient and collaborative community, but there always are opportunities to do even more for our children,” says Lisa Williams-Taylor, CEO. “We believe we play an important role in ensuring that every child has the chance to grow up healthy, safe and strong.”
Under the proposed millage rate, a Palm Beach County owner of a single-family home with a taxable property value of $250,000 (with $50,000 in typical exemptions) will pay about $129.94 in ad valorem taxes to the Council in 2019-2020.
Total ad valorem taxes to the Council would be $124,416,394. Nearly 93% of the Council’s overall budget would go to support children’s programs and services.
Final vote on the Council’s 2019-2020 budget and millage rate begins at 5:01 p.m., Sept. 19, at Children’s Services Council, 2300 High Ridge Rd., Boynton Beach.
In other business
BeWellPBC: The Council approved $100,000 in funding over two years to support BeWellPBC, a behavioral health collective impact initiative housed within Palm Health Foundation. BeWellPBC is the result of a 2017 communitywide behavioral health needs assessment. The goal is to advance and transform the way behavioral health is provided in Palm Beach County – focusing on interagency coordination, community engagement and health equity.
Infant Mortality Awareness: The Council proclaimed September as Infant Mortality Awareness Month, recognizing that a baby’s death before the first birthday is an important measurement of a community’s well-being. The overall infant mortality rate in Palm Beach County increased slightly in both number and rate in 2018 compared to the previous year, with 73 deaths and a rate of 4.8 per 1,000 live births.
Racial disparities in infant mortality still persists, with higher rates of death among black, Hispanic and Haitian babies as compared to white babies. However, Palm Beach County’s black infant mortality rate still remains lower than the statewide level, and lower than all other urban counties in the state except Broward.
About Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County
The Council is a local special-purpose government created by Palm Beach County voters in 1986 and reauthorized in 2014. For more than 30 years, it has provided leadership, funding, services and research on behalf of the county’s children so they grow up healthy, safe and strong.
To make the biggest impact, the Council focuses on prenatal health and early childhood development so more Palm Beach County children are born healthy, grow up safe from abuse and neglect, are ready to learn when they enter school, and have access to quality afterschool and summer programming.
The Council believes that by giving children the fundamental tools for success early, they are more likely to:
- Reach vital growth and developmental milestones
- Graduate from high school
- Become productive members of society
The Council accomplishes its goals by funding local nonprofit and community agencies to provide proven, high-quality services to the county’s children and families.
To contact Shana Cooper, Public Information Officer by email, please click here or call 561.374.7570.