Council approves rolling back tax rate for 2022-23 fiscal year

The governing board of Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County on Thursday approved a 2022-2023 millage rate of .5508 – a nearly 12 percent decrease from last year, which is the rolled-back rate. 
The Council’s revenue will remain the same despite the reduction in the rate, allowing it to meet the needs of the Palm Beach County families in innovative ways. This is especially important as our community continues to recover from a global pandemic. 
In the upcoming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, the Council will focus on supporting mental health and wellness, as well as children and youth exposed to trauma. The Council also will increase access to summer camps and expand home-visiting services to ensure our children are ready for school.
 “We are thrilled to continue to reduce our tax rate and still be able to bolster our community,” says Lisa Williams-Taylor, CSC’s CEO. “We have again found new and creative ways to support grassroots nonprofits that best understand the needs of their neighbors, while continuing to ensure parents have the support they need so their children are ready for kindergarten and beyond.”
Under the new millage rate, a Palm Beach County owner of a single-family home with an assessed property value of $375,000 (with $50,000 in typical exemptions) will pay about $179 in ad valorem taxes to the Council in 2022-2023. 
Total ad valorem taxes to the Council will be $135,296,992. Nearly 91% of the Council’s overall budget will go to support children’s programs and services.

In other business

Early Care and Education: Staff proposed to Council long-term changes to its Quality Improvement System, called Strong Minds, over the next two years. CSC recommends repurposing funding and engaging the community to re-imagine Palm Beach County’s early care and education system to ensure all children are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. Funding for child care and SEEK (professional development) scholarships will not be impacted by this change. Council will vote on this item in October.

GII Capacity Building Pipeline: Six organizations, which formerly received funding through the Great Ideas Initiative, will continue their work to build their nonprofit’s capacity in Year Two of Capacity Building Pipeline funding. As a result of this opportunity, organizations will:
•    Continue to strengthen and optimize their operations, infrastructure and back-office supports;
•    Continue to provide programs and services to PBC children and their families;
•    Receive year-long coaching through CSC’s partnership with the FAU Small Business
•    Development Center; and
•    Be better positioned to pursue additional financial support, including available funding through CSC.
The Council previously approved up to $300,000 of unexpended funds in the CSC budget to be used for the Great Ideas Initiative Capacity Building Pipeline. Individual awards range from $31,500 to $50,000, bringing the total 2022 GII CBP awards to $281,500.

Catchafire: In collaboration with seven other local funders, Children’s Services Council is making a capacity building opportunity available to small nonprofit organizations. Catchafire is a comprehensive, online suite of support, training and education that helps nonprofits assess their organizational needs and matches them with professional volunteers. Invited grantees sponsored through this engagement will be provided with unlimited access to the grantee landing page and skills-based volunteer platform. Services may include one-on-one coaching, group forums, monthly trainings, and executive support groups. 

The funders identified a total of 250 local nonprofits that will have initial access to services. Catchafire will customize their platform for Palm Beach County and will work with the funders to reach out to the nonprofits to offer access. CSC included all 30 of the recently awarded Great Idea Initiative awardees, as well as the previous GII awardees that had applied for the Capacity Building Pipeline but were not awarded. Each funder is providing $18,750 to make the Catchafire opportunity available and will have access to the system to track the level of participation of the nonprofits.

Books Giveaways: On August 27, CSC’s Communications Division sponsored its second Booksgiving to provide books to Palm Beach County School District teachers for their classrooms. Within three hours, 518 teachers – about 1 in every 12 elementary school teachers in the district – walked out of Children’s Services Council with books for their students. In all, teachers received more than 40,000 books, going to 111 traditional and charter schools.
More than 88 percent of Palm Beach County School District elementary schools had at least one teacher at Booksgiving, with some having more than 15 teachers attend. More than two dozen CSC staffers and their family members volunteered at the event.

Communications also provided about 6,000 books in the K-5th grade range at the annual “Back to School PBC!” event on July 30. The team distributed books at the Palm Beach State campus in Belle Glade, Village Academy in Delray Beach and the Palm Beach County Convention Center, the largest site. Books also went to the Edna Runner Tutorial Center in Jupiter prior to the event.

Familias Latinas Facebook Group: Working with CRL Media, an outreach vendor selected through an open RFP, CSC is soft-launching this fall a new Facebook Group called “Familias Latinas de PBC.” The outreach was developed after interviews with long-time Spanish-speaking residents and new arrivals to the county, in-person and phone surveys, and focus groups to determine what information would be helpful. The site will feature CSC images and promote EveryParent content through a Spanish-language landing page that includes videos in Spanish.     

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.

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