County voters Tuesday struck down a proposed property tax increase to fund the Developmental Services of Franklin County.
The measure was an increase in funding from the current level of 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to 20 cents.
Dr. Ron Kruse, executive director for the county’s developmental services agency, said that the increase is needed to meet the high demand for the services.
The measure received 24,411 votes, or 54.05, votes against it; and 20,752, or 45.95 percent, votes in favor.
“We understand that this is a tough time and people are concerned about paying more taxes,” said Kruse, “but there are quite a few people who saw the value in this.”
The tax rate has remained the same since it was instituted 25 years ago.
“Those of us in the field see the importance of the services, and how it makes lives better for what I feel is a small amount,” Kruse said.
Kruse added that the organizers will meet in a few weeks to discuss how to proceed with current funding.
Proponents say that the additional funds would have provided education, therapy, facilities and resources for people with developmental disabilities.
Nonprofit service organizations that provide services for people with developmental disabilities who would have received funding from this tax include Sheltered Workshops, Exceptional Equestrians, Gateway Education and Therapy, Rainbow Activity Center and Franklin County Transportation.
It is estimated that county agencies are able to serve about a third of the 1,300 individuals known to have developmental disabilities.
Kruse noted that the Franklin County Developmental Disabilities Resource Board, which was pushing for the tax increase, will continue to seek grants to bring in more state and federal funds.