Benton County Approves Tax For Mental Health Services

By Dori Luzzo Gilmour

Benton County Commissioners approved to move forward with a new sales and use tax.

It’ll cost residents 1 cent on every $10 to fund behavioral and mental health services. The new tax will be implemented in July 2022.

Commissioner Jerome Delvin was one of two that voted Yes today. Delvin explains that there has been some confusion on what this tax is for; “there are some services coming that might not be funded by the legislature next July…we want to make sure we have the funding to keep those services going…and we can start expanding some other services…there has been some groups meeting about mobile mental health…”

State legislators wanted the County to enact local tax collections in order to receive state money for a facility for behavioral health.  Delvin says “first they get the engineering and architect money…. design up front, and then once that… the state authorizes more money or allocates more money out of the capital budget to build it.

Using their ‘Council Maniac Authority” means they commissioners can approve this new tax without a public vote. Delvin and the other Commissioners have also requested federal money for a facility.