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Columbia Missourian

Boone County youth-mental-health tax gets place on ballot

By Grace Lyden
August 30, 2012 | 5:51 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Putting Kids First petition signatures have been verified, and a quarter-cent sales tax to fund youth mental health services will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot in Boone County.

A final surge of signatures brought the total to 8,233, and 6,703 were necessary for verification, Christine Corcoran, director of regional operations for Lutheran Family and Children's Services of Missouri, said Thursday.

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Corcoran has been spearheading the Putting Kids First efforts with a coalition of representatives from 20 Columbia social service agencies.

Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren confirmed the signatures' verification.

The ballot question is the third attempt to create a tax for local mental health services in the past 20 years. A property tax for mental health services was voted down by 72 percent of voters in April 1994, and attempts in 2007 did not make it to the ballot.

Corcoran said the coalition's next step in the campaign is to get the word out.

"That's really our mission between now and November," she said.

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