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A sign outside the Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board building in Athens, Ohio, sits in support of the levy for mental health and addiciton services on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.

Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services District levy passes

Issue 20, a renewal of a tax benefitting the Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services District, or the 317 Board, passed with 69.63% of votes in favor of the levy in Athens County, 55.80% in Hocking County and 54.01% from Vinton County. 

In order to pass, the overall vote of all three counties had to be in favor of it. 

In Athens County, 30.37% of votes were cast in opposition to the levy. In Hocking County, 44.2% of votes opposed the tax and in Vinton County, 45.99%. 

The passing of this levy is important to the organization because it supplies more than 20% of its operational funding, and supports more than 50 community nonprofits and programs throughout the Tri-County area. 

Revenue from the levy will go to support local mental health and substance use disorder service providers, including My Sister’s Place, a domestic violence shelter, Hopewell Health Centers, Athens, Hocking, and Vinton Counties Opiate Task Force and Athens and Hocking County Suicide Prevention Coalition. 

Because it was a renewal, the levy will not raise the amount of money that people pay in taxes, even with inflation. 

The levy allows for the 317 Board to tax at a rate that doesn’t exceed one mill for each $1 of valuation, amounting to $0.10 per $100 of valuation. The tax will last 10 years, commencing in 2022 and first due in the 2023 calendar year. 

Marissa McDaid, communication and community engagement specialist for the 317 Board, was hopeful before the election that people would see the need for the levy. 

The 317 Board has funded local mental health and substance use disorder service providers for more than 50 years, and the passage of this levy will help it continue. McDaid said all of their levies have passed in previous years. 

“We talk to people every single day who talk about how our services are needed, and how we need more mental healthcare in the region,” McDaid said. “You hope that people remember that on Election Day.”

McDaid said that the 317 Board has two 10-year levies that are staggered by years, with the last levies put on the ballot in 2011 and 2017. She said the next time a levy from the 317 Board will be on the ballot is in 2027.

This article will be updated with the most up-to-date information. 

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