The Council for Behavioral Health supports a bump in the transfer tax for affordable housing funding

Proposed state legislation supported by the Clark Regional Board of Behavioral Health would increase the real estate transfer tax by 20 cents for every $500 of value to build affordable housing for Nevadans with mental health conditions, disabilities and those with low incomes.

Senate Bill 68, requested by the Senate Committee on Revenue and Economic Development on behalf of the Board of Behavioral Health, would need the support of a two-thirds majority in both houses of the state legislature because it would involve a tax increase. The newly elected ruler was promised that the state would see No new taxes under it.

Despite these possibilities, Robin Reddy, Nevada executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), believes there is justification for this suggestion.

“You have the whole conservative country, no one wants to be taxed, any revenue stream is a tax, all those phrases out there, but the biggest part of this is if we spend the money upfront, we save more,” Reddy said.

The largest portion of Americans and Nevadans receive mental and behavioral health care through emergency room visits, According to state dataor through law enforcement encounters, in accordance with According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Taxpayers foot the bill regardless, Reddy said, it’s just a matter of where that money goes.

Three days in UMC would cost taxpayers the same as three months in a Clark County detention center (the area’s largest prescriber of behavioral health drugs) that would cost the same as one year for a single unit in supportive housing, according to a report by Sarah Adler, a policy specialist at NAMI Nevada.

Adler, who drafted the proposed legislation, has a sister in Michigan who lives with a bipolar diagnosis and a godson, Jamie, in Carson City who lives with schizophrenia. Both are serious mental illnesses, and people with serious mental illnesses are to blame One-third of the homeless population in America.

“Jamie will never be able to live independently, he will always need to administer medication and other supports,” Adler said. “Right now, his 72-year-old mom puts in about 25 hours a week and more than $2,000 a month to maintain his housing stability and, fortunately, has a housing choice voucher.”

She said if any of these things collapsed, his condo would collapse.

Adler said that in addition to the mentally ill, people coming out of addiction treatment facilities, people with untreated addictions, and people experiencing chronic homelessness also need supportive housing.

The proposed legislation would address these residents and those living with disabilities, including those with behavioral health conditions and mental disabilities who cause them One in five Social Security claims for disability.

Providing a home can prevent worsening mental health and substance abuse conditions and is one of the basic needs for recovery. According to SAMHSA.

20 cents for every $500 of value would amount to an additional $160 on a $400,000 sale, and would apply to sales of residential, commercial, and retail space. Revenue generated will use existing federal, state and charitable sources to help fund supportive housing.

“It won’t change people’s opportunity to become homeowners,” Adler said.

Funds will be approved by the Nevada Department of Housing for no more than 10% of those funds used for administrative purposes, and then allocated to the five Regional Boards of Behavioral Health Policy (Clark, Washoe, Northern, Southern and Countryside) in the state, for a minimum of $500,000 per region.

For example, the Clark Regional Behavioral Health Board, which serves 73% of the population statewide, would receive an estimated $10.2 million in funding annually.

Councils will determine what percentage of the money allocated to them will be used for rental assistance and home repair help and what percentage will be used for housing and support services – with at least 25% of the funds being used for each. Councils can then use the remaining funds as they see fit for their communities.

The Nevada real estate title transfer tax came under scrutiny after a Las Vegas Journal Review The investigation last May found that buyers and sellers in multimillion-dollar real estate deals in the Gaza Strip had used Existing gaps To avoid paying it, resulting in the loss of millions in revenue for the state.

“Every time the economy goes down…”

Adler told lawmakers that she debated the bill with his support, but recent legislative history suggests the way forward is complex, even when political power is not divided between parties.

During the 2019 session, Las Vegas City Support a bill to allow the city to use sewer surcharges and a real estate title transfer tax to fund affordable housing and homeless services. This bill has been amended to a task force to study the issue. That task force Suggested recommendations before the 2021 legislature, but none of the recommendations have been adopted.

“Every time the economy collapses (lawmakers) they cut behavioral health services,” said Reddy, who prior to joining NAMI worked in the offices of state treasurer and Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons. “They cut health and human services because that’s one of the few places they can actually do because there are so many services that are obligated, and then there are other services that if you cut them you lose the matching federal money.”

“When the economy gets better, they never renew it,” she added.

But Reddy said factors may be different this time around, including how the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked mental health concerns among a larger population, the impact of homelessness on tourism in Las Vegas and Reno, the implementation of 988, and more law enforcement agents. They talk about confinement not being a solution for mental health.

The newly installed Governor Joe Lombardo and the departure of the former Clark County Sheriff On the record indicating that he supports shifting funding away from the police and into social services.

Nevada’s long-term, systematic withdrawal of investments in community services and child supervision doesn’t just make them over the top. Down the nation for prevalence of mental health in children But it is also under investigation by the Department of Justice, which found that the state of Nevada unnecessarily placed children with behavioral health needs in institutions. Disability rights are violated under Title II.

Some of NAMI’s major policy goals include expanding housing for those with mental health conditions, decriminalizing mental illness, and Increase services to 988said Sheldon Jacobs, a family therapist in Southern Nevada and a member of the National Board of Directors for the Family Medicine Clinic growing. The 68th session will address all three of these policy objectives.

State Senator Fabian Donnett (D-Clark) sits on the Clark Regional Behavioral Health Council, is vice chair of the Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee, and chair of the Senate Health and Human Services (HHS).

Donate will not comment on the impact of this legislation before it reaches its committee.

He said in a statement to Present. “I am very optimistic about this upcoming legislative session and getting the opportunity to have deep conversations about the relationship between improving access to mental health services and reducing social determinants of health.” [like housing] They are located throughout the state of Nevada.

The legislative session begins on February 6.

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