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Miscellaneous Approaches

Although many of the legislated funding mechanisms states use fall into the primary categories discussed above, states also use various other approaches.

Local Property Taxes

Illinois gave county boards special taxing authority to fund creation of Children's Advocacy Centers—interdisciplinary centers that coordinate investigation and victim assistance in cases of child sexual abuse. The county boards must adopt a resolution for such funding by taxation and submit it to the voters at a general election.58 Similarly, Ohio allows county boards to levy a property tax, with voter approval, to provide grant money for crime victim assistance programs.59

Urban Action Bonds

Connecticut sells urban action bonds, whose proceeds are used to build and renovate centers for the elderly, shelter facilities for domestic violence victims, and emergency shelters.60 Individual programs apply to the Department of Social Services for money from the bonds. Eight domestic violence groups recently applied for and were awarded a total of $400,000 over 4 years for renovation of their facilities.61

Food and Beverage Taxes

Since 1989, Washington has imposed a $1-per-gallon tax on the syrup used to make soft drinks.62 This tax brings in about $4 million annually to fund the reduction of violence and drug enforcement account.63 In Florida, counties have the option of adopting a tax on food, beverages, or alcoholic beverages. Funds raised can be used to support the construction and operation of domestic violence shelters and to help the homeless.64

Inmate Arts and Crafts

Louisiana passed an unusual funding mechanism, the Inmate Arts Trust Fund. Under Louisiana law, arts and crafts created by inmates were to be sold and the proceeds used to pay for services to crime victims. This law was passed in 1995, but the administrative procedures to implement the program were never put in place. So, although arts and crafts of inmates have been sold, the proceeds were never used to fund crime victim services as intended, and the legislation was repealed in 2001.65

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State Legislative Approaches to Funding for Victims' Services,
Legal Series Bulletin #9
December 2003
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