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Litigation tax allotment to nonprofit may change

By Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Oct 29, 2013 at 8:18 PM

The Wilson County Commission had discussions recently on how to divvy up money collected by a litigation tax.

Normally, money collected from the county’s litigation tax, which was set up years ago to help victims of crime in Wilson County, goes to Court Appointed Special Advocates.

“CASA provides trained volunteers who advocate in court for the stability and healthy development of abused and neglected children,” according to the organization’s website.

At September’s Wilson County Judicial Committee meeting, another organization, the Child Advocacy Center approached the committee about being included and receiving funds from the litigation tax.

The CAC serves Wilson, Smith, Macon, Jackson and Trousdale counties and helps children in the communities who are victims of sexual and physical abuse.

The committee, throughout conversion, then brought up different ways it could possibly split the sum or approach the issue.

Commissioner Gary Keith said splitting the $90,000 in funds 85-15 starting Jan. 1 would give CASA 85 percent and the CAC 15 percent, and the CAC could come back in a year around budget time to request more money.

Finance Director Aaron Maynard said the committee could choose which organization specifically to fund and was under no obligation either way.

Commissioner Mike Justice said the county should give CASA time to manipulate its budget and ask the county for $15,000 for the CAC to come from the general fund, which would not affect the CASA allotment. CASA would receive 100 percent of the funds it receives now until July and the next budget process.

The committee then passed a motion to ask for $15,000 from the general fund for the CAC, which then went to the Budget Committee for approval.

The Budget Committee then passed this request with the condition to not entertain any more requests until the next budget year.

At the beginning of October’s Wilson County Commission meeting, Justice asked the resolution to amend the budget to appropriate $15,000 funds to the CAC be deferred from the agenda in order to get more insight and revisit the issue.

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