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Earmarked Taxes as a Policy Strategy to Increase Funding for Behavioral Health Services.


Earmarking taxes for behavioral health services is a policy strategy that many jurisdictions have implemented to increase funding for behavioral health systems. However, little has been written about these taxes, and limited guidance exists for policy makers who are pursing or implementing such taxes. This column summarizes approaches to designing earmarked behavioral health taxes, evidence of their impact, strategies to enhance implementation, and future directions for research. The column focuses on two jurisdictions: California, which imposes an additional 1% tax on all household income exceeding $1 million, and Washington State, which provides counties with the option of increasing sales tax by 0.1%.

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