Counties slow to spend millionaires’ money on mental health

California counties are sitting on money from a special tax on millionaires that should be spent on mental health programs, but the state isn’t moving fast enough to reclaim the funds, according to a state audit released on Tuesday.

California State Auditor Elaine Howle found that county mental health programs had stashed $231 million from the tax that should have been returned to the state by the end of the 2015-16 budget year.

That’s on top of $535 million that counties said they held in reserves for their mental health programs that year, according to the audit. All together, local governments had $2.5 billion on hand to spend in 2015-16

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