On the Ballot: Proposed Allegheny County Children’s Fund

Pittsburgh Magazine – Alongside races for the House, Senate and Governor’s office, Allegheny County residents will decide on a special election question in the November midterms.

If passed, the amendment will create an additional property tax of 0.25 mils to fund the Allegheny County Children’s Fund, which would pay for early learning, after-school programs and healthy meals for children in the county.

The 0.25 mils real estate tax increase means that beginning Jan. 1, every $100,000 of assessed value on all taxable real estate would be taxed $25 annually. According to the “Our kids. Our commitment” campaign, the fund could collect $18-$19 million per year.

If approved, an Office of the Allegheny County Children’s Fund would be established as part of county government. The office would have an advisory commission of volunteers, and money would be disbursed beginning in 2020.

While the fund has the support of the Mayor, numerous organizations and 63,499 Allegheny County residents who signed a petition to get the referendum on the ballot, others have concerns about where the money is coming from and where exactly it would go.

“There have been no discussions with the district on how this initiative would work, what eligibility the district would have for these funds and what input the district would have with respect to any educational programs that would be provided to the district,” Ira Weiss, solicitor for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, told PublicSource.

Read the full story here.