There is a referendum on the November ballot that would increase property taxes by .25 mills ($25 per $100,000 of assessed value) under the guise of helping children. Should this referendum pass, the Office of the Allegheny County Children’s Fund would be established to do work that other offices, school districts, and organizations already do, without any clear direction for how the tax money will be allocated.
At PIIN, we believe that the faith community is a sacred partner with our public schools, and we have long been supportive of both the community schools model and increasing state funding to provide an excellent, high-quality education to every child in our region. We believe in funding for early childhood learning, after school programs, and nutritious meals. However, we cannot support a ballot initiative that creates an unnecessary entity, with an unknown advisory board, and an unclear process for directing our tax dollars.
This is why we are urging our membership to reject the Allegheny County Children’s Fund Initiative at the polls this November.
In Allegheny County, we already have an existing process for raising taxes through county government, and we don’t need additional layers of bureaucracy. Furthermore, we believe that if the Allegheny County Children’s Fund Initiative were truly a public process, we’d have access to basic information such as how the fund’s advisory commission would be appointed, or how they would oversee what is estimated to be nearly $18 million in annual revenue. Unfortunately, those questions don’t have answers.
Be an informed voter this November and reject the Allegheny County Children’s Fund Initiative.