The Pitt News

Children’s Fund proposal fails

51.69+percent+of+Allegheny+County+voters+voted+against+the+proposed+Children%E2%80%99s+Fund+referendum+in+Tuesday%E2%80%99s+midterm+election.
51.69 percent of Allegheny County voters voted against the proposed Children’s Fund referendum in Tuesday’s midterm election.

51.69 percent of Allegheny County voters voted against the proposed Children’s Fund referendum in Tuesday’s midterm election.

Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

51.69 percent of Allegheny County voters voted against the proposed Children’s Fund referendum in Tuesday’s midterm election.

By Hannah Schneider, News Editor

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Allegheny voters had the opportunity Tuesday to vote on a referendum that would increase property taxes to fund child well-being programs.

The Allegheny County Children’s Fund, proposed in May by a steering committee including United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh and local nonprofit Allies for Children, would have contributed to numerous education initiatives. Among the main three planned were early-childhood education, after-school and nutritional-support programs for underprivileged children in Allegheny County.

But the measure failed to pass by a narrow margin. Of 513,362 votes in Allegheny County, 265,366 voters — or 51.69 percent — said no to the special election question, according to unofficial election tallies.

The tax increase would have added an additional $25 in property taxes for every $100,000 of assessed value on all taxable real estate.

Supporters of the proposal have acknowledged the fund as a positive change, hopeful it would help children in need in Allegheny County.

But many were wary of the tax hike, including County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. In a statement to a Pitt News reporter Oct. 30, Fitzgerald’s office called the fund a “regressive tax” with the potential to disincentivize improvement and investment in Allegheny County.

“The County Executive … believes investing in early education is an important goal and that having children ready for school — in all ways — makes them better prepared and ready for other opportunities down the road,” the statement said. “That being said, he is not in favor of raising the property tax to do so.”

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About the Writer
Hannah Schneider, News Editor

Hannah Schneider is the news editor at The Pitt News. She will graduate in April 2019 with degrees in nonfiction English writing and gender, sexuality and women’s studies, as well as a minor in Legal Studies. Schneider joined The Pitt News in November 2017 as a news writer before serving as sports editor during the 2018 summer semester and assistant news editor from August 2018 to November 2018. Aside from writing for the newspaper and being a full-time student, Schneider has been a full-time performer with two performing arts ensembles from 2015 to 2018 — Matrix Performing Arts from Akron, Ohio, and The Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Illinois. She is from Warrington, Pennsylvania. Schneider plans to pursue a career in journalism or study administrative law after graduating.

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Children’s Fund proposal fails