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Allegheny County voters reject Children’s Fund referendum

December 3, 2018

Allegheny County voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot question seeking a 0.25-mill property tax increase to fund children’s programming across the county, including preschool and meals for underprivileged children.

With all of the county’s precincts reporting results, 52 percent of voters opposed the tax increase while 48 percent supported it, according to unofficial tallies.

The referendum asked voters to approve an amendment to the Allegheny County Home Rule Charter that would create the Allegheny County Children’s Fund and levy a 0.25-mill tax increase on all properties in the county.

The tax hike would have amounted to $25 for each $100,000 of a property’s assessed value. It was expected to generate about $18 million annually to fund preschool and after-school programming and meals for underprivileged children.

Supporters hailed the initiative as critical to providing support for needy kids and necessary for their success later in life.

Opponents criticized the proposal as a slush fund. They said it was unnecessary because government already provides funding for children’s programming.

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