Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

Sep 16, 2019 8:18:58 AM by Press

Pittsburgh Magazine

Pittsburgh Parks aren’t what they used to be, according to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Its leadership believes raising real estate taxes is the solution.

During a five-month Parks Listening Tour, which began in December 2018, 95 percent of those who were surveyed said city parks need “more resources,” including 65 percent who said parks need “a lot more” resources. When asked to rate the condition of city parks on a scale of 1 to 10, the average score given by survey participants was less than 5. Based on the survey and a separate assessment of its own, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy concluded that more than half of the city parks are in “fair” or “poor” condition.

The city, however, does not have enough money to adequately fund the maintenance of the parks, according to Jayne Miller, CEO of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Thus, the Conservancy tells KDKA TV it is proposing a tax increase of a half millage to help offset the cost of improving the city parks. The increase would raise about $10 million for a new Parks Trust Fund to pay for park maintenance and updates.

“Great parks make great cities,” says Miller in a press release. “As residents of a great city, we have a responsibility to provide safe places for children and families to play together and explore nature and to further our kids’ education outside the classroom.”

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