SAN RAFAEL (KCBS) – Would Marin County residents support a hike in property or sales taxes in order to fund a broad array of support programs for kids of all ages in the county? Proponents are willing to spend the money to find out.

The Children’s Investment Initiative, a coalition of kid-focused advocacy groups including First 5 Marin, the Marin Child Care Council, MarinKids, Parent Voices and the Youth Leadership Institute, has pledged to hire a polling commission to measure public opinion for a countywide, multi-million dollar children’s fund.

The fund would help to pay for early education, health care and supplemental educational programs for kids and teens, perhaps even young adults up to age 21.

The coalition primarily, but not exclusively, has Marin County’s low income families in mind.

“If we invest in kids, we’re investing in our economy. We’re investing in our future, we’re investing in the 21st Century workforce. Kids can’t be part of that workforce if they’re not healthy. Kids can’t be part of that workforce if they’re not doing well in school,” argued Amy Reisch, Executive Director of First 5 Marin.

By her calculations, a quarter-cent increase in Marin’s sales tax could generate as much as $10 million annually for a children’s fund.

“It’s a significant amount of money for Marin, and it could do a tremendous amount to close the opportunities gaps in education, in health, in social services, for the kids in the county,” Reisch declared.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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