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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Supporters of children’s fund tax closer to earning spot on ballot

Advocates of a property tax that would raise money for early-child learning, abuse prevention, treatment and other programs have submitted more than 12,600 signatures in support of placing the levy on the November ballot.

Supporters of the initiative, which is called the Spokane Children’s Investment Fund Levy for Families and Youth, collected 771 sheets of signatures that they turned in to the city clerk’s office on Thursday.

The issue needs 8,334 valid signatures to earn a public vote.

The Spokane City Council will vote on July 12 if it will place the idea on the ballot, ask the county election’s office to validate signatures first or declare it illegal.

The council usually orders a review by the election’s office when asked to consider an initiative.

The tax, which would raise $5 million annually, would cost the owner of a $100,000 property $35 a year.

An update: Tea Partier signs petition in support of Children’s Investment Fund

Last week, in a story about the Tea Party of Spokane’s downtown rally, I noted that some activists came to the event to gather signatures on causes that might seem contradictory to the conservative and anti-tax themes of the event.

One was Austin DePaolo, who collected signatures in support of the Children’s Investment Fund, a proposal that would increase taxes for programs aimed at lowering the dropout rate. I reported that he was unsuccessful at persuading Laura Carder to sign.

In a brief interview on Sunday while he was collecting signatures at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, DePaolo said that soon after I saw Carder decline to sign his petition, she agreed to do.

DePaolo and Carder ran for a seat last year on the Spokane School Board. Carder defeated DePaolo in the primary and went on to lose the incumbent in November.