A tax increase to help fund parks, sick leave, and a new driving requirement will go into effect in 2021.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With the New Year, new laws and ordinances are taking effect in our area. One of those changes will be hitting some of your wallets.

People living in Pittsburgh will see a tax hike this year. The money from those taxes will fund parks around the city.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Homeowners in the city will pay $50 more per $100,000 assessed on their homes.

The tax passed as a referendum in November 2019 with 52% of the vote. This past Monday, Pittsburgh City Council passed it 6-3.

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy spearheaded the effort to help the 165 public parks. It’s estimated this tax will bring in $10 million a year.

Also in the city, the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave takes effect.

“We need this to help people right away,” Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor said.

The sick leave allows people to get more time off for testing positive or being exposed to coronavirus. It gives employees of businesses of 50 or more people up to 112 hours of paid sick leave.

“Even if you come in contact with someone, the doctor is telling you to stay home,” O’Connor said. “So, all of the sudden, me getting my paycheck, I can’t do that, and I don’t even have it [the virus], and I think that’s the biggest issue.”

There are amendments in the bill that say not all city employees will benefit from this.

“If you’re covered by unions or something like that, so not everybody within the city’s departments gets it. This is outside businesses,” O’Connor said.

At the state level, the Move Over Law goes into effect. Its goal is to protect first responders and tow operators at emergency scenes.

The law says for drivers to pass in the other lane or move over. If that’s not possible, pass by doing 20 under the speed limit. Failure to do so could result in fines for hundreds of dollars for a first offense. Click here to read the full text of the law.