Taxes in motion: It's time to see where those RAD dollars are going

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Did you ever get a thank-you note from your municipality, school district, county or state just for paying your taxes? Probably not. The best taxpayers can hope for is a receipt, and even that won't arrive in the mail unless a self-addressed, stamped envelop is submitted along with the payment.

The Allegheny Regional Asset District is different. RAD, which is funded by half of the revenue from a 1 percent sales tax on purchases made in Allegheny County, thanks taxpayers every year with its invitation to dozens of free events that show off the programs and performances it funds.

The celebration, named RADical Days, starts today, with free admission at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Society for Contemporary Craft. The final day, Oct. 13, will feature a "sketch crawl" through the Downtown Cultural District, tours at WQED-FM's Penn Avenue studio, an 11 a.m. performance by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, fall activities at South Park and a noon brown-bag concert by the Pittsburgh Opera.

In all, there will be 43 events on 14 dates throughout the period. This is the 11th year that RAD has sponsored events at parks, libraries, sports facilities and arts and cultural organizations supported by the tax. There are four new experiences on the program this year: SNAP, a photo scavenger hunt; free admission at the Young Men and Women's African Heritage Association on the North Side; a chance to watch the symphony's new assistant conductor, Fawzi Haimor; and a discussion of the Post-Gazette's late cartoonist Cy Hungerford by two of his successors, Tim Menees and Rob Rogers.

Free admissions to various sites are being offered only on specific dates and times, so be sure to check the listings at radworkshere.org. RADical Days are the most entertaining way to watch your tax dollars at work.

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