Amherst officials propose paying reparations to Black residents with surplus funds

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (AP/WWLP) — Officials in Amherst are weighing a plan for a new fund to pay reparations to Black residents.

The Amherst Town Council’s Financial Committee has recommended designating more than $200,000 in surplus funds to provide the initial seed investment for the reparations fund, The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports.

Town officials envision the fund would be managed much like an endowment, with a professional consultant managing the investments, according to the newspaper.

Town Finance Director Sean Mangano said at a council meeting earlier this month that the town could transfer money to the fund whenever there’s a budget surplus of more than 5%. He said it could also designate a certain percentage of the fund, such as 4 percent, to be expended each year. The goal would be to ensure the fund can last in perpetuity, Mangano said.

The council could establish the new fund as soon as its next meeting on June 21.

It has also considered using marijuana sales tax revenues to fund reparations efforts, a revenue model Evanston, Illinois used to launch its pioneering reparations effort earlier this year.

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