Ok, no “fluffy” blog today, this one is down to business. As usual, Governor Rendell is spinning the latest defeat of Act 1 by the citizens of the great state of Pennsylvania.
Here is his quote on Wednesday (5/16/07):
“I am not surprised by the resounding defeat of the Act 1 tax shifting proposals. Unfortunately, in many cases, the full value of the property tax relief that the shift would have provided was not clear to the voters. I believe this contributed to the lackluster voter support.”
In other words, he blames the local school districts for not clearly explaining the meaning of Act 1 to their taxpayers. In reality, Act 1 provides only temporary relief (which was clearly explained to the voters), then everyone will be paying more in taxes. Most people would have been foolish to vote for this believing it will solve their high property taxes.
In fact, Governor Rendell didn’t even want the people to be able to vote on it (you can read his address to the Special Session in 2005). Apparently, he thinks the people of Pennsylvania are too dumb to understand anything and we should just do whatever he wants us to do!
Another quote, “Nevertheless, the local tax shifting proposal was an idea I accepted from the Republican leadership. They had hoped that this approach improved on Act 50 which they enacted under Governor Ridge. I expressed concerns throughout the process that voters would not embrace this sort of local tax shift.”
In other words, “It isn’t my fault, I didn’t come up with this. Those nasty Republicans did and they were simply trying to fix up something they screwed up under a previous (Republican) governor.” In reality, Governor Rendell called a special session of the legislature for property tax relief in September of the prior year (2005). According to many reports, much of Act 1 was wrote with “arm-twisting” and other political “activities” by the Governor’s supporters.
You can read the press release at the Governor’s Website.
Here is a quote from the 2006 ceremony when Gov. Rendell signed the bill into law.
“Today is a great day for Pennsylvania homeowners, especially seniors who have been driven from their homes as they attempt to escape the burden of skyrocketing property taxes for far too long.”
“This day is a major victory for Pennsylvanians who have fought for decades to have their property taxes cut. Every homeowner in Pennsylvania will not only get significant reduction, but they will finally get a say in future tax increases. This bill represents a victory of the possible over politics-as-usual.”
So to sum up:
In June 2006, it was a great day for Pennsylvania because of Gov. Rendell’s signature on Act 1.
In May 2007, it wasn’t surprising that Act 1 was defeated, because it isn’t as good as Gov. Rendell’s plan of gambling, raising taxes, and all of the other fees and borrowings in the Governor’s budget proposal.
I hope the voters of Pennsylvania really pay attention the next time they vote for a Governor.