Monday, May 02, 2005

Rendell Redefines “Choice” for Act 72

Ever since Philadelphia elected their former worthless mayor to be governor of Pennsylvania, Rendell has done his absolute best to force gambling down the throats of his constituents. Gee, thanks buddy. Not even mentioning the possibility of increased crime in the already crime-ridden metropolitan areas Rendell would like to see slots implemented, these slots parlors would simply be a de facto tax on the lower income brackets.

The whole idea was for the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania to lower property taxes and lose much control over raising or lowering them in the future. Property taxes are currently their chief source of (local) revenue. Schools would be given money from the state’s gambling revenue to make up the difference. This is known as Act 72. Act 72 was to be completely optional. If a school didn’t want to participate, that was fine. The theory was supposedly that the school districts, based on input from the locals, would decide whether or not to lower property taxes or to decline gambling revenue.

Something is funny here though; if property taxes are lowered, as Rendell wants, the very rich property owners, who own very valuable estates, would have their tax burden lowered. These are the very people who voted for Rendell. The lower and middle classes, who will be raped by the slot machines, are the ones being forced to pay for the rich’s tax cuts. Many of these lower income families don’t even own property at all (e.g., me). But aren’t Democrats opposed to tax cuts for the rich!? I mean, these wealthy people can afford to pay these taxes! The lower income shouldn’t shoulder the rich’s burden!

Well, wouldn’t you know it... only 10 of Pennsylvania’s 501 school districts have opted in for Act 72. So, what does Rendell do? He threatens to make it mandatory.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is ratcheting up the pressure on school boards to sign on to a one (b) billion-dollar property-tax relief program.

Rendell says state lawmakers might otherwise make the program mandatory. School boards, which have until the end of May to opt in to the plan, have been slow to participate. In exchange for a share of future slots revenues, they give up some power to raise property taxes. Rendell spoke before the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association. Rendell says that Democratic legislators might introduce a bill on Monday that forces school boards to participate in the tax relief program, or Act 72.
Some “choice”, huh? Rendell is of course “pro-choice” but only when you choose to go along with his ideas. How pathetic is this? Fortunately, Pennsylvania has a friend in the PA House Majority Whip Brett Feese. Feese (from my former home of Lycoming county!) is Chairman of the PA House Appropriations Committee, and he has vowed to stop this proposed legislation making Act 72 mandatory.
He [Feese] says the governor failed to convince communities to take his slot money, and is now trying to force it down their throats.
Way to be! Thank you Congressman Feese for standing up against this ridiculous plan. Rendell’s Act 72 was optional, and it should be kept so (if not outright discarded with those worthless slots); it will be so much fun watching it fail.


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