Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has been promising to cut taxes for the past five years. I'm beginning to think he's not telling the truth.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
I'm thinking of the photo from the 2006 campaign of Gov. Ed Rendell standing in front of a sign that says, "We deliver on our promises."
In the best Bill Clinton tradition, I guess it depends on what "deliver" means.
Rendell promised to deliver property tax cuts for all Pennsylvania homeowners standing on his head. That was in 2003. The blood must be rushing to Rendell's head by now because he has failed to deliver on that promise.
Rendell promised to cut property taxes if the Legislature approved 61,000 slot machines for Pennsylvania. That was in July 2004. Two-and-a-half years later, not one dime in tax relief has trickled down to Pennsylvania taxpayers from Rendell's casinos. The most optimistic projection for tax relief from gambling revenues is now late 2008 or early 2009.
Another promise Rendell failed to deliver. In 2005, Rendell promised to deliver tax relief if school boards approved Act 72, the governor's first attempt at a tax shift scheme. More than 80 percent of the school boards rejected Act 72. Another broken promise by Rendell.
In 2006, Rendell promised "property tax relief for all Pennsylvanians" under Act 1, which forced voters to raise their taxes with the promise of a future tax reduction. On May 15, 2007, voters in 490 of 498 school districts rejected tax-shift schemes under Act 1. Another broken promise by Rendell.
Now Rendell wants to raise the state sales tax and use a small portion of the new revenue to lower property taxes. Another promise.
Rendell has failed to deliver on his promises in five consecutive years. How many more times are you willing to be lied to?
Pennsylvania residents are slowly figuring out that Rendell has duped them on the tax issue. A new Quinnipiac Poll out Wednesday shows that 51 percent of residents disapprove of Rendell's handling of taxes.
Republican appear to have come to their senses about Rendell much sooner than Democrats. The poll shows that 66 percent of registered Republican disapprove of Rendell's handling of taxes. Only 39 percent of the Democrats polled disapprove of Rendell's handling of the property tax issue.
Rendell's disapproval numbers on taxes have risen in four consecutive polls conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute going back to June 2006.
You remember last June, don't you? That's when Ed Rendell put out a press release announcing "Property Tax Relief is Here for All Pennsylvanians." I don't know about you, but I'm still waiting for mine.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas