Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Issues Statement on Act 1 Referenda Results
2007-05-16 20:47:36 -
"I am not surprised by the resounding defeat of the Act 1 shifting proposals. Unfortunately, in many cases, the full value of the relief that the shift would have provided was not clear to the voters. I believe this contributed to the lackluster voter support.
"For instance, in Radnor, the ballot question indicated that by shifting to an earned , property taxes could be cut by $480. In fact, homeowners in that district would have seen reduced by more than $1,200. Had the district fully informed its voters of the total value of the tax shift, residents might have voted to cut their property taxes by 25 percent. But they simply were not told the facts.
"This happened in many places across the commonwealth.
"Nevertheless, the shifting proposal was an idea I accepted from the Republican . 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. Instead, I focused on statewide funding for local property tax relief. That is why I fought so hard to enact limited gaming to fund . I am pleased that the revenues of our gaming venues seem to be high enough to ensure that property tax relief checks will go out in June, 2008.
"I expect this rejection by the voters of the local tax shifting may also give some impetus to the General Assembly to consider my -- which I included in my FY 2007-08 request -- to modestly increase the sales tax and use these new revenue to lower property taxes this year. As we enter into a tough budget process, we may find that a sales is necessary and I want to be sure that if we need to increase this tax, we dedicate a substantial portion of any such increase to lower property taxes statewide."
The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly , visit his Web site at: http://www.governor.state.pa.us/.