Jun 242009

Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell wants to raise the state’s personal income tax by .5%. He calls the increase temporary.

“Citing the national recession and a growing state budget deficit, the governor called for the increase for the next three years, after which it would drop back to 3.07 percent.”

Riiiiiight. Is there any reason why I should believe Fast Eddie? Will the income tax increase be temporary and will it only be used to counter the deficit?

The Johnstown Flood Tax was supposed to be a temporary tax to help that town recover from a flood. It’s still in effect after 73 years and benefits discretionary spending via the general fund instead of flood victims. The Allegheny County drink tax is supposed to be a temporary funding fix for Port Authority Transit. Due to PAT’s notorious mismanagement, though, the collected funds have not been disbursed. Worse yet, there’s no reason to believe PAT won’t perpetually need to be bailed out, so there’s no reason to believe it won’t be subsidized by the drink tax or some other nonsense. (BTW, the architect of the brain fart that is the drink tax, Dan “The Tax Man” Onorato is running for governor. Look for Mayor Luke “Opie” Ravenstahl to grab onto Danny Boy’s coattails and follow him to higher political office. Heaven help us.)

Thus, given Pennsylvania’s bad history with “temporary” taxes, the governor will have to forgive me if I take his promises with a saltlick block.