Politics & Policy

Ed Rendell’s $1 Billion Tax Hike

Tom Corbett is leading his Democratic opponent Dan Onorato by roughly 10 points, according to the latest polls, but regardless of whom Pennsylvanians put in the governor’s mansion in November, term-limited Gov. Ed Rendell is seeking to ensure his successor becomes the public face of a massive $1 billion tax hike.

Rendell is calling on the Pennsylvania legislature to pass a series of tax increases on corporations and fee hikes on motorists. The tax increases on oil companies would represent a 10 percent increase, and the higher fees would constitute a nearly 40 percent increase.

Rendell is characterizing the proposed tax increase as a dire necessity for the Commonwealth, asserting, “We all know we’ve averted tragedy by happenstance. We cannot endanger public safety any longer.” [emphasis added]

Rendell said he worries about a no-tax pledge that Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett took. He said if Corbett wins, transportation won’t be properly funded for years.

The state lost out on a projected $472 million in annual revenue when the federal government denied a proposal to add tolls to Interstate 80.

Ed Rendell is in his second term — his eighth year — as governor, and with four months left, he unveils a massive new spending package on infrastructure that has been left untended for 95 percent of his time in office. But a $1 billion tax increase is unlikely to pass a legislature wary of new taxes in a state that’s already lost more than 70,000 jobs since the beginning of the recession.

So Rendell leaves Pennsylvania with a budget hole that will rival the $10 billion that Chris Christie so ruthlessly closed in the neighboring Garden State.

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