Monday, March 30, 2009

Where's Our Property Tax Relief Mr. Eachus?

According to Brad Bumsted over at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review House Majority Leader Todd Eachus raised the question on whether AG Corbett should resign if he decides about a run for governor.

In remarks during a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon, Eachus questioned whether Pennsylvania taxpayers could get their money's worth if Corbett faced the demands of a statewide campaign for governor.

A Classic Game of Wag The Dog. Let's hit back with a little sarcasim. So Todd, how much are the taxpayers getting for their money over the actions that led to Bonusgate? How much do they get every time you send a mailer to your district? How much did they get when you paid off Mike Veon's campaign debt? How much did they get when the taxpayers financed some of the promotional material for the proposed Cargo Airport outside of Hazleton?

How much property tax relief did they get with the casino money? I'll answer the last one. Zip, nadda, nothing. The account had a balance of $456 million as of March 16, according to the Governor's Office of the Budget. Under state law, the fund must contain at least $570 million for the state to distribute money to reduce homeowners' property taxes. Yet, how much money was distributed to municipalities before property owners??? As of February almost $170 million went to the municipalities according to Mary Collins speaking at the PA Gaming Congress. Why didn't municipalities have to wait but almost 3 times as much money is sitting for distribution to taxpayers and the average Joe has to wait??

How much money did they get in the Beavers for Initiative For Growth with Mike Veon? Let's read what Brad Bumsted at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review had to say about that.

Attorney General Tom Corbett apparently didn't want to politicize the grand jury presentment against a corrupt Beaver County nonprofit by bringing Gov. Ed Rendell directly into it.

But Rendell's shadow loomed large over the waves of state tax money poured into the Beaver Initiative for Growth, or BIG, the alleged criminal enterprise of the Democrats' former House whip, Mike Veon, a go-to guy for Rendell in the General Assembly.

All of BIG's money came from you -- the taxpayers, Corbett said.

BIG was formed by Veon in 1991 but there wasn't much state money flowing. Veon, however, knew he had hit the jackpot when Rendell, a Democrat, was elected in 2002. Roughly $9.9 million of the $10 million in taxpayer money that BIG would eventually receive came between 2003 and 2006.

Veon allegedly told BIG's former executive director, John Gallo, that "since Edward Rendell had just taken office as governor there were going to be millions of dollars coming to BIG." Gallo cooperated with the grand jury.

At a news conference in Pittsburgh last week, Corbett was asked why BIG all of a sudden got an influx of cash. He told reporters they would have to draw their own conclusions.

I'll do the same with regards to why Corbett became Eachus's target.

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