I've never been a fan of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, the mercenary politician who buys his way into public office. After he got bored serving in the U.S. Senate, Corzine took his millions and purchased the governor's office in New Jersey.
But I have to tip my hat to Corzine. As a candidate, he promised to cut New Jersey property taxes, which are even higher than property taxes in Pennsylvania.
After one year in office, Corzine kept his word. He is about to sign a $2.3 billion property tax relief bill for New Jersey residents. About 2 million N.J. residents will see tax breaks averaging $1,051 under the tax-relief plan. State officials predict that 95 percent of the New Jersey households will benefit from the tax cuts.
Contrast that with Gov. Ed Rendell, Corzine's fellow tax-and-spend liberal across the river.
Candidate Rendell promised to cut property taxes for all Pennsylvania residents by 30 percent. That was in 2002. Gov. Rendell reneged on the promise in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Safely re-elected to a second term, Rendell is now talking about raising -- not lowering -- taxes. Even his proposal to raise the sales tax in order to cut property taxes is more smoke and mirrors. Only one-third of the money from the increased sales tax would go to property tax relief. The rest would feed Rendell's enormous appetite for spending.
In addition to his 2002 boast that he could cut property taxes standing on his head, Rendell also promised that Act 72 would help lower property taxes. That was a lie. Rendell promised that the approval of casino gambling in Pennsylvania would lower property taxes. Another lie. Rendell promised that Act 1 would lead to lower taxes. He lied again.
Now Rendell is promising to cut property taxes if the Legislature approves a 1 percent increase in the state sales tax. If he lied to us in each of his first four years in office, why would anyone think Rendell will keep his promise?
That is a question voters need to pose to the 102 Democrats in the state House and the 21 Democrats in the state Senate. How far are these lemmings willing to follow Rendell? Especially when Ed Spendell's policies will sink Pennsylvania into a fiscal crisis.
Pennsylvania voters need to make sure their state legislators understand that if they vote for any more Rendell tax increases, they will be out of a job in 2008.