To the editor:
When I answered the phone on the eve of the 2010 election for governor, the caller quickly said, "Hi, David, this is Tom Corbett. I won't raise your taxes." Click. However, that's not what happened.
In 2011, real estate property taxes were increased by most school districts because $1 billion was cut in the State budget for public education, $860 million for public schools alone. Educational programs and extracurricular activities were cut and/or eliminated, and tuition rates for students in public colleges and universities were increased.
Thousands of public school teachers and staff were laid off and drew unemployment instead of working, and over 200 neighborhood schools were closed. Class sizes for students increased, and school bus travel times were lengthened, too.
At the same time, the capital stock and franchise tax for businesses was lowered and will be eliminated by 2014, along with reductions in the corporate income tax. Millions of dollars of taxpayer money was given to private universities, private developers and non-profit organizations that already had surplus funds.
While others were getting the gold mine, Pennsylvania taxpayers got the shaft in the form of higher property taxes, added fees for motorists and higher gas taxes.
Revenue from casino gambling and the lottery are restricted and only go so far. The state's personal income tax and the sales tax are both regressive and hurt the poor. Pennsylvania needs to join our neighboring states by passing a constitutional amendment that permits a graduated personal income tax at all levels of Pennsylvania government.
Sen. Casey, Pennsylvania has a lot of problems, and we need a governor who will lead us into the 21st Century, not takes us back into The Dark Ages or The Great Depression of the 20th Century. Please give very serious consideration to seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014. Pennsylvania needs another Governor Robert Casey.
David L. Faust