August 7, 2007

Goings-on of Interest

Though I do enjoy the drinking and driving line at the end, this PG ed misses the bus (see, anybody can do witty half-assed puns). They skipped right over the good stuff. In my recollection, the assembly authorized these new taxes as "options", potential taxes that would be considered over long and thoughtful candlelit council meetings. Need a memory jog?

Not so fast, countered state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill.

"It's not imposing a tax. This is enabling legislation," said Mr. Frankel. "We need to provide alternatives for county government to be able to raise revenue to support the county effort on transportation." Right now, the only means of raising that money is to increase property taxes, he said, and "the property tax is the last thing we want to raise."

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said: "My commitment to the public is that we're going to fix the cost structure at the Port Authority first" before pushing for any new taxes. Mr. Onorato said that other urban counties, including Philadelphia, have per-drink, car rental and other taxes available to come up with required matching funds for their transit systems. He wants Allegheny County to have a similar menu of items as other cities when it goes looking for the $25 million it needs in matching funds. Combining a 10 percent drink tax with a rental car tax, total expected revenue would come to about $38 million.

County Council President Rich Fitzgerald cautioned against assuming that a 10 percent tax is imminent or inevitable. If the bill passes, the possible tax would be considered in the mix of the normal budgeting process next fall, with public hearings "just like we did with the smoking bill."
If the county adopted an alcohol tax it would not necessarily be the full 10 percent. The key point, he emphasized, is that it would be up to the county, rather than the Legislature. Those who oppose it "don't want Allegheny County to be a home rule county. That's what it sounds like."

Frankel-y, I don't think anyone is suprised. In tax-happy Allegheny County, Donorato will achieve Steeler-like adoration if we see a property tax cut while saving the PAT buses. I also enjoy how the ed board throws a soft little jab at Dan and then follows it right up with a complement. You would think Donorato and the PG have been dating long enough that they could just say what they think without having to sleep on the couch.


What is wrong with some people? Stories like this make me sick. Though I'm not sure why the PG found it important to share with us that the drive through assailants were "hooting". I hope they catch this knucklehead and dunk him the fry-o-lator.


Totally awesome. I'm a believer that a new stream of business bearing support from within the community will go a long way in the Hill. As a new student I was told to stay out of the Hill District and don't drive there after dark. Hopefully the new arena / Pitt athletic fields / business development will bring new people into the Hill - based upon location alone it should be seen as the most important investment in city redevelopment, not to mention its contribution to the Burgh community.


This one got me thinking of how many normal household items could end my life. Honestly, who throws a drill? My childhood memories of Philadelphia are so pleasant, filled with Independence Hall, a big crack in a Bell, a giant walk-in heart at the Franklin Institute, a whiz-with from Pats...

and now it seems like somewhere that Kurt Russel should be dropped in and told to escape from. Snake Plissken for mayor of Philly.

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