Tom Corbett: The Only Candidate Who Has Raised Property Taxes

Harrisburg Republican’s sole career budget vote was to hike property taxes by 20%

SHALER: Even as he is promising millions of dollars in new spending, Tom Corbett is running for Governor on a “no new taxes” pledge.  But the one time he was responsible for enacting a budget, Corbett cast the deciding vote in favor of a 20% property tax hike – while nearby communities were cutting property taxes.

As a Township Commissioner, Corbett supported the first property tax increase in Shaler in a decade, which was the sixth largest tax hike of all 130 Allegheny County municipalities that year. The property tax increase was approved by a vote of 4-3.

“Lots of candidates make promises when they are running for office, but what voters should look at is our records. I have balanced six budgets in a row without ever raising property taxes,” said Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Onorato. “Tom Corbett was the deciding vote for a 20% tax hike in the only budget he ever voted for. There’s only one candidate for Governor who has raised property taxes, and it’s Tom Corbett.”

On the campaign trail, Corbett has portrayed himself as a fiscal conservative opposed to higher taxes, all the while proposing millions of dollars in new spending. But even Corbett’s ally Senate Republican Leader Dominic Pileggi has questioned whether Corbett can keep his budget promises. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 6/28/2010]

Corbett’s big-spending ways are not a surprise. After all, as Attorney General, he has asked for more money every year in order to increase his own budget.

“It’s easy for Tom Corbett to tell an audience what they want to hear, but voters should look at the candidates’ records and decide who best can reform Pennsylvania’s government and balance its budget,” said Onorato Communications Director Brian Herman. “Dan Onorato has six years of balanced budgets with no property tax increases, versus Tom Corbett’s one-year 20% property tax hike.”

Onorato is the only candidate for Governor who has executive experience. Running Pennsylvania’s second-largest county, he has saved taxpayers money by improving efficiency and cutting patronage, reducing the number of government workers and implementing major reforms.

As County Executive, Onorato also fought against a property tax reassessment that would have forced struggling homeowners to pay more in taxes, and he held the line on property taxes in every budget he enacted.

“We have to make the state live within its means and I am the only candidate who can get the job done,” Onorato said. “I’ve dealt with tough budget challenges before, and my solution is to cut waste and make government more efficient with the taxpayers’ money.”

For more information about Corbett’s tax-hike vote, please visit

A life-long Pennsylvanian, Dan Onorato was raised in a working class neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Side. He graduated college from Penn State and received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Onorato has served as Allegheny County Executive since 2004 and was unopposed for re-election in 2007.  Prior to being elected County Executive, Onorato served as Allegheny County Controller and a Pittsburgh City Councilman.  Dan and his wife Shelly reside in the Brighton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh with their three children.

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