Reverend Presents a Good Tax Policy for Pittsburgh

Reverend Burgess, a Pittsburgh Councilman, has proposed amending the City Charter to require a voter referendum on all property tax rate increases. What a wonderful idea to launch the New Year. The Allegheny Institute has been recommending voter referenda for tax increases for many years.

The premise is very simple. Many legislative bodies and executives are heavily biased toward spending, ultimately necessitating more tax revenue to feed the insatiable spending appetite. Giving voters the power to approve or reject tax hikes provides a strong deterrent to imprudent spending. Taxpayers who vote are likely to be much less inclined to raise their own taxes to enable continued irresponsible behavior by spendthrift legislative bodies.

So, congratulations to Councilman Burgess for proposing the voter referendum. It is a ray of sunshine in a very dreary stream of awful legislation coming from Council recently. Let’s hope his fellow Council members don’t scuttle the plan. It would be politically smart for them to get on board with the Reverend’s idea as soon as possible.