Monday, July 21, 2008
Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato says the petitions being passed around the county calling for a repeal of the poured drink tax would create an illegal ballot question. Onorato says the home rule charter stipulates that the county must have a balanced budget and anytime the budget is amended with either additional spending or revenue cuts an offset increase in revenue or cut in spending must also be enacted. He says the question being circulated by the group “Friends Against Counterproductive Taxation” only removes the tax. It does not propose new revenues or spending cuts. The county council is to review a few ballot questions of its own Tuesday night that are expected to all past legal muster. Onorato says he is not sure if he would launch a legal challenge to the F.A.C.T ballot question if members gather enough signatures but he says he will fight against any ballot question that would force property taxes to be raised.