In his inaugural speech in January, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, let the state legislature's Republican majority off the hook for tapping the state's Rainy Day Fund and using other acounting tricks to balance the state's budget and avoid an election-year tax increase.
It was an olive branch he hoped would lead to an end to the partisan sniping that has so far blocked an effort to decrease school systems' reliance on property taxes for their funding. It hasn't happened yet, and unless someone bends, local property taxes may actually go up.
Why? Because as reported by the Associated Press, the stalemate over tax policy has kept the state from disbursing part of the $4 billion in state aid to local school districts.
Without that aid, some school districts have been forced to borrow money. Peter Jackson, who covers the legislature for the Associated Press, reports that $130 million has been borrowed so far and that local property taxes may have to go up to pay interest on those loans.