City: Brendan Boyle not a tax deadbeat

Can you say, "Oops?"

A week's worth of full-page ads labeling state House of Representatives candidate Brendan Boyle a "tax deadbeat" involved a city tax bill that Boyle and his wife paid over a year ago, the city Department of Revenue said Wednesday. It was a mistake on the part of the city that created the impression that Boyle has not paid his taxes.

Boyle, a Democrat, is pitted against Republican Matt Taubenberger to fill the seat being vacated by Republican state Rep. George Kenney, with control of the House of Represenatives at stake. Democrats hold a 102-101 advantage and this race is seen as one that could determine the balance of power.

Taubenberger has gone on a late offensive against Boyle, citing the Department of Revenue website which showed Boyle and his wife, Jennifer, owing $1,865 for a property they own at 4609 Fernhill Road as of Oct. 9. Ads funded by Republican Rep. John Perzel in The Inquirer and Daily News have labeled Boyle a "tax deadbeat." One featured a stern woman wagging a finger and saying, "We pay our taxes! Shouldn't Brendan Boyle pay his taxes, too?"

Boyle retaliated with his own full-page ads, calling Taubenberger both a "liar" and a "hypocrite."

Boyle has maintained that his taxes were not delinquent, but he paid the tax bill as listed anyway, spurring further ridicule by Taubenberger. But yesterday, the Department sent Boyle a letter, stating: "The Department of Revenue did receive your payment for Real Estate taxes back in September 20007 after you went to settlement on September 20, 2007.  It appears the real estate payment from the title company last year was applied to water-sewer in error by the department. " City spokesman Doug Oliver confirmed the authenticity of the letter.

"It's nice to be vindicated -- it's nice when it comes through that everything that my wife and I had to say...has proven to be 100 percent true," Boyle said Wednesday night. "This is the kind of garbage that drives normal, decent people from ever wanting to get involve in politics."

Whether the ads have damage Boyle's chances remains to be seen.

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