Perhaps if more care went into budget preparation by City Hall, taxpayers wouldn’t keep getting slammed year after year with tax increase 'dopplegangers.'
Carbondale resident John Moran has lambasted Mayor Justin Taylor’s latest pseudo tax hike, and said he will go to court rather than voluntarily pay it.
What raised Moran's dander was the new $50 annual "fire protection fee" imposed on every city property, including empty lots.
Moran was joined in his opposition to the new tax by former councilman Eric Farrell, who questioned the legality of council passing an ordinance whose provisions had been altered between readings.
Carbondale residents may remember Moran. He was the guy who served eight years as mayor without raising taxes, without imposing pseudo-tax hikes disguised as "fees," without running up eight straight years of deficits, without putting the City millions of dollars in the hole, and without cutting city services.
Farrell is remembered as the councilman who had the unmtigated gall to call Mayor Taylor to task for playing with the City budget without seeking advice and consent of council as required by the City Charter, so irking Taylor that His Honor pulled out all stops to prevent Farrell from being re-elected.
Moran and Farrell are not alone in protesting this odious excursion of City officials into taxpayers' pockets. The vocal opposition to the new ‘tax’ represents a sea change in Carbondale: where earlier tax hikes, deficit spending and a growing city debt has done little to rouse taxpayers, more than a few property owners are now up in arms over yet another tax hike disguised as a "fee," and, like Moran, vowing not to to pay it.
Perhaps if more care went into budget preparation, if Council exercised its City Charter-mandated responsibility of checks and balances, and City Hall capped spending, taxpayers wouldn’t keep getting slammed year after year with tax increase dopplegangers (a.k.a ‘fees’), and wouldn’t be imposing on working people the second highest wage tax of the 40 political subdivisions in Lackawanna County (only Scranton’s is higher).