|
Carbondale News - Carbondale, PA
  • Fell Twp. ready for round two of commuter tax fight

  • The Fell Twp. Supervisors warned last week that, although Scranton's proposed 1 percent commuter tax was rejected by the courts, the fight is far from over.
    • email print
  • The Fell Twp. Supervisors warned last week that, although Scranton's proposed 1 percent commuter tax was rejected by the courts, the fight is far from over.
    And they say they're gearing up for round two.
    In December, a three-judge panel ruled against Scranton on the commuter tax, and the city chose not to appeal the decision.
    Still, that may have been a matter of strategy more than anything else. Any appeal would likely not have been heard, or ruled upon, until later this year. That, in turn, would have prevented Scranton from implementing the tax in 2013 even if the city prevailed on appeal.
    A recently-released audit of Scranton's finances indicated that the city would seek a commuter tax next year. So opponents of the tax, led by Mayfield Mayor Al Chelik, insist that the battle is far from over.
    Chelik, who formed the group Scranton Taxing Our People (STOP) to unite commuter tax opponents, spent a good part of last year rallying governing bodies and elected officials to join the cause. And he has been steadfast since the court's December ruling that they remain vigilant while "waiting for Scranton's next move."
    The Fell Twp. Supervisors, who went on record officially opposing the commuter tax last September and then contributed $200 in November to help pay the legal costs of fighting it in court, say they agree wholeheartedly.
    During a meeting on Monday night, Feb. 4, board chairman Ron Cosklo stated that a commuter tax of "one percent or greater is still on Scranton's agenda."
    "They could try to push it up to 4 or 5 percent," he argued, noting that the City of Scranton hasn't curbed spending to any degree and shows no interest in doing so.
    "They've done absolutely nothing to control their costs," Cosklo complained, "and our people shouldn't have to pay for that, nor should the residents of any other communities."
    Cosklo has described Scranton's commuter tax push as a matter of taxation without representation. He stated that the residents of Fell Twp. and other communities throughout the area who work in Scranton weren't given an opportunity to vote on the measure, or to have any say in it whatsoever, and therefore he feels the commuter tax would be unfair.
    "And you know me, I don't believe in any tax increases," he added.

      • calendar