Op-Ed: You’re Out of Touch. We’re Out of Time.

Mayor Courtright’s 2017 budget does not include a property tax hike? I know, it sounds unbelievable, right? The people of Scranton are so fortunate to have a mayor and city councilmen like Pat Rogan who suggested that “This is great news for the taxpayers” on their side, people in office who are really looking out for them. I wonder if my sarcasm is as conspicuous as I intended it? Well, let me be the first one to thank Mayor Courtright and Councilman Rogan for allowing the good people of Scranton to actually keep some of the money they work so incredibly hard for.

It must require some real business savvy and financial acumen to accomplish such an impressive act of government. I mean, our property tax only increased by a mere 80% over three years (2014-16), why not take a victory lap, now? You deserve it. I wonder if the decision to forego a property tax increase in 2017 has anything to do with it being an election year or because the sale of one of Scranton’s last assets (SSA) is about to go through? Maybe it’s both? Either way, the people of Scranton can count on a major increase in 2018 due to the fact that the school board has a 17 million dollar hole in it (revenue-139 million, expenditures-156 million) not to mention the city owes $9.8M on a pension funding bond issues in 1998 and we didn’t even talk about interest. Can anyone begin to tell me how the city is going to allocate these funds, please?

I think we can all take a good guess. A person doesn’t need to be an economics major to understand math just as one does not need to have a degree in business ethics to understand that the taxpayers in Scranton are being taken advantage of. There are very few assets left to sell off and if the city decided to tax the Scranton residents 110% of their income it will never begin to pay off the enormous debt the city has accrued over the past 25+ years. Enough is enough. #SaveScranton

In liberty,
Damian Biancarelli


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