Scranton Government Believes It Can Raise Taxes As High As It Wants

The court hearing on Tuesday, May 30th, 2017,  has made it quite clear that the Scranton government has no scruples about taxing the Scranton people into oblivion.

According to a recent article by WBRE:

“Our argument is that there is a limitation out there and the city can only tax up to a certain point. The city is taking the position, as a home rule charter, they can set rates at whatever rate they want including up to 100-percent on certain things and there’s nothing anyone can do about it,” John McGovern, attorney for the residents said.

Activist Gary St. Fleur and several others filed a lawsuit against Scranton’s mayor for what they call the “illegal taxation.”

They point to the year 2015 for example.

They say Scranton took in more than $34 million with its taxes that year, roughly seven million dollars over the potential cap.

City attorney Kevin Conaboy declined an interview after Tuesday’s hearing but in court disagreed that there is a cap at all, saying as a home rule charter municipality, Scranton can impose taxes at whatever rate it wants.

“They’re saying they can do whatever they want, they have no constraints and no boundaries,” St. Fleur said. “That’s not true!”

In court, attorneys for both sides seemingly agreed there is no case like this where a community’s ability to tax has been challenged and questioned in this way.

Residents and their attorney say time is critical.

“We figure that around August or September the city is going to hit that $27 million cap and if we go beyond that date, then again, the city in our position, they’re illegally taxing people,” McGovern said.

There is one important factor to point out.

The taxes used to determine the possible cap does not include city property taxes, just what residents refer to as “nuisance taxes” for residents and businesses.

Scranton’s lawyer is asking for the lawsuit to be thrown out by the judge but Judge James Gibbons did not immediate rule on that request

Full article here:

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