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Scranton Proposes New “Commuter Tax”

Mayfield Mayor Alexander Chelik and representatives of Lackawanna County’s North Pocono municipalities will hold a public meeting Wednesday to discuss a commuter tax that Scranton is planning to revive.

Mr. Chelik and the North Pocono Council of Governments will meet Wednesday at the Moscow Municipal Building at 7 p.m. to discuss the Scranton commuter tax issue.

There are nine municipalities in the North Pocono COG: Moscow borough and the townships of Clifton, Covington, Elmhurst, Jefferson, Madison, Roaring Brook, Spring Brook and Thornhurst, said COG secretary Donna Stefanski.

A commuter tax- a 1 percent earned-income tax on nonresidents of Scranton who work in the city – is one of the city’s alternatives to property tax hikes under its Act 47 recovery plan that was adopted Aug. 23. A commuter tax is expected to raise $2.5 million next year and $4 million in 2014 and 2015.

A commuter tax does not exist yet, as Scranton first must receive approval from Lackawanna County Court to allow the tax each year it exists.

Mr. Chelik said he hopes that representatives of municipalities that have residents who work in Scranton would not stand for a commuter tax.

“Obviously, we want to get rid of the commuter tax,” Mr. Chelik said. “I’m not sure how we will approach it. I do have a strategy, and I can tell you it’s going to get ugly.”

Read the rest at the Times-Tribune

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