Scranton loves their taxes…when is enough, ENOUGH?
State Sen. John Blake is reviewing whether to introduce a bill to give Scranton the option of replacing the business privilege and mercantile taxes with a payroll tax, but so far remains skeptical of the concept.
City officials have asked the senator about the possibility of seeking a law to allow the city to impose a payroll tax, said Mr. Blake, D-22, Archbald, and city officials, and he has been studying the matter for the past four or five months.
Under the concept, the current business privilege and mercantile taxes would be eliminated and replaced with a payroll tax, he said.
“This would be a tax shift,” said Mr. Blake, stressing that he has not decided whether he supports a payroll tax option for Scranton and has not introduced a bill for it in the Legislature.
“I still have reservations about this,” Mr. Blake said. “I’m not satisfied. I haven’t gotten a clear view on whether it makes sense.”
One big question is whether a switch to a payroll tax would result in “tax neutrality,” meaning that revenue from a payroll tax would equal the amount of taxes that would no longer be collected in business privilege and mercantile taxes, he said.
In general, the result of a switch to a payroll tax would be, “If you’re a small business you pay less; if you’re a larger business you pay more,” Mr. Blake said.