Well, that's what happened to Palmer Township, when it requested some information from Allentown about the NIZ. Let me break it down for you.
Back on February 2, Township Manager Chris Christman asked Allentown, in a Right-to-Know request, to produce its NIZ local tax reports. They would include a schedule listing the amounts of EIT collected for employees who work within the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, but live in Palmer Township.
Christman even attached a sample copy of Allentown's own schedule.
After hitting Christman with a thirty day extension, Allentown finally answered, on March 12, that it had no such records.
But that's baloney.
The very next day, Christman filed a Right-to-Know Request with the State Department of Revenue. He attached a letter from the Secretary of Revenue reporting that a whopping $1,124,223.76 in local taxes was collected from businesses within Allentown's Neighborhood Improvement Zone during 2011.
The Secretary of Revenue, incidentally, was relying on 96 NIZ local tax reports supplied by Allentown. The very NIZ reports that Allentown denied it possessed. Apparently, there are 316 "qualified" businesses within the NIZ, more than three times the number that Allentown Finance Director Garrett Strathearn reported to the combined Tax Collection Committees of Northampton and Lehigh Counties.
Obviously, someone in Allentown is hiding something, denying it has records that were in fact provided to the Department of Revenue.
As you might have guessed, Christman's request is under "legal review."
Maybe Senator Browne has them. ... or his wife.
Under Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know law, a Court may impose a $1500 penalty when an agency denes access to a record in bad faith.
Palmer Township's Board of Supervisors held an executive session at their Tuesday meeting this week. Unfortunately, Chairman Dave Colver was absent, or I suspect they would have voted to join Hanover, Bethlehem and Lower Saucon Township's legal challenge to Allentown's tax grab. I say this because Palmer Township has been getting the stonewall.