This week, state legislators will adopt a new budget, and it's no secret that this will include changes to the NIZ. Is EIT really being removed. Is the NIZ being redefined to make it constitutional?
Your guess is as good as mine because the NIZ still remains shrouded in secrecy. All the complaints about the lack of transparency have fallen on deaf ears.
Months ago, Bethlehem and Hanover Township officials asked to see the Preliminary Official Statement (POS) for the $220 million bond intended to finance the hockey arena. Amazingly, they are still waiting.
I've been assured these are "special tax revenue bons," but are they also backed by the "full faith and credit," i.e. taxing power, of the City or state? If they are, they're general obligation bonds. Will we wait until there's a default until we find the answer?
Don't laugh. According to The New York Times, taxpayers are getting stuck with the tab for parking garages and hockey arenas, even though they never thought they'd be footing the bill.
In Pennsylvania, not only are Scranton and Harrisburg struggling with bond guarantees, but another troubled city, Allentown, is defending itself against lawsuits by surrounding communities, accusing it of a convoluted plan to make their residents backstop an authority’s bonds for a new hockey arena. Construction has stopped on the arena, and residents are living with a big hole in the ground and a cloud of uncertainty.That's certainly what's happening in Allentown, where a $220 million hockey arena is nearly three times the going rate for a minor league hockey arena.
“It’s a possibility that Pennsylvania does nothing and says, ‘O.K., you’re on your own. You default, and that’s that,’ ” Ms. Reinhart said. “Or it could be that the state intervenes, even though it doesn’t guarantee the cities’ debt explicitly.” The problem, she said, is that the bailout of just one distressed city “is a license for everybody to overspend, on the assumption that they’ll be bailed out.”
It's only money. Thankfully, township EIT will not be wasted on this mess. Instead, we'll spend money that should be spent for children's health insurance.
It will help J.B Reilly get richer
It will help Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski's political ambition, although he has damaged that big time.
Doesn't this make you proud to be an American?