Friday, July 06, 2012
NorCo Council Sez NO to Easton Commuter Tax
Their vote is non-binding, but they have ways of making their displeasure known should Easton City Council ignore them. President John Cusick made that clear last night, noting they could simply move all the Wolf Building workforce into Bethlehem.
President John Cusick, noting that nonresidents already pay a Local Services Tax (LST), and feels the commuter tax is actually targeted at the County workforce. He also called it "taxation without representation."
"Where is Easton? Where is the Mayor?" asked Lamont McClure, wondering why Easton had made no effort to discuss this proposed tax with the County.
Bob Werner noted that the Mayor is out of town, and acknowledged Easton does have a pension problem. But like McClure, he was disappointed that Easton sent no representative to argue its case. Werner called the tax a "band-aid," noting that the real problem is in the way pensions are funded.
Executive John Stoffa stated that it would be easier to accept a commuter tax if it were for "decent roads" or for police and fire protection, but not because Easton's pension is underfunded.
How Easton will respond to this resolution is unclear. Calling it a "complex" matter, Easton Mayor Sal Panto still managed to lay out his dilemma in two sentences. "I took office in 2008 with a pension payment of $600,000. Today it is $1.5 million and next year it goes to $3.7 million."