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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, November 23, 2015

NorCo Controller: Stop Payments to Harrisburg Until Budget Adopted

NorCo Controller Steve Barron is calling on County officials to stop sending tax payments in to Harrisburg until a state budget is adopted. Bucks and Lancaster County have both threatened to take that step as well. In addition, the County Commissioners' Association of Pennsylvania, which represents the interests if county government in Harrisburg, is pondering litigation to force the state to start funding human services for children, seniors and developmentally challenged.

“I advocated this several years ago when budgets were delayed,” Barron said. “It is not fair that the Commonwealth takes all these fees and taxes and sits on the money earning interest on the stockpile while forcing Counties to borrow funds and pay interest to make ends meet.”

“In just the Northampton County Recorder of Deeds office in the last 90 days the state has taken $2.96 million in real estate transfer tax fees,” Barron claimed. “I believe we should cut them off and send a message that once they start meeting their obligations to the county, we will start meeting our obligations to Commonwealth.”

Northampton County relies on the state for 2/3 of its $330 million dollar budget. It has already been forced to vote for a $50 million emergency line of credit so it can continue to pay for vital services to over 18,000 developmentally challenged adults, seniors and children. Lines of credit or some form of sort-term borrowing have also been authorized in Blair, Cambria, Columbia, Crawford, Erie, Schuylkill and York County.

Lehigh County has been able to weather the storm thus far, according to Frank Kane, who heads that county's Department of Community and Economic Development. He credits the County's $25 million stabilization fund, and noted that both Executive Tom Muller and Commissioners have been united in their approach.  


Anonymous said...

More grandstanding from BVF.

Anonymous said...

the only resolve is to stop their paychecks, per diems and their staff paychecks then you will see how fast they make decisions

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:46, Are the GOP Commissioners in Bucks and Lancaster grandstanding, too?

Anonymous said...

I agree with this as well as no pa tax should be taken out of workers pay either. These freeloading uncompromising politicians in Harrisburg need a wake up call that they work for us not we work for them

Anonymous said...

Good. We need the money to pay for all the new Syrian refugees anyway. They are just victims, you know.

Anonymous said...

Another idea is to charge the State the interest the county incurred while their was no money flowing. Assemble all the Valley`s legislators to fight for the reimbursement.