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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, November 30, 2015

Phillips' Proposed Tax Cut Could Result in Tax Hike

In his Budget Message, Executive John Brown has proposed to set aside one mill of taxes ($7.8 million) to address short and long term capital demands. These include the maintenance of 119 county-owned bridges, repair of a Gracedale parking lot that looks like a lunar landscape, the construction of a new jail regional forensic center and the purchase of the centralized Human Services building. Instead of floating a bond, which is how most capital improvements are done, Brown is proposing to set aside the money, a little bit at a time. It actually makes sense. For that reason, I am astonished that Hayden Phillips, a sensible and practical man, would consider taking that money away for a half mill tax cut. Phillips' proposal is one of the items slated for review at Wednesday's final budget hearing.

Phillips wants to remove $3.99 million set aside for the purchase of the Human Services Building and give taxpayers a tax cut. The County is currently on track to buy that building at the end of five years for a total cost of $21.5 MM, including lease payments. If Northampton County misses that boat, it will have to continue leasing the facility for 15 years and pay $27.3 million. You can see all the calculations in a Q and A prepared by Ken Mohr for the County.

The financially sound option is to make the purchase after five years. If that is delayed, or if the County has to float a bond because it lacks the capital, that half mill tax cut is going to end up costing taxpayers a mill in new taxes.

I believe the Colonel, as he is called, is looking for ways to ease the tax burden. But he knows better than most that our capital needs are at the critical point, and need to be addressed.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

The newspaper article made it very clear. The Brown cost containment efficiencies' have change d the dynamic of the county government costs. The costly trajectory of the Stoffa Admisntration have been reversed by logical and well thought out business planning. You left that part out. A tax cut may be possible.

Anonymous said...

CRAP

Anonymous said...

That law suit and judgment against the County for $300,000.00 and growing was very logical and well thought out by Mr. Corporate Efficiency. He is a dangerous moron.

Anonymous said...

This Lehigh County tax cut is as equally bad. The "happy meal" tax cut as a Mueller refers is done with floating bonds. Floating bonds for major improvements is not a bad thing. However, giving a tax cut on a credit card is. No matter how you slice it, when you floating a bond and have realized debt, cutting taxes is is not fiscally responsible. That $12 tax cut will cost more to pay back. It is like going shopping. The GOP tax cut is a "pay more later" gimmick. Watch next year they will want to cut services to balance the budget.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. A cut now will only mean a larger increase later.

Anonymous said...

If you look in the dictionary for the word stupidity you will find a two word definition - Northampton County.

Anonymous said...

Brown/Allen pulled this stunt in Bangor and it backfired. Cut essential positions (police chief), don't pave streets, cut services, and cut taxes to make yourself look good. I hear Bangor has to raise taxes just to cover the damages done by these 2 clowns, one of which doesn't pay her taxes (allen).

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:01, Good point. i don't think you should ever really cut taxes unless you are completely debt free. Somebody needs to call Finnigan.

Anonymous said...

He's running for executive and trying to resurrect his tea party reputation after spearheading a tax hike last year. Last year's tax increase was unnecessary. Any proposal to return it to taxpayers is a good one. It's not the county's money. It's ours. And your headline is silly. Every tax cut can ultimately lead to a tax increase if spending is left unbridled. Spending is what increases taxes. Period.

Anonymous said...

Gracedale. Gracedale. Gracedale.

Gracedale is why we can't have nice things.

Anonymous said...

Did councilman Kraft lose his house to foreclosure?

Ken Kraft said...

No I did not, but thanks for trying

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ken, Posing as Fireball 1950, she posted the same lie on LVL at least three times. It has been deleted three times. She knows she is lying, but does it anyway in a cynical attempt to fool one or two people. She is not only defaming you, but is attempting to cast you in a false light.

Ken Kraft said...

she will keep posting it, I guess I am her new target for this week.

Anonymous said...

She was born in 1950? That explains it then.

Anonymous said...

Men are the inverse of their enemies, Bernie.

When the bottom of the barrel is defaming you, you're at the top of the heap.

Great reporting on the tax cut / hike, BTW.

- Jeffrey Anthony

Bernie O'Hare said...

Imagine how thrilled John Brown must be to have Mezzacappa on his side.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks, Jeff.

Anonymous said...

3:10am

C. ounty
R. epublicans
A. re
P. rofiting

i like it

Anonymous said...

Is there a list of Mezzacappa lovers anywhere? Car, couch, boardroom, bedroom, bar room pool table?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Consigliere said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Too many family members were appalled by the belligerent nonsense on your blog, Billy.

Then, when you deeply upset both my 87 year-old Mother and a beloved Aunt of the same age with your deranged behavior on the phone, we decided collectively as an extended family that you are no longer welcome at our events.

Yesterday, when you published on line my home address and the date and time of my family's Christmas Party -- as well as contact information for my younger sister -- we as an extended family knew we had made the right decision by excluding you. Further, we believe that your deranged behavior in your email to my sister further confirms the wisdom of our decision concerning you.

As a family and after many discussions, our general sense is that, while we wish you well and hope you'll seek the psychological help you need, we hope not to see or hear from you again...

Anonymous said...

So Bagger Phillips the teabagger dream, Pitches for a 23% tax increase and settles for a 10% tax increase. A year later he suggests cutting his own tax hike almost in half. So by teabagger mathematics. he is a tax cutter??

Only in the world of the teabaggers could this guy be a hero. Bravo to the tax and cut hero?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Several comments from the Blog Mentor, who posted both OT and in violation of a court order, have been deleted.

Anonymous said...

If the Colonel wants to reduce taxes, he should start with the ones that Brown is redirecting from the 0.5 mill ($3.7m) that was instituted in 2008 for Open Space. Starting in 2015, Brown has taken $2.7m of the $3.7m to use for pocket change, leaving Open Space mostly defunded. He has not explained where that $2.7m is going. Once again in the 2016 budget, without explanation, he has absconded with $2.7m. Does he not realize we notice? Last year, Werner asked him "you know where it went, right?" and Brown nodded but did not say. Why is Brown not asked? Ken Kraft - if you are listening - please ask him at the last budget meeting tomorrow. It is a simple question - what did you do with the $2.7m in 2015, and what are you doing with it in 2016?

Give us a 0.25 mil reduction, which will only put a dent in the taxpayer receipts Brown is using for God knows what. This is money that is being collected in our property taxes, and truly not used as intended. If you want to defund Open Space, in direct contradiction with taxpayer vote and the LVPC's vision, don't keep taxing us for it.