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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How Did LV Legislators Vote On Allentown's Tax Grab?

Samuelson, Brennan & Freeman
Yesterday, I welcomed you to Allentown's Sherwood Forest, where the EIT for any people employed in the Queen City's 130-acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ), regardless where they happen to live, will first go into a fund to pay for the arena and other improvements at the site. How sweet it NIZ! Hard-earned tax dollars from all over the Lehigh Valley will now be diverted for projects owned by millionaires.

How did LV legislators vote on this project? Before I tell you, let me remind you that this provision is buried in a NIZ that itself is tucked deep inside a Fiscal Code Update. That legislation deals with all kinds of things, including the definitions of cigarettes and "little cigars." Allentown's special tax zone gets no mention, not even in the header, to say nothing of its tax grab.

We're also talking about two pieces of legislation. First, there's Act 50 of 2009, which establishes the NIZ. That's followed, two years later, by Act 26 of 2011, which improves the original bill with a finite, 30-year sunset and eliminates KOZ benefits in the NIZ.  I have to wonder whether the LV delegation even had any idea that they were authorizing Allentown to "borrow" EIT money owed to other municipalities.

The original bill, Act 50 of 2009, was supported by Pat Browne, Karen Beyer, Joe Brennan, Craig Dally, Rich Grucela, Julie Harhart, Jennifer Mann and Doug Reichley. Opposed were Lisa Boscola, Gary Day, Bob Freeman and Steve Samuelson. (See Senate and House votes).

The new and improved bill, Act 26 of 2011, was supported by Lisa Boscola, Pat Browne, Bob Mensch, Gary Day, Joe Emrick, Marcia Hahn, Julie Harhart, Doug Reichley and Justin Simmons. Opposed were Bob Freeman, Jennifer Mann and Steve Samuelson. Joe Brennan was on excused leave and did not vote. (See Senate and House votes).

It appears that this was largely a partisan vote, with most Democrats opposed to what bluebloods have called a "progressive" idea.


Anonymous said...

"excused leave"


Dave said...

Thanks for that info Bernie..knowing who voted up or down on this money grab. I swear they count on people being dumb bunnies. Amazing stupidity by them to assume we would not find out and hold THEM responsible.

Dave said...

I will call our boro manager within the hour to confirm the Browne discussion session. I will go.

Jon Geeting said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Geeting said...

Yeah, vote out those Republicans...

It's not a progressive "idea", it's a progressive transfer - in the economic sense sense. This is a transfer from the wealthy to the poor. There's no denying that. The developers are rich, but it's not like any large fraction of the money is going to the dudes themselves.

Anonymous said...

Marcia Hahn?

Never read the bill. Guaranteed. She makes her predecessor look like an activist.


Did not take long to get sucked in to the culture, apparently.


No one ever expected excellence from him.


Bernie O'Hare said...

"This is a transfer from the wealthy to the poor"

Yeah, poor JB Reilly. Poor Butz. In the meantime, the state s freezing human services bc of revenue shortfalls. If only you knew 1/10 of what you think you know.

Anonymous said...

A bill supported by most republicans.Now a mounting revolt putting the Tea party againts the sitting republicans. I love it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Instead of worrying about the partisan bullshit, why not be a little concerned about the actual issue?

Anonymous said...

Goes to show how little is actually read in Harrisburg. NO doubt the D's voted against it b/c of the Corbett connection and the R's voted for it b/c when in power, you do what your party's governor says.

Now, all the R's have to back peddle this baby and hope it gets tucked into the 2012-2013 fiscal code. with doug reichley no longer in the state house sitting on the finance committee and Pat Browne seemingly checked out, good luck to these guys. Of course, now they all have schmootz on their face any way.

Anonymous said...

Guess what --- Sammuelsson and Brennan represented the East Side of Allentown and both were kicked out by redistricting and Beyer was defeated by Simmons ... No wonder Mann resifned and we hear that Browne will resign at his next election.

Anonymous said...


Stop embarassing yourself and other community minded Democrats.

Go back to your loft apartment, above the coffee shop with curb-side store-front in the traditional neighborhood, in a Core Community.


Anonymous said...


The money does go to the rich dudes! Tax money will go to pay the construction loans of the rich dudes. The dudes will own the buildings and our tax dollars will pay off their construction loan. Great deal if you can get it! Were you a childhood friend of Pat Browne? No? Sorry. No deal for you!