Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome to Allentown's Sherwood Forest

It seems like just yesterday that I likened The Morning Call's breathless swooning over Allentown's vaunted hockey arena and the accompanying NIZ to reporting straight out of Pravda or Izvestia. But this Sunday's story, penned by Comrades Scott Kraus and Matt Assad, might cost them their party memberships. We've now learned that EIT for any people employed in the Queen City's 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.

Let me explain how EIT is supposed to work. You file an income tax form with your local municipality - just like you do with the state and the federal government. You pay your local income tax to your municipality regardless of where you earned it. Exceptions have been made by the legislature for Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but they don't apply to the rest of the mere mortals in the Commonwealth.

The collection and remittance of EIT by the host municipality and then the remittance of EIT back to the municipality where the employee lives was done as a matter of convenience for employees. Act 32, passed a few years ago, establishes county by county collection committees who hire a single agent to collect EIT and distribute to all eligible municipalities based on where the employee lives.

Except now, it seems the NIZ is trumping Act 32 and all other acts that preceded it, including local municipal ordinances establishing the collection of EIT. No one told any municipality that their EIT was going to be "held hostage" by the NIZ to see if it is needed before it is remitted. It's safe to say this will create chaos for municipal budgets.

Senator Browne, who wrote this legislation, gave The Morning Call explanations that are imperious and dismissive at best and disingenuous at worst. The Senator, incidentally, has no intention of seeking re-election when his term expires in the next two years. That way, he can be paid directly by the blue bloods from both parties who support screwing other municipalities to support Allentown.

Increasingly, it's becoming clear that Allentown's NIZ is a bizzaro world Sherwood Forest. But Governor Wannabe Ed Pawlowsi is a Robin Hood in reverse. He robs from the poor and gives to the rich.

Let's review the NIZ "success story," shall we? Five "new" tenants, all poached from somewhere else in the Lehigh Valley. Now the City of Bethlehem finds out they are not only competing on an uneven playing field, but are also helping to subsidize Allentown's development with their EIT, too.

This manipulation of tax policy, government subsidy and regulation of free market forces would make any self-respecting Robin Hood, Socialist, Marxist, Bolshevik or Leninist blush with embarrassment. They justified sharing of the wealth as a way to help the working classes gain parity and equity versus the wealthy. Somehow Allentown and Pat Browne got it mixed up.

Instead of textbooks for Allentown's distressed schools, the "goodies" thrown into the pot will benefit developers like Reilly and Butz - and probably Jim Petrucci at some point in the not too distant future. After all, Petrucci's LV right hand man - Tom Shaughnessy - is on the ACIDA Board. All he has to do is recuse himself when the subject of generous financing for his boss comes to the Board for a vote.

In addition to those guys, look at some of Robin Pawlowski's Band of Merry Men.

Traffic Planning and Design Inc. They are represented by a Montgomery County attorney and Dem who has raised Ed about $100K.

Land Development Services. T and M Associates, represented by Pawlowski campaign manager Mike Fleck.

Of course, the supposed justification for what blogger Michael Molovinsky correctly calls a Shell Game is that this helps the urban core, and those benefits will trickle down to surrounding municipalities.

Where have we heard that before?

For years, we've been strengthening Allentown's urban core with state grans and KOZs. We put up canopies along Hamilton Street to strengthen the urban core. Just as suddenly, we ripped them down to help the urban core. Allentown is still a death star that is now even sucking tax revenues intended for other municipalities.

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie, In reading the morning call article this past Sunday and your blog it would seem that municipalities and school districts where unaware of them sharing their E.I.T. with the city for their residents that work in Allentown N.I.Z. Where they not notified by Sen Browne and their State Rep. of the potential loss of the E.I.T. and if they agree with the bill prior to becoming law.

Jon Geeting said...

First of all, Allentown is poorer than all the other municipalities. This isn't "Robin Hood in reverse" it's regular Robin Hood. People who pay earned income tax are wealthier. That's why Allentown has to collect such a larger percentage of its revenue from the real estate tax, because it doesn't have enough income tax-paying residents to rely more on the EIT. You are confusing yourself about who the underdog is in this situation. It's Allentown.

Second of all, this is awesome. Philly and Pittsburgh have this right. Municipalities where people live have a much weaker claim on earned income tax revenue than the municipality where the work was performed, and where the business consumed public services. Revenue from income earned in Allentown should stay in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

What services do the people coming into the city get? The well maintained and plowed roads? The oh so effective street sweepers parading down Lehigh Street at 7:45 in the morning? The safe feeling you get whenever you walk out of your place of business? Or best of all the fact that you can't get a police officer to come out and take a report when your car gets broken into?

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

So the whole valley is putting money into this very risky and poorly thought out investment? Suckers.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

If Nancy Pelosi was local, she'd probably say " We just need to build this thing to understand what it all means."

Seriously, where was the Allentown City Council on all of this? The County Executives?

Anonymous said...

Instead of texbooks for Allentown schools goodies are thrown at developers.As an investment gambler hoping for the best return on my money, I choose throwing goodies at developers.

Anonymous said...

If Allentown is such a death star than I gues there won't be much EIT for other municipalities to loose.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jonathan, There is no nice way to put this. You really are a myopic blowhard, who thinks he is an expert in urban policy and public affairs. Your posting - link below - is one of your worst, and one of your most laughable. He keeps touting the program's successes. It's not part of any "progressive agenda" I know, in fact it's "regressive."

Second, you didn't read MM's comment on your own damn blog concerning Allentown getting the short end of the stick if EIT was kept in the municipality where the employee works. Surely, Allentown would be a net loser on that proposition. I would bet, without looking at data, that more Allentonians work outside the city than in. Think about where the major job centers are and they aren't in Allentown.

Third, you miss the whole Local Service Tax rationale. The LST was created to help municipalities assess those who work in their municipality for local services. Allentown has an LST of $52 per capita which is supposed to offset the costs of being a host for non-Allentown residents to work. Now, it is sucking even more money away.

Fourth, this is not intended to nor will it help Allentown. It will only benefit a select few developers and builders. I have been speaking to lots of developers and building owners around the Lehigh Valley. They are now just waking up to the fact that the NIZ may be their biggest nightmare. As their tenant leases come due for renewal - especially those tenants that are big employers - they could be poached to the NIZ by Butz, Reilly, and Jaindl - at the waterfront. Let's see what kind of civil war that starts - especially if you are pitting David Jaindl vs. Mark Jaindl, or Lou Pektor vs. J. B. Reilly, etc. I will save that for another day as the tension mounts.

You really have no idea what you are talking about, and that's no surprise bc you spend no time in the LV, attend no meetings, and rely on politicos instead of real experts to feed you information.


http://www.jongeeting.net/?p=4523

Bernie O'Hare said...

"than I gues there won't be much EIT for other municipalities to loose."

There will be EIT from businesses poached from other areas of the LV. But in a few years, it will be a wasteland.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let's just let Allentown, the city that essentially built this region through commerce, continue its slow spiral downward. We don't even have to say it's name. Shhh. Just say "Lehigh Valley."

Anonymous said...

Politics Geeting-style. Lie, obfuscate, and lie again in order to get what you want – a massive transfer of cash from the burbs to Allentown. Screw Bethlehem and Easton in the process? F**k them too. Sure hope for Browne’s sake that he isn’t running for re-election, he just lost all of the Lehigh Valley except for Allentown, and no one there votes anyway.

Anonymous said...

Anon 941, Allentown needs to straighten its act out first. I'm tired of being lied to and I'm tired of being asked to throw money at the problems there instead of fixing them.

"Poor Allentown" stopped working in the Heydt Administration.

Anonymous said...

Seems Geeting is WAAAY closer to reality than this completely biased, anti-Allentown article.

And if Allentown is keeping the EIT, then isn't it being treated like Philly and Pittsburgh? That's a good thing for Allentown, no?

Anonymous said...

Ah I see. It's the same problem plaguing American society in general now. People just have no desire to give up their selfish self-interests to help anyone or anyone else in distress.

Next, we'll have Stiles and Coplay arguing over who fills a pothole on the dividing line.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"People just have no desire to give up their selfish self-interests to help anyone or anyone else in distress."

No they don't, and they especially don't like it when it is taken from them without asking them first. That's called theft.

Anonymous said...

Taking away EIT is a declaration of war. It's the foundation of municipal budgets in most places.

I don't see the townships being "ok" with this.

In this economy, it's every burg for itself.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Seems Geeting is WAAAY closer to reality than this completely biased, anti-Allentown article."

Anti-Allentown? Ask Jay Finnigan how he feels about Hanover Tp losing its EIT to that black hole, and without being told a damn thing? Tell me exactly how this is going to fix A-town? For as long as I've been around, I've heard the mantra that we must strengthen the urban core, and that will help the surrounding suburbs. But now, urban core Allentown is supposedly being "strengthened" at expense of urban cores like Bethlehem and Easton and older boroughs like Coplay. But look where the money is going. It is not going to help Allentown's poor. It is going to help an Upper Saucon developer become even richer, after which he will walk away, leaving Allentown a wasteland.

And I'm anti-Allentown?

Anonymous said...

Jon Geeting is your typical hipster who knows a lot about nothing. He is a fine example of what is wrong with this country. I'm not sure if it's ignorance or sarcasm with him, but can someone be that stupid? Regurgitated talking points.

Jon, please take yourself, and your limp wrist back to the pirates cove where you can talk about growing beards and playing shows for 10 people.

Dave said...

This is very distressing news. As a boro council person I need more info as we may have a stake in this robbery of our designated tax revenue by Allentown city. I will do what I can to stop this madness in it's tracks. I will discuss this with our town manager today and contact our State Rep. asap for an explanation and a remedy! Thanks for the tip as I do not get the MCall except the online headlines. I refuse to pay their subscriber fee as I view it as an abridgement of freedom of the press and my rights to information that effects the community at large.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Jay Finnigan who is friends with Angle. No thanks... I'll take Geeting any day. Bernie how do you feel about the new blogger imitating you, but actually telling it how it is?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I feel the same way I feel about most knock-offs. It's a cheap imitation.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Bethlehem, but Allentown is the heart of the Lehigh Valley. We need to do everything we can to get them back on track and make this area truly vibrant. Getting culture and sports brings communities together. Instead of hiding Allentown and using terms like Lehigh Valley out of embarrassment, we should try and get something done positive and give back to Allentown all that we have taken. We all abandoned downtown Allentown for the malls and then we wonder what happened. Does anyone here remember what Allentown was like anymore? So much negativity and selfishness.

Anonymous said...

No they don't, and they especially don't like it when it is taken from them without asking them first. That's called theft.


Taxes are theft? Spoken like a died in the wool Republican.

Bob Pfenning said...

Talk about helping Allentown from outside its borders, don't forget about the $2 million to $3 million in casino host fees that Allentown receives each year from the casino located in Bethlehem.

Anonymous said...

What are YOU saying Anon 11:39 --- ALL Money belongs to the Government first?

KARL MARX

Anonymous said...

Progressive Liberalism is always a recipe for disaster (and higher taxes)

Dave said...

Called Boscola's office and registered my complaint. Person I talked to said I was the first person to bring up the topic. Bangor can probably weather a reduction in EIT w/o having to cut services but a lot of other Slate Belt communities may not be that lucky. Budget's are extremely tight and this could set off a wave of lay offs and service cuts to already struggling local entities. Pat Browne has no idea what an "adjustment" really is! Idiot.

Dave said...

Bangor boro was never told to expect a reduction in EIT as our budget would have reflected that reality. We were sucker punched!

Dave said...

Called Emrick's office and filed a complaint. They were unaware of the story or their responsibility to inform us or any other agency of the impending doom of King Edwin and the kingdom of Atown. I hope neither of my rep's at State level were part of this abomination. A curse on their house if they were.

Dave said...

Trying to find out if our boro treasurer was informed at the last EIT meeting about this issue. If not..we got a cover up of enormous proportions.

Kay Roberts said...

I really like how you welcome people to Allentown Sherwood Forest. I think that I would be able to enjoy my stay there. I am hoping to meet new faces and make friends with them.

Dave said...

Just turn over your wallet at the city limits and you'll be fine. As long as your pockets are deep..you'll make lots of new friends!

Anonymous said...

Geeting 757,

These core community types are over the top.

Where shall my children send their lunch money and allowance.

Anonymous said...

You are guarenteed a parking ticket in Allentown between peak business hours. Seems they ride their street sweepers down the street just to give our parking tickets.

Anon 814, funny you should mention that Lehigh Street sweeper route. A friend recently observed the wet marks in center lanes on a side street in that area. Clearly the sweeper had just passed but left all the debris in the gutter. Must have been cashing in on tickets again. I should have asked what street.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:48 AM

Can you find me one of those distressing jobs that you can work 16 years, buy 4 and get a retirement pension with benefits?

Better yet, I will take a job where you work 20, base your retirement of the last two months of work and then take home a pensions that is more than your active pay.

ironpigpen said...

"VLADIMIR PUTIN PREPARING FOR PHANTOM VICTORY"

www.goironpigs.com

========================

You are cordially invited to share in a chuckle, Herr O'Hare.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Geeting, John.Jay, Donovan, Chris Cocca all get it. The NIZ is an incredible redevelopment tool. People who are focused on solely the arena are near sighted. The arena alone will not transform downtown by itself but it is a catalyst in the redevelopment. It will be a catalyst in the terms that it will bring people downtown with higher disposal incomes for the first time in 30 years. When these people realize that downtown is a good place they will be more inclined to stay. However that is just one portion of it. The NIZ is the key... without the NIZ it doesn’t matter what the arena does. What the NIZ provides is incentive for people to develop in area that has been blighted for the past 30 years. Does it take incentives to have developers to invest in downtown? YES! Is this incentives tax based? YES! Are some people going to profit because of these incentives? YES! But that is how it works, like it or not. Keep in mind that gentrification is real and it works. But what do you need to kick start the process? Tax incentives. Now I would agree that if a business was offered an incentive in an already established thriving downtown it would look odd. But that is not the case. We do not have a thriving downtown. Pawn shops, barbers, urban outfitters is not a thriving downtown that provides to the possibility of larger tax base. It caters to people with low to none disposable income.
The vision of this project is simple. If you don’t see it you have been living in the LV too long and really don’t know how things work.
The vision is this. Step 1) Offer incentives to developers to build. Step 2) Developers offer lease space at lower costs than suburban office parks. Step 3) Suburban LV, out of LV, out of state companies relocate to downtown as they can create a larger profit margin due to lower overhead in lease fees Step 4) Employees like to live close to where they work i.e. Downtown. Step 5) Residential developers see this market and build condos/apartments to cater to these employees Step 6) Local retailers see this market as well and open shops/restaurants that cater to this new market. Step 7) Property values increase/tax rolls increase and crime reduces. Step 8) This has a outward affect on properties surrounding development. Step 9) Property values increase to areas outside of the NIZ forcing lower income, uneducated, crime committing people to move. Step 10) The city of Allentown crawls out of the rut it has been in for the past 30 years.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Now this is not an overnight vision, it is something that takes up to a decade to do. Also with everything else that happens people will disagree and will find every way to fault it. Unfortunately negativity seems to be an automatic trait for people who have lived here for over 50 years and are reminiscent of the Hess' days. I am sure, mater of fact; I know that Downtown Allentown prior to the 70s was an amazing place to live. However that model no longer works. I am sorry. Leh's, Hess's etc are not coming back. That model went the way of urban sprawl in the 70s and the development of malls such as the Lehigh Valley Mall. Also the model doesn't work anymore because and this is somewhat hard for some people to understand as the roots of blue collar manufacturing are deep in their veins. But that is gone too. Technology and the internet have changed that game forever. The need for small mom and pop shops are gone. The internet age has also eliminated the need for large suburban office complex to some point. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that they do not have their purpose and need. I am saying that need has been diminished. The point being that is the youngest and brightest coming out of colleges don’t want to move to the suburbs when they complete their education. They want to live in a bright urban environment. I am not saying that Downtown is a bright urban environment right now, but cant it be? I am also not saying that Allentown will ever be a NYC, San Francisco, Philly, Atlanta etc... But what Allentown needs to realize that as a midsize city in MSA of 820,000 it has it niche to draw companies, business', and employees that are looking for reasonable rates in a downtown location so that they can prosper further.
To make this vision happen we as the citizens of the Lehigh Valley and not only the City of Allentown need to change our way of thinking. That change of the way we think is already starting. That in itself is huge as the ideology of this area is so stubborn. People are very proud of their roots. Also so people don’t get me wrong, I own a house in Allentown, I was born here and went to HS here. So it is fair to say that I am very proud of my roots as well. But I think we can all agree that the policies of the past 30+yrs have not helped Allentown develop. No matter what political party was sitting in the Mayor’s office.
With that all being said, not everyone is going to like everything all the time as no matter what is done to redevelop Allentown it is not going to affect everyone equally. That in itself is the challenge with redevelopment projects. But I believe that the NIZ is not air tight and is still a living document with the chance for modification as that possibility arises. That is a positive, but what is not is the continued negativity to anything that is done. That needs to disappear and once it does to the people who are negative I hope that they will see the same vision that I do. It is a great sight, I promise.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Future, you make some good observations. I believe the real question being raised is

. . . . But, at what cost?

Has this project EVER received a thorough, open and public analysis?

Math DOES count.

Anonymous said...

Jon Geeting gets it.

Wow.

NOW, I'm impressed.

ironpigpen said...

In case you missed it, Future Downtown Arena Attendee :

"PAY TO PLAY AT THE PALACE OF SPORT?"

www.goironpigs.com

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

@Retired ASD teacher

If you are looking for exact itemized amount. You will never find one. Why? Because in redevelopment projects like this as like with many projects on this scale they are based off of financial assumptions. This is not like walking in to the grocery store and purchasing off the self at a fixed price. There are many moving items that establish finial cost. Some of those assumptions are; How many developers are going to establish/develop properties, How many new employees/tenants will they bring.

I understand that everyone wants an exact number now. Hell I even want to know an exact number. But that is not how things like this work. I also that people wont get behind a project without knowing the exact figures. But like I have said in the previous post I believe that the NIZ is a good thing. Is it a 100% guarantee? No. But what is? Is there is risk? Sure. That being said, the true/final cost of this will not be known for many years. That is not acceptable to people but that is how it works. Sorry.

This is chance that we cant pass up as other cities will jump on the chance of drawing people to their cities with their own incentives.
I suggest the question of what else have you seen on this magnitude of possibility in the past 30+yrs for the city of Allentown and the LV?

Anonymous said...

Yawn.

You sure spend everyone else's money very well and with great rationale, FDAA.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Thanks, Future.

First of all, please answer one of the questions I posed -

Has this project EVER received a thorough, open and public analysis?

I agree. This is the biggest risk foisted upon local taxpayers in my memory. That, in itself, DEMANDED complete transparency and, in my mind, a public referendum.

Because you, and others CLAIM this is a "can't miss" risk is NOT adequate. No one expects exact figures, just a worst case breakout of what failure represents for the coming 30 years.

Look, the Phantoms can sellout EVERY game. That won't come anywhere near justifying the investment.

There is NO track record in other similar-sized cities that would suggest this is a slam dunk. Taxpayers have a RIGHT to be skeptical. It's THEIR money being used!

Can you cite new construction, new business, new housing, increased hotel business, etc. that can be attributed to the wildly successful Iron Pigs?

Bottom line, your arena IS coming. These discussions are much too late. That's what's sad.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

"Thanks, Future.

First of all, please answer one of the questions I posed -
Has this project EVER received a thorough, open and public analysis?
I agree. This is the biggest risk foisted upon local taxpayers in my memory. That, in itself, DEMANDED complete transparency and, in my mind, a public referendum."

I will concede that even though public review was available it still was not published as much as it should have been. On the issue of referendum, I disagree. We elected officials to speak on our behalf, not everything needs to be a referendum.

"Because you, and others CLAIM this is a "can't miss" risk is NOT adequate. No one expects exact figures, just a worst case breakout of what failure represents for the coming 30 years."

The worst case breakout is simple. Take every single dollar that is spent through bonding and loans and assume that not one single penny will be paid back. That is the worst case scenario.

"Look, the Phantoms can sellout EVERY game. That won't come anywhere near justifying the investment."

I agree. If every single game is soldout it will not be successful as I pointed in the earlier post that the NIZ is the key. The arena is a catalyst.

"There is NO track record in other similar-sized cities that would suggest this is a slam dunk. Taxpayers have a RIGHT to be skeptical. It's THEIR money being used!"

There is no such thing as a slam dunk. And you are right people do have the right to question, however I feel that this is a good thing. My money is being used too.

"Can you cite new construction, new business, new housing, increased hotel business, etc. that can be attributed to the wildly successful Iron Pigs?"

I can think of only two. Pig Pen and Pitchers. Why only two? There are no incentives for people to develop there. It is not downtown either. It is all about the NIZ

Anonymous said...

You can talk it up all you want. But the facts remain stubborn. Allentown and Easton are still considered frightening places after dark. Easton isn't great in daylight, lately. The Pigs are successful because Coca Cola Park is a short jog from 22 and one needn't risk life and limb traversing Allentown. It's practically in Bethlehem and has the feel of safety. Downtown Allentown is terrifying. This is a money pit brought to you by cakes and circuses government at it's finest.

Anonymous said...

I love spending everyone else's money on risky misadventures like Johnny Mananas and Palaces of Sport, etc., too.

But not as much as ice hockey.

Don't let the Naysayers get under your skin, FDAA.

Shaibu!

VIKTOR TIKHONOV

Dave said...

Bernie..have forwarded to you various messages concerning the EIT situation. Hope you can decode what is there. I have a call waiting to Emrick as he says he talked to Browne and now wants to talk to me. I will update that later if I can track him down. I can say with all honesty that we as a boro got no warning on this as the messages bear that out. I now believe they would have kept this hidden til the EIT money started to nose dive in the affected towns and 'ships. King Edwin at his finest!

Dave said...

FYI..and this is in no way an excuse for this sleight of hand..NH and Lehigh counties have different tax collection entities. NH dropped Berkheimers,who Lehigh uses and NH has another outfit to collect their EIT. Could this be the reason no one knew what was going on behind door number 1?

Dave said...

No one can accuse Bernie of manufacturing a story here. This is huge and I plan on fighting for the taxpayers of Bangor on this issue however I can. I could care less what Allentown does but keep your hands out of our citizens pockets! Heck..we're not even part of the LV anymore. We've been redistricted along with Easton. To H with Lehigh county/Atown.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Calm down Dave. Bangor has 5,273 people and is 28 miles from 7th and Hamilton. Out of that amount how many actually work in the NIZ? Very very few.

Anonymous said...

And guess when the downtown area will go back to being a wasteland like it is now. When all the tax incentive money runs out they will flee that downtown area like the plague and go back to the suburbs. It is all big government income redistribution. Typical left wing democrat crapola

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Anon 7:05

"It is all big government income redistribution. Typical left wing democrat crapola"

You have to be kidding!?!?! The NIZ was sponsored by REPUBLICAN Pat Browne.

This is exactly the type of negativity I am referring to. Crazy political statement that have no value in the discussion and do not offer any type of counterpoint.

Dave said...

It's not about Bangor or how many people work in the NIZ. NOBODY told us! NOBODY! Do you hear me yet? No transparency whatsoever and we do have people who work in Atown and so does the rest of the Slate Belt. Will it impact our budget..probably not but what about the other municipalities that have thread bare budgets as it is? Browne's adjustments are just a word he uses..it means loss of services and manpower. I love hockey/Flyers but now I am resolved to never attend a phantoms game in Atown if this is the cost to us redistricted ex-LV residents.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

So Dave. You think Jennifer Mann, Pat Browne, Ed Pawlowski all woke up one day and said, "Hey lets take money from the EITs of people who dont live in Allentown?" Ridiculous!

The NIZ has been around since 2009 and is very public knowledge. You didnt do your due diligence and now you are pissed off? Every time a law is passed is it the Representatives responsibility to personally call/write you to inform you? Ridiculous.

So you did not do your homework you are going to hold your breath and stomp your feet! Ridiculous! "They didnt tell me so I am not going!" Sounds like a 5 year old!

Dave said...

Complete BS and you are in total denial. Our responsibility? Are you nutz? I have the info in front of me and so does Bernie now. That sir was a lie. I have nothing to hide and identify myself..you are a coward hiding behind a PC screen. Did the state rep. drop the ball? He's only been there since 1/2010 and he had no idea and this piece of magic passed in 2009? Try to get the facts straight before you start an argument.

Dave said...

Taxation without representation is what we have here. I don't answer to King Ed or Jenn Mann or Pat Browne. None of them own me. I work for the people of Bangor who elected me. Did we get a public hearing on this tax revenue scam? It NEVER happened! I demand a full public hearing before Atown gets a stinkin' dime of our EIT.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Dave character? Sounds like he is off his rocker.

c said...

This will be a nightmare for local munis who depend on this tax revenue to come in a timely fashion.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This "Dave charachter" happens to be an elected member of Bangot Boro Council. We could use a few more like him and a few less like you.

Anonymous said...

Nobody's going near that arena for fear of being shot in front of one's family while waiting for the world's slowest 911 response time. Allentown is where one goes to get drugs and/or get shot. Smart people would sooner go to Kabul or Baghdad than Allentown for any reason. You can't shine shit.

Anonymous said...

How much are you getting paid to promote this Boondoggle, FUTURE DOWNTOWN ARENA ATTENDEE?

Sure are awful passionate about this $ 160 million dollars of taxpayer money.

How much money does the BROOKS GROUP have invested. What is to prevent them from pulling out of town in the middle of the night? Check out the average stay of an American Hockey League franchise in any given city over the course of the league's history.

63 different cities in the league's first 73 years. Oh yes.

The Flyers have already had SEVEN different cities host their top farm club in the franchise's forty-four years ... in other words, history says the Phantoms will be sticking around 6.2857 years.

Anonymous said...

This is the beginning of "tax sharing" on a so called regional level. This is supported by the Cities and Counties as well as regional Planning Commissions. Get ready for more of this. It won't stop with the NIZ. People like Alan Jennings and CACLV have trumpeted this redistribution of wealth for years and now they have it. See what happens when locals are a sleep at the wheel and worry about their petty issues when they are being robbed blind by their State legislators!!!

Anonymous said...

http://wmdonovan.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/eit-and-the-arena/

futuredowntownarenaattendee said...

Taxation without representation? That is a charge that you have no valid fact behind. The state house and senate passed the bill with the governor signing into in the law.

What does your rep taking office in 1/10 have to do with anything? You represent the citizens of Bangor. You have a responsibilty to be informed on behalf of the people who you rep. You failed to learn the law and how it applied to the citizens you represent. The reasoning of "No one told us" is not an excuse. The denial is not in my court but yours.

You can call for all the public meetings you want to. It is state law. You are not a state rep. You have no power to do so.

Finally, to question on who I am and calling me names like "coward" reflects that you have been challenged and are reaching for straws. Who I am is irrelevant. Name calling is usually a last resort to people lack the full intelligence of the discussion.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what all of the "positive people" say regarding the arena, NIZ, and the re-building of A-town, I moved here from Miami over 10 years ago and have been involved with City Hall and the people of A-town directly. Bernie, Molovinsky, other bloggers, and all of the elected officials, including the Mayor, know me and can testify to the fact that I was labeled an activist for years because I created events and opportunities and CHOSE to champion "the people" of Allentown who are the real resource and who are the ONLY answer and way to turn this ailing city around. I have heard words like "renaissance", "new beginnings", "diversity", etc every time a new project or idea was hatched. The "powers that be" were always preaching "blue skies and butterflies" when in fact, Allentown is a VERY urban area. GENTRIFICATION may seem to be the answer for those who imagine a Bethlehem-like locale in Center City, but the reality is that even with the mini-book that FUTURE wrote he/she is only HOPING those plans come together. There's no guarantee; there never is, but I am truly hoping there is a PLAN B, C, or D, for we Allentownians who, actually, live here, because in, reality, we deserve better than what we have received, thus far. How can our own elected officials treat us as shabbily as they are and expect us to NOT be discouraged. (And then have the nerve to say it's our fault for NOT being as involved as we should) People can preach all they want about attracting more "upper class" and "higher income" people to dwell among us "undesirables" but the reality is that you can't push ANYONE out and believe it or not, WE see the value in Allentown even if the ones you desire to actually dwell in this location don't; that's why WE'RE here... So, you can break this paragraph down, FUTURE and all of the other "ANONYMOUS" people, and respond, but the truth is "the powers that be" are trying to "throw the baby out with the bath water" and in doing so creating a new slogan for A-town which will be recited by all of the surrounding municipalities: "It's becoming the city that we love to hate."

ALFONSO TODD

www.spontaneous1.blogspot.com

P.S. Hey Bernie, it's good to be back!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Good to hear from you, Alfonso. Will link to you.

futuredowntownarenaattendee said...

Alfonso. I can write against so many things about your post. But its late and all of my points will reflect back to one central theme. It wont take much to get people to move as Money talks! Plan and simple. Everyone has a price. No matter their social economic standing. And in this case the money is flowing. Gentrification is in process already. Dont believe me? Look at the city block that is now rubble.

Anonymous said...

And, yet, FUTURE, you know about as much as anyone else in this blog, about the chances of this plan working or not. It is NOT about money, it's about "the powers that be" gambling with a City's future and its' resident's communities. Again, I am not against progress but when you have to use a city block being turned to rubble which caused a loss of income, livelihoods, and mental anguish as a bragging point, then I think many will agree with me, there is DEFINITELY, something wrong...

Alfonso Todd

www.5minutes2shine.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Many do, in fact, agree with Mr. Todd.

Many, many, many.

Apparently, even fans of ice hockey seem to be very unhappy, as a matter of fact.

"VLADIMIR PUTIN PREPARING FOR PHANTOM VICTORY"

http://www.goironpigs.com

Anonymous said...

How much is Future Downtown Arena Attendee being paid to tirelessly promote the Pawlowski's Palace of Sport and by whom?

I CAN SEE FOR MILES AND MILES

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do believe the person is being paid to shill for JB Reilly and Hizzoner.

Anonymous said...

Memo to JB REILLY and HIZZONER :

Next time, pick some one just a tad bit more qualified.

FDAA's Propaganda skills suck.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - You call Allentown a black hole and praise Hanover Township? What is actually the black hole? Hanover Township is essentially a small block of tract houses with absolutely nothing to serve the economy of the Lehigh Valley. But I bet those people in that suburban wasteland use the amenities afforded them by the "urban core" of the region. Waaaah, I want it both ways!

Anonymous said...

Bangor boro was never told to expect a reduction in EIT as our budget would have reflected that reality. We were sucker punched!

So Bangor doesn't read legislation of have legal counsel review tax programs that will directly effect them?

Anonymous said...

Nobody's going near that arena for fear of being shot in front of one's family while waiting for the world's slowest 911 response time. Allentown is where one goes to get drugs and/or get shot. Smart people would sooner go to Kabul or Baghdad than Allentown for any reason. You can't shine shit.

Oh geez. Grow a pair you coward.

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, Bangor is a tiny boro. This legislation was written and slipped into a piece of complicated legislation at the last minute and took everyone - even state legislators- by surprise. To now claim that some tiny borough should have known is ridiculous. The whole point was to keep everyone in the dark and then, when people finally discover, hypocritically claim they should have known.

How much is Vaughn paying you to come onto these blogs anonymously, or as Future Arena Attendee, to claim this is all wonderful?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"u call Allentown a black hole and praise Hanover Township? What is actually the black hole? Hanover Township is essentially a small block of tract houses with ab"

I see. So that gives you the right to steal their money. You now have the same mentality as the thugs who've ruined Allentown. Congratulations.

ironpigpen said...

"Grow a pair, you coward"

This coming from an Anonymous cheerleader ...

Anonymous said...

No, Bangor is a tiny boro. This legislation was written and slipped into a piece of complicated legislation at the last minute and took everyone - even state legislators- by surprise. To now claim that some tiny borough should have known is ridiculous. The whole point was to keep everyone in the dark and then, when people finally discover, hypocritically claim they should have known.

How much is Vaughn paying you to come onto these blogs anonymously, or as Future Arena Attendee, to claim this is all wonderful?


First of all, let's set this straight. I am a normal person with a normal job who has lived in the LV his whole life and am merely commenting on your blog. To insinuate that I am paid merely because I disagree with you and your loyal posse is outrageous.

Second, sure I can excuse Bangor of missing this but someone should have read it. And someone should have shared this information with them. And since Bangor is this tiny hamlet, I find it hard to believe that they will be losing much revenue to even be noticed. But I can guarantee you that Bangor residents will attend games and concerts in the venue.

Anonymous said...

I see. So that gives you the right to steal their money. You now have the same mentality as the thugs who've ruined Allentown. Congratulations.

Steal is a harsh word used by ultra-right wing conservatives who do not understand how a society operates.

Yes, some of Hanover Townships taxes paid by people who work in Allentown will be retained for commercial ventures to enrich the region. These small municipalities want their cake. They don't want to pay but they sure want to use the amenities found in the urban centers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The truth is a word that has no allegiance to any particular ideology. Steal happens to be the right word to use. You are taking other people's money without their consent. What you also fail to recognize is that you are also stealing from Bethlehem and Easton. Those are urban cores, too. You are stealing from the old boroughs, which happen to be urban cores, too.

You are waving pom poms for this project, bu have failed to identify yourself. Are you Jeff Vaughan and Colleen Whitby? There is no doubt that the City and Reilly probably retained Vaughan to be PR consultants for the project. I hear Vaughan has been named marketing consultant for the Phantoms. He already represents his brother-in-law, JB Reilly.

So who are you?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"First of all, let's set this straight. I am a normal person with a normal job who has lived in the LV his whole life and am merely commenting on your blog. To insinuate that I am paid merely because I disagree with you and your loyal posse is outrageous."

This is where you are full of shit. I have been blogging for 6 years. I know damn well that there is very little comment on a blog post, even a popular blog post, the day AFTER it publishes. The comments that appear then are almost always from someone who has an agenda You are no normal person with a normal job.

Also, I have a statcounter, and it tells me that the Senate of Pennsylvania is on my blog right now, and reading this particular blog entry. So is someone from Air Products.

Finally I am well aware of the practice of disguising oneself as a normal person to promote the agendas pf rich people, whether it is JB Reilly or even AT&T.

So spare me the normal person bullshit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" can excuse Bangor of missing this but someone should have read it. And someone should have shared this information with them. And since Bangor is this tiny hamlet, I find it hard to believe that they will be losing much revenue to even be noticed."

More bullshit from an afroturf blogger. Bangor CANNOT know what is purposely being hidden from it, and that was the case here. This was midnight legislation, slipped into an already complicated piece of legislation.

Yes, Bangor is a tiny hamlet. Something wrong with that? It is also an urban core. You justify the stealing by saying it's not too much, but it's steal stealing. Plus, in a smaller community, stealing even a little will hurt.

Please, go play your spin games somewhere else.