About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Will Pawlowski Palace Spell Death of Regionalism?

After the revelation that the EIT owed to other "urban cores" like Bethlehem and Easton will now fund the Pawlowski Palace, a lot of suspicion and distrust has arisen. From this point forward, it just might be "every municipality for itself."

In a bizarre, but perhaps calculated way, some of those who facilitated the NIZ may have just had that very idea in the back of their minds.

With Governor Corbett likely to be sticking around for awhile, and the legislature not changing much in party composition, future state budgets may see a huge shift from the Rendell days. Then, the objective was to buy votes by spreading the money around with cardboard checks. Now, the money may simply not be there.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes!

Anonymous said...

"Will Pawlowski Palace Spell Death of Regionalism?"

Maybe but not for the valley-wide health bureau that never gives up!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely.

Jon Geeting said...

It sounds like you want it to.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jonathan, Your mindless advocacy of government secrecy, so long as it furthers your own ridiculous agenda, is all I need to know about you.

Anonymous said...

Senator Browne and President Obama: Revenue sharing, tax sharing and wealth sharing - all seems the same to me.

Anonymous said...

Regionalism in the valley is a myth. The burbs will never agree to revenue sharing becasue they would feel threatened by the urban cores. The fact is simple -- as goes the cities goes the valleys and as go the burbs go the cities. People who live in the burbs may think they live in a bubble bt reality would strike home very quickly if our three major cities would revert to the 70's and early 80's.

A great example is the Parkland School District. You think they would ever vote allow students from Allentown to attend their taj mahal school campuses?

As a person who grew up in one of the cities and now lives in the burbs I say --- good for you Allentown!

Anonymous said...

This blog should be renamed "Lehigh Valley Pessimism" or perhaps "Mad Rantings from the Slate Belt."

Anonymous said...

It has been every municipality for itself for years. All the talk of regionalism produced no positive benefits for Allentown, or Easton for that matter either.

Thank gosh Allentown's elected officials wrote this legislation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The above three comments were brought to you by Vaughn Associates, who are being paid the shill for Pawlowski's Palace.

Allentown's elected officials drafted this legislation? Gee, I thought it was Senator Browne. Silly me.

Anonymous said...

Laughable! I don't even know who the Vaughn Associates are, or care for that matter.

Yes, Brown is an elected official who is responsible for representing the people of Allentown. Good for him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

His district extends beyond Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Regionalism? Aside from the LV Planning Commission and Lanta, what government bodies have regionalized. Every time somebody tries to do a regional police dept, somebody (usually a small minded chief or mayor) gets pissed and nixes it. We have school districts the size of Catty and Wilson. County governments can't really work together. Aside from a few organizations like the chamber, EDC and CACLV, regionalization never happened around here. It's simply not something that anybody ever really wanted. This won't help the cause, but it's not as if the cause ever lived well to begin with.

ironpigpen said...

Is this JEFF VAUGHAN, the former William Allen high school basketball star who later went on to hoop with success for Muhlenberg College?

Anonymous said...

"His district extends beyond Allentown."

And the benefits of this legislation will extend beyond Allentown as well.

Anonymous said...

There you go again, BOH, labeling a regular reader who disagrees with you as a paid operative. It's those blog stats going to your head.

Anonymous said...

His district extends beyond Allentown.

And to you, everything BUT Allentown matters. You live in bizarro world.

Anonymous said...

I love the smell of Crony Capitalism.

It smells like ... VICTORY!

And, Windfall Profits for the Well-Connected at Taxpayer expense.

CITIZEN,
PEOPLE's DEMOCRATIC CITY of ALLENTOWN

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:39:

Regionalism (on a smaller scale) WAS attained in Bethlehem - I think during the 60's - when Fountain Hill, Hanover Township, Bethlehem Township and Bethlehem all came together to form one school district.

Even though the Bethlehem Area School District finances are a mess - thanks to the "swaption deal" - the regionalization of the Bethlehem area schools have saved the taxpayers gobs of money and has preserved the quality of education in the inner city schools.

Allentown had the option to do this in the 60's with their surrounding townships and THEY declined. I believe this was the single most damaging move that was made by Allentown, its residents and governing officials.

Regionalization works as long as people lose their need to hang on to their own little turfs and think of the greater good.

Lynn

Anonymous said...

I am with Lynne. I can't believe there is such a disparity in educational quality just because you cross some imaginary municipality line. And, it really sickens me that because there is no regional sharing of property taxes, the city has to raise their property taxes so high, forcing more affluent people out, and thus requiring even higher taxes, ad infinitum. It's incredibly unfair to Allentown. We are all in this together.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"And the benefits of this legislation will extend beyond Allentown as well."

Here's a few benefits:

(1) depriving school children of textbooks bc the state revenue has dried up;

(2) depriving other cities and older boroughs their EIT;

(3) poaching businesses from bethlehem, easton and other LV municipalities.

Yeah, this is really great.

John.Jay said...

Mr. O' Hare. I want to propose something radical to you, Mr. Geeting, and Mr. Molovinsky.

Would you consider a monthly dinner meeting where we discuss various issues concerning the future of the Lehigh Valley? I, personally, am interested in what you have to say, and I think real time dialog will help to make everyone's position palatable. If we manage to get through the process without killing each other, maybe the talks could be opened to a wider audience in the near future?

Anonymous said...

This project is anti-regionalism.

All it's doing and will do is steal business from other Lehigh Valley municipalities.

The end.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:29 said:

"And the benefits of this legislation will extend beyond Allentown as well."
__________________________________

Anon -

I think those beyond Allentown's borders are starting to find out about those "benefits".

That's what all the fuss is about.

What should happen is a thorough vetting of the NIZ, the legislation setting up the Board, and the proposed appointees. Unfortunately that's not happening, and it seems to be on purpose.

As usual, important legislation that will impact the city for decades to come is being rushed through City Council.

Anonymous said...

Water Regionalization was too political. In some cases they propose taking some well maintained and financially sound assets and diverting them those that are underwater and/or oversold their capacity.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

It's crazy! People want to talk about the BENEFITS and not even DISCUSS the situations at hand: legislation "pushed" through our local government, displaced local businesses, (possible nepotism/cronyism involving our government officials), hidden agendas buried in local/state rules/regulations.... Are the BENEFITS really outweighing the MEANS ??

Alfonso Todd

www.5minutes2shine.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Many classrooms in the ASD have been without up to date text books for decades and you never gave a hoot.

Please keep in mind these new private developments downtown will pay property taxes much greater than the half empty parking lots down there generate now through income and property taxes combined.

How dare you suggest that children in suburban schools are more deserving of books than kids in urban schools. Your statement is classest and dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the Bethlehem casino have a regional sharing aspect to it that helps both Easton and Allentown. Regional school, regional revenue sharing, I guess Bethlehem isn't all that bad. Is Allentown going to return their share of the casino host impact fee to Bethlehem and northampton county?

Anonymous said...

Everyone should be dipping into those profits......even the profits of the developers who are making money off it. Every Municipality should PILOT the whole freaking NIZ or host fee it or something.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

I could be wrong, but it looks like the MC article on Pawlowski's campaign contributions has already been removed from the MC website. The Browne article remains.

Is the MC playing favorites here?

Both articles should be prominently displayed.

Anonymous said...

A good idea would be for Allentown to proportionally share the arena revenues with the municipalities impacted by the NIZ. Not after the loans are paid back but right away.

That's true "regionalism". If not, it's just Allentown poaching revenues from those around it.

Doubt you'll see that out of Allentown though. It's a desperate city with a desperate mayor.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows Bobblehead Dolls are a popular promotional giveaway item at minor league events.

Will the Palace of Sport Phantoms be giving away Bobblehead Dolls of the esteemed members of Chairman Pawlowski's Rubber Stamp Council of Apparatchiks?

Would seem appropriate enough.

MARKETING & RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT

Bernie O'Hare said...

3:26, It's still up, but I'll have a story, too.

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-mayor-pawlowski-2011-fundraising-20120130,0,2062061.story

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Please keep in mind these new private developments downtown will pay property taxes much greater than the half empty parking lots down there generate now through income and property taxes combined.

How dare you suggest that children in suburban schools are more deserving of books than kids in urban schools. Your statement is classest and dishonest."


It would be, if I said it. But I didn't. The only person being dishonest here is you. Given that plans are to spend over $600,000,000 for Phase 1 alone, the real estate taxes will be diverted to pay for the NIZ. This will just increase the tax burden on homeowners, and Allentown school children will suffer even more than they do now.

Bernie O'Hare said...

John Jay, I will attend the next blogger roundtable sponsored by the ET, and suggest we meet then. You can also find me at lots of local meetings. Geeting is in NYC and does not really know what is going on.

Anonymous said...

"This will just increase the tax burden on homeowners, and Allentown school children will suffer even more than they do now"

magnificently indifferent observer here. is the above true? I thought the NIZ was tax-revenue neutral. if these properties were providing no-to-minimal taxes before, and as you correctly point out, they will now provide no direct tax benefit to the district, isn't it really a wash? The schoold district is, at first blush, no better or worse than they were before.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The School district will be worse off, and this is why: 1) All state taxes can be used to pay the debt, whch will result in reduced state revenue and reduced funding for schools; 2) If the state taxes are inadequate to pay the debt, then the real estate taxes within the NIZ can be used, just as in a KOZ. This will deprive schools of much-needed revenue, and they will be forced to seek it from homeowners in the form of major tax hikes.

Zorn said...

bend over lehigh vally and spread those cheeks. WARNING: there will be no lube but you will be fuc...

AuH20 said...

The Airport is another early attempt at regionalizaton, but even that is being taken over (at least attempted) by Pawlowski.

The Morning Call has always championed the concept of regionalization even as it broke down it's circulation into small geographic territories. Hypocrites!

Anonymous said...

Why should suburban school districts 'regionaize' with the cities and ruin themselves with the latchkey kids from Brooklyn and Newark? As it is the city school districts mooch off the tax base of their corporate citizens,while the suburbans lean more heavily on the 'users'...their residents.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Do kids in Allentown deserve adequate text books or not?

If the NIZ is repealled what will you do to ensure they recieve updated learning tools such as they ones enjoyed by your beloved suburban district?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've answered your question. Kids EVERYWHERE deserve the best education, whether it is Allentown or Parkland. I am doing what I can to assure that by using the one skill I have - writing. I have explained why the NIZ is actually anti-education. I explained that as long ago as December. I call elected officials on the bullshit i see, which often hurts those who can least afford it, especially the kids.

What are you doing?

John.Jay said...

Hey Bernie, what is ET and when will this meeting be?

Bernie O'Hare said...

ET = Express Times. They will have roundtable in about a month or two and you are welcome.

Most nights I'm pretty busy between meetings and writing. And I devote most weekends to my grandson. I could do a Friday dinner, but think a roundtable is better bc you get to meet more people.

Anonymous said...

I am for the arena project and support the NIZ / EIT tax scheme 100% even though i live in the suburbs. However, I was driving along today and the following headline popped though my head. I thought you guys would get a kick out of it:

Roaming Pawlowski's Statutory Rape of Innocent 'Burbs.

Us it in good health

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

You need to cite chapter an verse of how real estate taxes would be claimed in the event that other taxes are insufficient.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Roaming Pawlowski, Wanna be my headline writer?

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:54, I have linked to the statutory creation of the NIZ several times, and it expressly authorizes the use of real estate taxes to pay the debt if the state taxes collected are not enough. Do I have to baby feed it to you?

John.Jay said...

Bernie, I have re-read the the NIZ legislation and cannot find where property tax is subject to levy. In fact property taxes are specifically exempted:

"The following shall be the amounts calculated and certified: . . . (9) [e]xcept for a tax levied against real property and notwithstanding any other law , an amount equal to any tax imposed by the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions on a qualified business engaged in an activity within the neighborhood improvement zone . . . ."

72 P.S. 1604-B(b)(9) (emphasis added).

Maybe what you are citing is in a different statute? If so, I'd like to review that if you have the citation.

John.Jay said...

p.s. thanks for the heads up on the blogger round table!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'll look it up AGAIN, but am writing right now.

Untouched Takeaway said...

@11:13AM

Are you a certain person who fancies himself Allentown "royalty"?

Curiously yours,

UT :)