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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shhh! Ott Votes For 3.4% Tax Hike

"The roughly $360 million budget doesn't raise the tax rate, but taxpayers will see a higher tax bill next year. That's because the past two county budgets included tax rebates, and the 2014 budget does not."

I told you this earlier this week, and now The Morning Call is telling you. The candidate who ran Dean Browning out of office over a 16% tax hike, who promised to roll that back, who promised to give you tax cuts and cut spending, last night voted with his so-called reform team to raise taxes in Lehigh County. This budget also spends more than at any period in the County's history.

The net result of this is that every taxpayer in Lehigh County will see their tax bill go up next year by 3.4%.

Ironically, at the same time he was voting for this stealth tax hike, Scott Ott was sending out mailers citing the endorsement of "Citizens Against Higher Taxes".


Anonymous said...

Ott's flyers are entertaining. The one I got yesterday cited his work as a delivery person for Meals on Wheels, the same group he wants to see eliminated.

Anonymous said...

Spending is cool ... ask Obama.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I guess my objection to Ott is really no different than my objections to Barron or McClure. All three claim a certain core set of beliefs, but in the end, it is all about getting power and keeping it.

In Ott's case, he and tea party extremists did not hesitate to removes Browning from office over a 16% tax hike that was really responsible government. The proof of that is that Ott has not only failed to roll it back, but has increased spending, increased the deficit and increased taxes.

At the same time, there have mean-spirited, absolutely foolish and meaningless cuts that will only hurt public safety, though Ott did vote against cutting IT.

Anonymous said...

The loss of a rebate being a tax increase comes from the same doublespeakers who came up with the title Affordable Care Act. He didn't vote for a tax increase. Nice try. Please reprint Charlie Dent's warnings about John Callahan. This would be a good time to reiterate Charlie's dire admonishment about the dishonest and sleazy Callahan. Thanks Bernie. Without the help of your fine blog we would have no idea of the dangers of electing somebody of John Callahan's ilk.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, i will only comment once, because i don't love to argue. at this point in time the only relevant basis of comparison is the smaller budget that the commissioners approved, or the larger one prepared by muller for the administration.

brown lost two elections by the voters, he wasn't run out of officeby ott. yesterday you cited the voters about open space, remember?

you must be the hardest working non-paid operative in the valley.

Anonymous said...

Even if it really is a 3.4% increase, I will take that over 16% any day, but I think you have it out for Ott, who is a good man.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, You chastised me not too long ago for mentioning the Lewistown theatre, saying it is old news. By that logic, i presume you will chastise Ott for taking credit for restoring a theatre he abandoned with a tarpaper roof and that is still closed.

The simple reality, Michael, is that Ott ran and continues to run on two plans - real tax cuts and real cuts in spending. I am not comparing him to what Muller proposed thru Croslis. I am comparing him to his own word. Not only has he broken his word, but broke it again just last night.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"He didn't vote for a tax increase. Nice try."

Umm, the tax bill next year will be higher than the tax bill this year. That's a tax hike. If it looks like a pig and squeals like a pig, chances are it's a pig.

Where's the tea party now? Where's the limited government pledge now?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"you must be the hardest working non-paid operative in the valley."

When an elected official breaks his pledge to the voters and misleads them, I think it's up to people like me to point it out. It should be up to you, too. Ironically, the newspapers shy away from election coverage bc they don't want to be called names like unpaid political operatives. I don't give a shit. I think it's something the voters should know, so I will point it out. Had Ott made the sale with me, I would be supporting him. But I don't support extremists who can't even tell the truth.

Anonymous said...

"you must be the hardest working non-paid operative in the valley."

Ha! So true. Operative = lap dog. Yap. Yap.

Anonymous said...

more of the demented ohairless hate dribble - when he fell off the wagon he must of also hit his head.

can't wait to see Callahan dump after he has served his hateful usefulness

don' even think of arguing with MM. his intellect is far beyond you

Anonymous said...

Ott is a nice and likable guy. Muller is a mean, arrogant bastard who sees himself on a cloud above the peons.

Easy choice!

Bernie O'Hare said...

They are not running for Miss Congeniality. I'll take the prick.

Anonymous said...

Ott and other commissioners tried last year to convert most of Muller's rebate gimmick into a permanent tax cut. Unfortunately, they were thwarted by Muller and a few other commissioners who cooked up a back room deal to undermine them. The end result was a smaller cut than desired, but still a cut for the taxpayers.

Had Ott not been there, there would have been no permanent tax cut, and all of Muller's gimmick would still be gone (not just part of it). For 2014, Ott didn't eliminate the rebate, Muller took it out before the budget even reached the commissioners.

The bottom line is the taxpayers are better off, having some permanent tax relief thanks to Ott and the four other commissioners who actually want to see taxes cut.

Yes, there is still work to do, which is why Ott is now running for Executive.

This isn't about Browning or anyone besides Muller and Ott. In fact, Browning is supporting Ott for Executive. That should speak volumes, or are you saying Browning is wrong?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:52

That was last year.

What about this year? Ott has a 5 vote block so why not amend the budget to make the $3.5 million credit permanent? They have the votes and they have their hand picked County Executive. So why didn't they vote for another permanent reduction in the millage rate? For that matter why not amend the budget to get rid of the entire 16% increase as Ott promised he would?

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, it'snot about Muller and Ott, not in my mind. It's about Ott and Ott. What he promises and what he does are two different things. If last year's tax cut should have been permanent, then he and his so-called reform team had the clout to make it permanent this year. they did not. That's bc Ott knows he can't deliver the real tax cuts promised. He knows he can't make the real spending cuts, and is going the the other way. He ran Dean Browning, who was honest, out of office by lying. He's lying again.

But he'll play his guitar at Sunday School.

Anonymous said...

The new campaign slogan

Not Ott, Not Ott, Not Ott...

Anonymous said...

Scooter shreds on a wicked fendercaster for god, you blog for rino's like Muller and Dent. I think it's clear who to trust.

Anonymous said...

Here's a quick summary for those that still support Ott. In 2011 Ott said if he was elected that he would two things:

1) cut spending, and
2) reduce taxes

It is very easy to check and see how he has done.

The 2012 budget passed just before Ott took office called for spending of $109.3 million. Spending in the 2014 budget Ott voted FOR last night is $110.9 million. This amount happens to be the highest level of spending covered by property taxes in the County's history - all approved by Ott and his block. So the fact of the matter is that he can't vote for that budget and then honestly say that he has cut spending. The numbers just don't support that claim.

The budget Ott voted FOR last night also increased everyone's 2014 tax bill by $22 or 3.4% from this year - and that applies to every taxpayer. The budget also increased the 2014 tax bill by $9 or 1.3% more than average bill for 2012. So it turns out Ott really can't truthfully say he has reduced taxes. The numbers just don't support that claim either.

Anonymous said...

Is a gift considered a payment?

Anonymous said...

Another Bernie hackjob $$$$

Anonymous said...

Bernies full of shhhhhhit

Anonymous said...

Anons 3:54, 3:58 and 4:00:

Interesting responses - they really help the discussion. While you're at it can you, or any of Ott's supporters, refute the numbers? Or maybe you can answer two simple questions?

1. Will the budget Ott approved cause spending to be higher or lower than it was when he took office?

2. Will the budget Ott approved cause taxpayers to pay more of less to Lehigh County than when he took office?

Have at it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

Stay on topic.

Anonymous said...

The pre-election campaign finance reports are due tomorrow. Will be interesting to see where the money for both candidates is coming from.

Anonymous said...

It's not that Ott is a great executive candidate. He isn't.

It's just that Muller is that awful of a candidate from personality to policy.

Muller is a rubber stamp/business as usual sort and he's a-ok with it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:55

Ott has flat out failed to do the two things he assured, absolutely assured, voters that he would do if he was elected Commissioner -

1. actually reduce spending, and
2. eliminate the 16% tax increase,

Anyone want to make the case that he has done either one of those?

So your answer is to elect his as County Executive even though he hasn't done anything he promised he would and your rationale is that you don't like Muller's personality????

With thinking like that I now know why Obama was elected to two terms.

Anonymous said...

This story is more political manipulation from a crowd that has nothing fundamental to say. Thats because Muller is chiefly responsible for both a very real 16% tax hike and masking the county's overspending revenues by completely using all allowable reserves. This is the kind of crap that rowning did too. Muller will get the same result. Ott will prevail and the real work of finding our way out of this mess. By Mullers own analysis if nothing is done we will be facing a substantial tax hike which will make the 16% jump look kind. He has no solutions for that but Ott does and he should be given the opportunity to avoid the impending large hike to come if the status quo is maintained. This post will also confuse Muller supporters who are used to voting for a tax hiking candidate. Maybe theyll think Otts the man to go with. Ott supporters are used to this tactic having seen it used repeatedly by Browning in two campaigns. It will work equally well here. Maybe Muller and Browning can commiserate about the stupidity and ignorance of voters as they find themselves with time on their hands.

Anonymous said...

4:09 -

Muller had direct control of the budget that was presented. Hansel was absent (sick or had resigned) and Muller was acting executive for most of the time when the budget was being put together.

Muller took out the "one-time" tax credit, and did not include it in the budget. Muller proposed overspending by over $10 million dollars.

No, Ott did not have the votes to cut taxes again this year, as that proposal surely would have gotten another Executive veto and left Ott's group one vote short of an override. The Executive has a great advantage in budget adoption, and Ott is only one vote of nine.

That's why Ott is running for Executive. So that he can present budgets that don't overspend. We've seen years of the Muller overspending and know where that leads - to tax hikes.

To try to distort the issue and make it appear that Muller is better for the taxpayers is laughable. Muller has hit a new low by trying to act like a bystander.

Anonymous said...

Muller is a pompous ass, a closet R,a bully, and in bed with the LCA,sure.
But OTT is an unhinged looney tuney.
The voters in Lehigh are blessed with a clear choise.'

Bernie O'Hare said...

" that proposal surely would have gotten another Executive veto and left Ott's group one vote short of an override"

That is bullshit. If the Exec vetoes the budget and they do not override, they've done their job. Browning was run out of office for not agreeing to senfd the budget back to the Exec. They could had done that, too. It is an Ott approved budget. It spends more than at any tome in LC's history, and imposes a stealth 3.4% tax hike.

Ott has broken his word.

But he'll play the guitar at Sunday School.

Anonymous said...

Even if Ott wins,He is gonna fail with his promises. Since he rents in LC wonder where he will blow town to next.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:59

Ott said he was going to get rid of the 16% increase and he had a plan. Yet his opening move with the budget last year was a 3.9% reduction and not 16%. Why did he start so low if the 16% was unnecessary and he said he would eliminate it?

Also, Ott had his chance to "send the budget back" last year when Hansell returned one with a different tax revenue number. That change triggers the provision in the Home Rule charter that allows Commissioners to "send back" a budget with only 5 votes. Yet Ott did not do that. Why?

9-12er said...

Ott answers to god not disgruntled plebes who's main business in Lehigh county is to gorge on yocco's