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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Scomillio: Easton Commuter Tax Illegal

Phil Lauer (L) represents Council. Vic Scomillio (R)
represents the County.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto got a little greedy. He is the proud owner of a very unpopular commuter tax in Easton. He could force people, may of whom are paid so poorly that they require food assistance, to help pay for his Bacon Fest and the tax breaks he gives to rich developers like Mark Mulligan. Best of all, they could never vote him out of office because they don't live in Shadtown. But all good things come to an end. In Panto's case, it's because he got greedy and took the easy way out.

He wanted more money to balance his budget next year. Unlike Executive John Brown, he knows better than to try to borrow to balance his budget. Instead of knocking off the corporate welfare, he decided instead to increase the commuter tax.

DA John Morganelli, who works in Easton, dislikes the tax as much as everyone else. But I doubt very much if he would have done anything if it remained at current levels, other than grin and bear it. Then Panto decided to screw the County workers and raise that tax for the second time in two years. He arrogantly made his announcement the very day after Senior Judge Braxton concluded that a similar tax in Scranton is illegal,  After some preliminary research, Morganelli raised his concerns with County Solicitor Vic Scomillio. .

Northampton County Council, which disagrees with each other on everything else, unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the commuter tax hike. Executive Brown authorized Vic to research the matter, and we know now that he considers the tax illegal.

He warned Easton last night against adopting a new tax. Panto and his Council tabled the matter, but I suspect this thing will ultimately be settled in a courtroom.

For once, I am happy to see Council and the Executive on the same page, and on a matter that will help the worker.


Felix Unger said...

enough of this woe is me crap with the county employees (posing as workers)

Anonymous said...

This regressive tax is a perfect example of taxation without representation. Panto should be sued in court to strike down the tax. Then a class action suit should follow to get past tax money back for the workers who got screwed for a few years.

Easton needs to vote out this incompetent and brazen mayor.

Anonymous said...

It's allowed because of the idiot politicians in Harrisburg, sue them!

Anonymous said...

Do we get to sue for a full refund of all funds from beginning of this illegal tax?

Bernie, How do we start a class action suit for all of us here in the courthouse?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let the County's lawyers handle this for now. You likely have no standing bc you did not challenge the tax when it was adopted. But an enterprising attorney interested in making some money might consider this class action once the tax is declared illegal.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bernie

Anonymous said...

7:00........why don't you tell that to the county employee posing as a worker who is guarding Michael Ballard who is convicted of murdering 4 people or the county employee posing as a worker who had feces thrown on him by a drunk charged with aggravated assault? You are a coward who's knees would buckle upon entering that environment! You couldn't do what those county employees posing as workers do.

Anonymous said...

Nicely said. And you do realize this tax doesn't just affect County employees right? I have to pay this stupid tax. To counter it I just don't shop in the Easton area anymore. I take all my business out side the city. And FYI the prison will be down a total of 23 officers as of January first.

Anonymous said...

I work in a building in Easton that pays property tax (and I'm sure it isn't a small amount of tax) so any city services that I might happen to use in a year are covered by that. I wonder how Sal would like it if Wilson, Plamer, Forks, and Lower Nazareth put up toll booths to collect a fee from city residents when they go food shopping. I'm sure those residents might need municipal services during their trip


Anonymous said...

The super majority of crimes prosecuted in my municipality are committed by non-residents. Sure would be nice if my municipality can charge a crime “Committers Tax” to pay for police services. The fines collected barely cover court costs.

Anonymous said...

Com eon folks. Sal the great is supposed to be the next County Executive. Oh you Dem's are funny.

Anonymous said...

How is it the commuters fault that the city of Easton pa. negotiated such a Fucked up pension plan with its employees,you did it big Sally boy now deal with it on your own and stop asking the commuters to basically fund your shithole of a city pension plan, its kind of like you are on pension welfare get off it big boy.