Monday, October 07, 2019

Osborne Opposes 5.5% Tax Hike

Blogger's Note: Below is an op-ed by Lehigh County Comm'r Brad Osborne. It first appeared in The Lehigh Valley Press on October 3, 2019.

For the second consecutive year, Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong has delivered a budget with a tax increase to the county board of commissioners.

Last year, a 4.1-percent tax increase was proposed, with the administration stating it wasn’t necessary for 2019.

This year, the administration proposed a 5.5-percent tax increase based on its five-year financial forecast, and again an increase in this amount is not necessary to fulfill the county’s responsibility to the community in 2020.

What is going on?

Frankly, this year’s budget is designed to conform to a predetermined outcome ignoring historical data.

Last year, for instance, the county came in $9 million better than projected.

No one is to blame for this variance as it is obviously difficult to project revenue and expenses in advance. Also obvious, we are not quite ready to tax our citizens five years in advance of our knowledge base.

The fact that we started 2019 with a rainy-day fund exceeding government standards by more than 25 percent and came in $9 million better than projected last year should be all the evidence anyone needs to be convinced the county should take this year by year.

Can you imagine what shape our families would be in if we allowed every school district, every municipality, our state and federal government to overtax us like this?

I oppose this overtaxing for the unnecessary burden it would put on our community.

Please call the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners at 610-782-3050 or attend the 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 meeting to let your elected officials know your thoughts.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

School Districts overtax us all, every year.

Anonymous said...

Yes, school districts have been raising taxes every year, just because they can, even when there is a surplus, they just spend, spend spend.

Anonymous said...

Tax early, tax often.

Anonymous said...

Borrow and spend Republicans continue to finance the county based on the ability to pay the minimum debt service. That is reckless. Look where that got some of Cities. From what I have seen, they kicked the can down the road on capital projects to finance tax rebates. Tax rebates were given at the same time they were floating bonds and now that $6 rebate will cost us taxpayers $10. Study after study to defer the inevitable to the extent that we are now getting less and spending more for Cedar Brook renovations. That is a disservice to the taxpayers! You have to watch the meeting videos to understand what is going on. The County recently floated a bond. The administration wanted to go with a 25 year and pay debt off sooner anticipating future County obligations. Instead the Republicans insisted on a 30 year so that they could show a lower annual debt service to obscure the the real cost of doing business. This MISTAKE will cost the taxpayers over $4M in additional debt service over a 5 year period. This additional debt service could have been spent elsewhere.

Ask yourself, why would a government body have to tap into rainy day fund to finance government when we are in a so-called expanding economy? If you are spending rainy day funds now, where do you go when the economy takes a dip? Whether it is at the Federal or County level, Republicans seem to want to finance our today's cost of doing business on the backs of our Children. Stop the credit card financing of tax gimmicks.

Anonymous said...

Armstrong worked in the Whitehall schools for years all Whitehall does is raise taxes every year --this year it was almost 5 % the people in Whitehall do care because you hear no complaints from the people of Whitehall Now Armstrong who learned his trade in Whitehall will tax the people of lehigh county as much as he can get away with. vote Armstrong for more taxes.

Anonymous said...

11:23 so true you are Whitehall schools taxes go up every year. the school board in Whitehall does not care to save money for the people . Most of the administrators who make up the budget does not live in whiehall so they do not care. most of the people in charge are liberals who want to spend spend and spend the people's money. Armstrong WILL spend as much as he gets away with.

Anonymous said...

Armstrong had nothing to do with School District budgets. So the false comparison referenced above is nothing more than a diversion. I am sure the trickle down effect of Federal and State funding cuts affected Whitehall schools, as it did most districts in the Commonwealth. Even Parkland raised taxes consistently year after year as well. So the false comparison has nothing to do with the County budget. This post is about budget philosophy (pay now vs pay much more later).

Anonymous said...

102 TRUE Armstrong had nothing to do with the Whitehall budget but he learned how to raise taxes from them--how about don't pay now and don't pay later--GOVERRMENT spends money in a foolish way the liberal leaders should learn how to be responsible sounds like you are one of those left liberals yourself--goverment wastes money all time and apparently you do not understand this.

Anonymous said...

all politicians are bad with your money government from school boards to the feds are very bad people with money the exception being most come out of government work with way more money than when they started. the guy above who stated parkland raise taxes every year of course they will raise taxes every year look at how they spend money on schools that look like Trump hotels.

Anonymous said...

pay now or pay much later----sounds like a threat from a radical left socialist---1:02

Anonymous said...

Armstrong is a liberal democrat the people of lehigh county voted him in -what did they expect

Anonymous said...

stop Armstrong now or pay the penalty in may.

Anonymous said...

They just floated a $70M bond. How can they tell people with a straight face there are millions of dollars in surplus?

Anonymous said...

Armstrong was very good at screaming and yelling at teenage girls--now he wants to tax every chance he gets...