About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, February 02, 2024

NorCo Council Declines to Rescind Tax Break For Upper Mount Bethel Tp Industrial Dite

By a 5-3 vote, Northampton County Council declined last night to repeal an ordinance granting a tax break for the RPL industrial development in Upper Mount Bethel Tp. This incentive was approved last April by Republicans John Goffredo, Tom Giovanni and John Brown as well as Democrats Kerry Myers, Lori Vargo-Heffner and Ron Heckman.  They bought the argument that this would bring jobs to an economically depressed area. Those who opposed it argued that it would also bring warehouses, increased truck traffic on Rte 611 and would destroy the natural beauty of Upper Mount Bethel Tp.

As tax breaks go, this is the least offensive. It is called a LERTA is an acronym for Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance.

Property owners inside a LERTA zone may apply for a tax break for improvements that increase assessment, upon which all real estate taxes are based. They will continue paying full taxes on the current assessment, but the increase in assessment resulting from improvements like a new manufacturing facility or warehouse can be phased in gradually over a period of ten years.

At last night's meeting, Council heard the same pro and con arguments about the LERTA that have been made since last April.

Newly elected Council member Jeff Warren, who sponsored the repeal, must have sensed it was in trouble because he filed a motion to table. That motion failed in a 5-3 vote, In addition to Warren, the Council members who voted to table were Kelly Keegan and Ken Kraft.  The Council members who voted against tabling were Ron Heckman, Lori Vargo-Heffner, John Goffredo, John Brown and Tom Giovanni.   

On the merits, the repeal failed by the same margin. Council members Ron Heckman, Lori Vargo-Heffner, John Goffredo, John Brown and Tom Giovanni voted No to repeal, while Council members Ken Kraft, Kelly Keegan and Jeff Warren voted Yes.    

Later that evening, Kelly Keegan complained that she is not "a rubber stamp. I actually was really insulted by that. I don't know where that came from. There's no evidence of it."

Kelly, your votes show you for what you are. You are in lock step with Lamont McClure's agenda every step of the way, voting in a block of three Council members including Warren and Kraft. It's vary obvious.  


Anonymous said...

Do these new people know they are being manipulated by McClure through his guy Kraft. Or are they so naive to think they are being good democrats? Ms. Keegan we will see based on your votes what you are as Bernie stated.

Anonymous said...

Laughable comment by Keegan. So Warren, Kraft, and Keegan have established their destinies and displayed their loyalties right out of the box, while LVH, Heckman, and R’s have dug in. Maybe someone should remind all of them that they each represent the concerns of the constituents of their regions, and not their small sophomoric selfish wannabe commissioner egos.

Anonymous said...

3:58 am You got it, especially Keegan. She still can't seem to grasp why they might ever want to override a veto by McClure. It seems Kraft has decided to let her be his mouthpiece and she's too ignorant to know it. Keep talking Keegan and watch Kraft keep his little smile.

Anonymous said...

not "a rubber stamp. I actually was really insulted by that. I don't know where that came from. There's no evidence of it."

Things rubber stamps say before continuing to do as their told .....

Anonymous said...

They have displayed their inability to function as a governing body…….they should removed

Anonymous said...

Poor kelly. She may actually think she was picked for this position based on her astute political prowess. Lmao

Makes sense they would go for Peter Melan, after all he is a Republican

Anonymous said...

It is amusing, and sad that elected officials do not stay loyal to their oath of office or honor and perform their duties to the constituents who elected them. The obvious display of both teams, if you will, is to undermine rather than govern and it is in our faces . There are rules and articles governing behavior and responsibilities of these electeds, so why isn’t the president of council , a council member, or solicitor, or someone demanding they follow them?

Anonymous said...

What happens when this LERTA expires? The taxpayers don't receive the full benefit for the first ten years, then as the 10 years approaches, the occupants of these facilities can decide to move to the next 'tax break' zone. That leaves these monstrosities vulnerable to vacancies and the taxpayers suffer. The land will never be returned. Look at what happened in Allentown... The NIZ opens and PPL moved into it, out of its Headquarters 2 blocks away! Great use of taxpayer subsidy. (sarcasm)