Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3114, January 6th, 2016


Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.


Our good friend Joe Valenti asked me to run this article about taxes. I gladly complied because he is a good political thinker even though we disagree on a few things. Here are his thoughts.This is an oldie but a goodie!!!
Yes, this conservative Republican wants to raise taxes
With Wilkes Barre’s newly elected Mayor, Tony George, I’d like to rerun this column from last year. At the same time I’m urging him to raise taxes in the City and give a business and homestead exemption
I very rarely make New Year’s resolutions. This year, however, is going to be a bit different
As most of you know, I really haven’t written much on Luzerne County politics since Home Rule was implemented a few years back.
Well, that’s about to change.
Last month Luzerne County Council voted to eliminate the Homestead exemption which basically meant the first $10,000 of assessed value for a home owner would be exempt from taxation
In a December meeting, the 11 member council voted six to five to eliminate the exemption
The vote went as follows: Urban, Urban, Brominski, Dobash and Sorokas voted against the elimination of the homestead elimination. The votes to eliminate the homestead came from Bobeck, Haas, Rick Williams, Morelli, Tim McGinley and Linda McClosky Houck.
Prior to the vote, all 11 members voted for no to raise property taxes to cover the short fall.
Basically in order to cover the shortfall a tax increase of about $23 per household would have to have been implemented.
Instead six council members voted to eliminate the homestead exemption. Now, only those who live in their home will see an approximately $57 increase.
So let me get this straight - Bobeck, Haas, Rick Williams, Morelli, Tim McGinley and Linda McClosky Houck stick it to those who live in their home but give break to the New York slumlords who probably take up the lion’s share of county resources.
I’m thinking that most of my readers own their own home. Just ask yourself, how many resources do you use from the county?
Here are just a few examples
Will anyone in your home be housed in the country prison? Now, how many who live in Sherman Hills will need to be housed in country prison?
Will anyone in your home need the use of the county courts? Now, how many who live in Sherman Hills will need use of the county courts?
Will anyone in your home be transported by the County Sheriff’s Dept? Now, how many who live in Sherman Hills will need to be transported by the Sheriff?
Will anyone in your home need the services of the adult probation office? Now, how many who live in Sherman Hill will need the services of adult probation?
I’m assuming you get the picture now. So why in the hell would you lay more of the financial burden on those who own their home.
Let’s look at this at another prospective.
I think we can all agree those who own and live in their own home will take up fewer resources than slumlord properties across the county.
Consequently, we should look at promoting home ownership, not discouraging it.
For example, County Council should look at tripling the needed tax increase. In turn triple the amount of the homestead exemption.
If that happens, these slumlords will have two options. Raise their rents which would in turn attract a better clientele. Or, sell their properties and hopefully attract homeowners.
And, in a matter of a half a dozen years or so, you’ll see less stress on the county budget for the obvious reasons.
This is exactly why Pittston City opted for with their homestead exemption a few years back. Just ask any official in the city - they’re beginning to see the fruits of their labor


At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good points.
Sensible solution.
Positive track record in neighboring municipality.

No chance in B.W. we elect "stupid" and "developer beholdens".


Post a Comment

<< Home