Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty on Thursday unveiled a revised recovery plan that proposes a 78 percent tax increase over the next three years.
And that's just for starters. Additional tax increases that could range anywhere from 15 to 31 percent over the life of an eight-year loan also will be necessary to account for a landmark state Supreme Court ruling last year regarding arbitration awards that favored the city's police and fire unions, according to Mr. Doherty and city Business Administrator Ryan McGowan.
The proposal also calls for new commuter and amusement taxes and higher license, permit and garbage fees, as well as the following: selling the city's stormwater conveyance system; selling delinquent taxes and trash fees; selling ad space on city facilities; leasing parking concessions; cutting expenses by 10 percent; and generating health care savings by asking police and firefighters to contribute toward health benefits.
For many years now, I’ve listened to WILK hosts and callers alike rip Wilkes-Barre and it’s elected and appointed management a new one. And, Scranton? The ACT 47 Molotov cocktail in persistent search of a match? Nary a mention.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am fully cognizant of the fact that Wilkes-Barre has just as many festering wounds as the next town wrestling with societal decay. And it’s elected management has come under heavy fire from it’s would-be replacements posing as selfless activists for borderline ethical lapses.
But I knew all along that the ticking financial time-bomb in Scranton would explode in due time. When the Tax Anticipation Notes started flying of late, I knew the end was near. And that proverbial ticking time-bomb has finally exploded like a 30,000-pound MOAB on Tora Bora.
So, going forward, for the purposes of participating in talk radio, remember: Scranton all good, Wilkes-Barre all bad.
I’d enjoy a hearty chortle at this tragic point if I could, but instead I feel for the residents of Scranton who were taught long, long ago to vote for the party and not the candidate.
Now let the out-migration begin!