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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day one of the Scranton commuter tax hearing

You can read the coverage HERE (I hate linking to the Scranton Times "Pay to Read" site, but so be it).  My read?  It's not looking good for the city of Scranton.  A few points came up that are worth nothing:

  • It doesn't appear that the judges are convinced that Scranton has exhausted all of its potential revenue sources.  This includes raising the garbage fee.
  • There is some skepticism over increasing the city's debt; to quote Judge Nealon, this is akin to "just throwing deck chairs off the Titanic".  For the record I worked with Terry Nealon a long, long time ago.  Smart...and nice...guy.
  • Even PEL believes that getting $1.3 million from not-for-profits is "unrealistic".  I have a better word:  fanciful.
As I said, not looking good.  The hearing resumes today, and I suspect that testimony will further erode the city's case.   I hope that Ms Evans and Mr Doherty (the strangest of bedfellows) have a Plan B.

I'm thinking that they don't, but that's okay.  When all you do is simply make numbers up (like $1.3 million in voluntary contributions from not-for-profits), coming up with additional fake revenue shouldn't be all that difficult.

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