November 16, 2012 – A new budget proposal in Scranton would impose a 12 percent tax hike on residents of the cash-strapped city and a new 1 percent tax on commuters might be the best-case scenario. Gary Lewis, a Scranton-based consultant on distressed municipal assets and author of a blog detailing the depth of Scranton’s financial woes, said the budget is likely a best possible scenario, though it still includes more than $20 million in borrowing that will add more than $4 million to the city’s debt service. “At this point, all they are doing is borrowing to cover expenses,” said Lewis. In addition to the 12 percent tax hike and the new commuter tax, which requires court approval, the new budget proposal calls for higher real estate taxes and a new “amusement tax” that will generate an estimated $200,000 million in 2013. But the alternative would be something closer to the 120 percent tax increase initially proposed by Mayor Chris Doherty in June, Lewis said.
Link to 2013 Scranton Budget: http://www.scribd.com/doc/113523995/Scranton-2013-Budget