Funding a Fight Against Scranton’s Commuter Tax

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SCRANTON-- When Mayfield mayor Alexander Chelik thinks about Scranton's impending commuter tax, he sees red.

Now he is doing everything he can to stop it.

Chelik says, "Our strategy is to immediately go to court and stop the commuter tax. That is it."

He says just like the founding fathers, he believes this is taxation without representation. He says elected officials are taxing people who did not put them in office.

Mayfield's mayor wants people who live here and in other communities to chip in 10 dollars to fight the tax in court.

"There is 22,566 commuters we are asking each of them to donate at least 10 dollars, that would give us at least a war chest of over 200 thousand dollars," Chelik says.

In 2012, Chelik was part of a successful effort to stop a similar tax.

While this legal situation is not exactly the same, he says, "We feel there have been procedural errors made in the adoption of the plan."

Folks at a community garage sale in Mayfield had mixed about the Scranton commuter tax and whether they would be chipping in to the mayor's fund.

"Anything we can do to fight not to have more taxes is worth fighting" said Nancy Wallace of Lenoxville.

State representative Marty Flynn has constituents inside and outside of Scranton, and says the situation is not similar to the Boston Tea Party, since legislators from the whole state passed a law permitting cities to levy commuter taxes.

Flynn says, "If Scranton fails, the whole region fails. So that is my selling point, we need help, and I think it is a good idea for cities to kick in commuter taxes."

Scranton leaders enacted the tax on commuters in an effort to bail out the city's finances, especially the pension plan.

Chelik says he has been getting the word out through social media and has collected 500 dollars so far.

Scranton City Council President Bob McGoff told Newswatch 16 that he is not surprised by this turn of events, but he expects that the city would vigorously defend the tax if a court case would go forward.


  • LC

    Maybe you should just do more to attract businesses to Mayfield. That place is hole and there’s nowhere to work there.

  • Don Helowitz

    Keep on voting the same people in and you get what you deserve. Someday the citizens of PA will wake up.

    Ed Sereditch for Mayor!

  • POed Commuter

    I thought that in order to impose a commuter tax all other avenues have to be exhausted. That is clearly not the case in Scranton. The city is owed millions of dollars in back taxes that people don’t even know they owe. Look at the article in the Sunday when they talked about the possible replacements for the city council. Some of them owed back taxes and claimed they didn’t know. If all avenues were exhausted I want to know what was done to collect this money? As a hard working commuter I should not have to clean up a mess I didn’t create. They make it out to sound like its just a small amount out of our paychecks and it’s no big deal but for someone who has a family, ever last dollar counts. Many of us are struggling to make ends meet now. It’s going to get to the point that people won’t be able to afford to work in Scranton with gas prices, parking food etc and now you are going to add to that burden.

  • why o why

    we shouldn’t have to pay money to fight for our rights either way .. its all messed up ….im not being punished when my family worked hard to move out of that hole a year ago, its like they are coming after us. raise scranton tax on renters … maybe all the poor people will move out and stop mooching off the cities resources,

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