Bracing for School Tax Hike in Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- School taxes in Scranton could go up more than 6.5 percent next year.

Board members are meeting this week to go over the numbers and approve a preliminary budget.

"It's outrageous, the taxpayer just can't handle any more of this high raising of taxes, county, city school, just can't do it any longer. All senior citizens live in this city," said Peter Noto of Scranton.

The Scranton School District has crippling debt. There have been investigations and controversies over how money has been handled. There has been talk of closing schools. Board members said they desperately need more funding.

Some in the city said they do not like it, but they understand the need for the proposed tax hike.

"They don't have any other choices. I mean have to raise the taxes to get out of the distress that we're in, to get a better education for the kids. I don't have any children but if I did, I think that's probably what I would be concerned about: their education and make sure they get a good education," said Helenanne Jimmie of Scranton.

The preliminary budget is roughly $168 million.

Here is a link to the spending proposal.

"Raising the tax base to the poor people down there, so many houses down there for sale. People can't get out. They want to, but who's going to buy into a city that's overtaxed or considered distressed? Nobody, nobody wants to live there," said Bayard Neary of Moscow.

There is a special meeting set for Wednesday, August 9, at 7 p.m. when the board is expected to approve the preliminary budget.

19 comments

  • Anthony Lane (@killerdad40)

    Let’s Raise the taxes for the next round of corruption. They should not be able to raise taxes after everything that’s happened, The tax payer did not cause the problem, the school district DID. They need to have there wages cut to help fund the gaps of what they need. Why should is be the taxpayers problem.

  • donald fox

    Honestly its no surprise here. They ( city of scranton ) did a poor job at running the city. Now the tax payers foot the bill to fix corruption. Then 10 more years of corruption and the tax payers foot the bill again. This is making it to where all these taxes will add to the already huge amount of abandoned properties and forclosures of properties because people cant afford to live in scranton. It really sucks because I would love to own a home in the city I grew up in but honestly cant afford taxes on a house.

  • donny hud43987

    Wowww!!!! Hahahaha! So glad I got out of Scranton PA 20 years ago! The next Detroit! Guaranteed!!!

  • caeser 194

    Another corrupt Democratic city,broke because of corruption,and once again they raise tax’s to cover mismanagement and theft.I feel for the people affected by this.I live north of Scranton,taxes have been stable for years,roads are falling apart,again mismanagement of funds.Penndot has one road project in Susquehanna county I know of.We still have washed out bridges from last summer

  • Jim hacky (@HackyJim)

    Hay isn’t Scranton a Democratic city I though democrat’s were all socialists now and they were going to make the top 1% pay more taxes I guess it’s all a big con now they want the elderly, middle class and the people barely making it to pay more now look at this on a bigger scale do you really want to feel that burn in your wallet ?
    I think NOT!!!

  • Michele Wasylyk

    You ask how this happened? I’ll tell you how. Because Almighty God has been pushed out of everything that’s how. You can’t even mention God in schools or anywhere else. You can thank Obama for that one. God is no longer recognized anywhere. Why do you think this whole country is in the crapper?

    • wnepcommenter

      I believe that lack of religion is destroying the morals in this country but I don’t think you can blame that for the city being in the toilet. There are still a lot of good people in Scranton. Unfortunately, those good people aren’t the ones running the city.

    • Harold Smith

      The essence of communism is the denial of God and God given rights. There are influential communist ideologues in high places in this society that want communism here, and they’re the ones largely responsible preventing us from moving away from confiscatory and out-of-control property taxation.

      • yabbadabbadude

        The Bolshevik Jews just want the Christian God and Jesus denied – not theirs. It’s an almost 2000-year-old blood feud. The Jewish elders thought they were done with Jesus and his followers when they turned him over to the Romans for execution. They were wrong.

  • Harold Smith

    PA Constitution Art. 1 Sec. 1:
    “ยง 1. Inherent rights of mankind.
    All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, OF ACQUIRING, POSSESSING AND PROTECTING PROPERTY and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.”

    First planck of Karl Marx’ communist manifesto:
    “Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.”

    Somehow our constitutional republic which was supposed to recognize and protect out God given natural rights – among which is the right to own property – has been replaced by communism, under which there is no such thing as God given natural rights and all property belongs to the state. I wonder how this happened?

    • moop777

      That same constitution also grants the commonwealth the power to tax, as well as local governments to levy taxes. You don’t get to pick and choose which parts of the constitution apply depending upon your argument

      • Harold Smith

        Okay, so you don’t know what a constitutional right is. Please allow me to explain a little bit. The “state” cannot legitimately levy and collect an arbitrarily tax on property, especially property such as land and shelter, which are generally recognized necessities of human life.

        Article 1 of our PA constitution recognizes and protects what the Founders and Framers understood to be GOD GIVEN NATURAL RIGHTS. The state has no power to infringe these rights because the people themselves don’t have such power to cede to the state in the first place, even if they wanted to.

        The right of human beings to exist, and to “acquire, possess and protect” the property we need to exist, comes from God, not from the state. The reasoning goes something like this: Before man created “government,” God created people. Before man created “government,” God created land. Before man created “government,” God created the relationship between the people and the land; i.e., people need land for food, water and shelter. This is the so-called “state of nature”; this is how the Creator intended it to be. Even when we existed as “cave-men” long before we had “government,” we had property including shelter. Thus existence and access/ownership of the land and shelter we need to exist was recognized in our constitution as a God-given, long-standing, “pre-political” right.

        Thus my God-given right to merely exist and to “acquire, possess and protect” the property I need to exist is superior to your man-made “right” to a free public education. The government cannot interpose itself between people and the necessities they need to exist just because its a handy way to get some “stable” income.

        On the other hand, God didn’t create money, for example. Money is the result of a well organized and regulated society. Being that Money is a man made thing, there’s no fundamental reason why it can’t be taxed.

        I hope this clears things up.

      • Harold Smith

        If the state can levy and collect an arbitrarily tax on land and shelter which are necessities of life, and if the state can remove a person from the house at gunpoint if necessary, leaving that person at the mercy of the elements (and let’s face it, the state doesn’t care if that person dies from exposure to the elements). Then why can’t the state make us breathe through a valve, for example, and tax us on the air we breathe, and then simply shut off the valve and suffocate us if we can’t pay? There’s really no moral distinction there, right? This is a reductio-ad-absurdum example that points out the absurdity and the immorality of a tax levied and collected against a necessity of life, without any regard whatsoever for a person’s actual ability to pay.

        The property tax would also seem to violate the doctrine of substantive due process under the fourteenth amendment to the U.S. constitution, and it sure looks like a form of involuntary servitude, which would also violate the thirteenth amendment.

    • wnepcommenter

      I agree! I find it amazing that after buying land the government can tell us what we can and cannot build there, who can and cannot live there, what work can and cannot be done there, how it can and cannot be subdivided and sold. Down the road, when it it sold, we must do so by the governments leave. If the government wishes to do so, it may take that land from us at fair market value via eminent domain. Our government is supposed to work FOR US, not the other way around.

      • moop777

        I want to buy land and spread incredibly hazardous, poisonous material all over it that pumps known carcinogens in the air. Why should the government tell me what I can and can’t do with my property? See how your argument sounds?

    • moop777

      It doesn’t, because if you use at a starting point “God said this, so the government can’t do this,” then there is no point discussing with you because it’s a pointless argument not worth engaging in. What about other countries where there have never been property rights? Does God not care about those countries? Your argument is absurd because you can’t think past your shallow, Christian, “all taxation is theft” worldview. You have no real problems to concern yourself with so you make something up to be upset about

      • Harold Smith

        Your ignorance is again on display. You really have a lot to learn about the country and the state you live in, don’t you?

        The preamble of the PA constitution reads as follows:

        “WE, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance, do ordain and establish this Constitution.”

        So first of all, your argument is not with me, your argument is with the Founders and Framers (particularly George Mason).

        But the rights acknowledged in Art 1 actually have nothing whatsoever to do with “Christianity” or any kind of “religion” for that matter; rather, they have to do with philosophical theories about the origin of “rights.” You can substitute “nature” or “creator” for God if it makes you feel better but that obviously won’t change anything.

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