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Viking Pride Should Prevail
Editor I am writing this out of love, and quite frankly anger, regarding Riverside and it's football program.
I am a former all-star player and coach of many different sports including football. In addition to being the schools all-time leading receiver.
I respect our youngsters for giving all they can, however you're only as good as your leadership, which I feel is very poor. If our board does not make a change, mark my words, you heard it first, we are doomed!
I cannot and will never understand how we can pass up qualified Vikings for key leadership positions. Our identity is in jeopardy. The core values of a Viking are nearly lost. The product I see is not the Viking product I'm accustomed to seeing. When there's no link left from the past to lead you in the future, tradition dies - replaced by inadequate impersonators that wouldn't know anything about the Viking way even if it hit them right in the forehead. We have some talented kids coming up. But that talent needs to be groomed and developed into mentally- and physically tough Vikings.
That will not happen under the current influence. Hopefully parents, kids, and residents of Taylor and Moosic take the time and take the appropriate action to bring about change. Otherwise, shame on us! I know for a fact that an overwhelming majority of people feel the same way I do. I encourage that silent majority please speak up!
Tax is Unfair
Editor: As a state representative in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I feel it is my responsibility to speak on behalf of my constituency in regards to the proposed increase in the non-resident Earned Income Tax (EIT) rate being requested by the City of Scranton.
Under the current fiscal climate, this increase would only add another unnecessary burden on communities, families and individuals who are already struggling in the face of rising prices for goods and services. As the seat for Lackawanna County, the City of Scranton must explore all avenues for reaching fiscal stability.
The average non-resident Earned Income Tax rate in Lackawanna County currently ranges from 0 to 1 percent across 40 municipalities:
- 10 municipalities do not impose a non-resident EIT;
- 10 impose a non-resident rate of 0.5 percent;
- 20 impose a non-resident rate of 1 percent;
If Scranton is permitted to raise the non-resident EIT by 1 percent, it would result in an effective tax rate of more than three times the average and twice the highest current non-resident EIT rate in Lackawanna County. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the average household income in Lackawanna County is approximately $43,673. That means the proposed increase in the non-resident EIT would result in an additional $436 in taxes for a family living in a municipality with a resident EIT rate of 1 percent. This is equivalent to half of one month's rent or mortgage payment, combination of water, sewer, electric and heating bills for a month, or two weeks' worth of groceries.
Commuters utilize city services and infrastructure far less than the residents of Scranton. The average non-resident works within the taxing jurisdiction of the city 40 hours per week, or 25 percent of their time. Taking into consideration the current resident EIT rate in Scranton of 3.4 percent, a non-resident paying an EIT rate of 2 percent is 60 percent of the rate of taxation of someone living in the city. For 25 percent of the time spent utilizing city services and infrastructure, the effective tax rate should be 0.85 percent, instead of the current 1 percent or proposed 2 percent non-resident EIT rate. This essentially results in taxation without representation.
Under Act 47, the City of Scranton is required to implement other steps to generate revenue as part of a recovery plan. If the requirements of the act have been met by the city and a non-resident increase EIT is allowed, the act will have failed all the residents of Lackawanna County.
To stop this from recurring, it is imperative to identify viable, recurring streams of revenue and explore other options, including relief from unfunded mandates to not only aid those municipalities seeking relief from financially distressed status, but to also help them avoid that status.
Based on the information that has been presented, it is my belief that the institution of a commuter tax is unfair and inequitable to those residents who work in Scranton and live outside the City of Scranton.