Apr 24, 2014

Shortchanging The Neighbors

The arena machine was held up for several months two years ago, when the smaller municipalities balked at giving up their share of the earned income tax to further support Allentown's mega-project. Rather than endure the time delay of a court case on that attempt to overreach, Allentown backed off, and the neighbors still got their earned income tax share. But do the neighbors get their share of benefits from state taxes? That's a rhetorical question, because the answer has always been a clear no. When Allentown's NIZ is completely built out in several years, the small neighbors like Slatington and Northampton will be subsidizing a $billion dollars of development, but what do they get? Their current Harrisburg representatives will tell them that Allentown endures the problems of a the low income transient population, and then say something about rising tides and all ships. The residents of Slatington and Northampton know better. It's not the life of Mayberry there anymore. Although the tax dollar benefits seldom come their way, Allentown's problems of poverty and crime found their way up route 309. It will be my honor to advocate for their fair share.

photograph by K Mary Hess

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