Dec 16, 2015

Arena No Benefit For Allentown Taxpayers

There is fundamentally something wrong with a town that bestows a $Billion Dollars worth of real estate on one or two people, but gives everyone else a tax increase. While $34 million of our state taxes pay for Reilly's debt service this year, residents of Allentown will see a 24% increase in their city income tax. Mayor Pawlowski claims that the increase is necessary because of pension obligations, but that's why we supposedly leased the water system. In short, there has been no benefit to the public from the revitalization. We know that Reilly was revitalized, and that Pawlowski would have been, except for a pesky FBI investigator. While I  called for tar and feathers yesterday, where is the Morning Call? Save for Jeanette Eichenwald, where is city council?

This coming June, Allentown will host a convention of Pennsylvania bureaucrats, who will study the success of Allentown's inner-city revival. Ed Pawlowski, if not yet incarcerated, will be a speaker. State taxpayers will pay for these fakers to stay at the new hotel, eat at the new restaurants, and hear how we're benefitting from it.  If they're interested, I'm available as a speaker.


Dave said...

A tale of two Allentowns....

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness

It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity

It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness

It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair

We had everything before us, we had nothing before us

We have 7th and Hamilton Streets, we have 7th and Tilghman Streets.

Which is the real Allentown?

The one we read about?

Or the one we live in?

Anonymous said...

Allentown ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

My concern is that many of these new businesses have yet to go through an Allentown, PA winter. If they think downtown is empty now, wait until the snow arrives. I am hoping they have an ace up their sleeve for fiscal survival through the cold months until the first thaw of Spring. Sure, people still go out, but what do we have to offer that will give them the incentive to make the journey? You do know we are on top of a hill, right?

Alfonso Todd

Rich Fegley said...

Pawlowski and Council raised the EIT this year. They will have to raise property taxes next year in order to balance the 2017 budget. Pawlowski has done a fine job of hiding this information from the public. The water and sewer lease helped the pension issue how?

Anonymous said...

Let's face it: with the exception of a few eateries downtown (some of which apparently Reilly himself owns)there is no real 'activity' down there. I wonder how long before the Moravian Bookshop realizes the folly of moving downtown. One saving grace is if the landlords do indeed pass along the savings that their virtual tax-free 'investments' have provided.
If things had gone as planned and promised I would have bet that Billy's Diner would have been open for dinner by now. Maybe that's the best indicator of the slowness of the 'renaissance'.

GDub said...

The sewer lease became highly problematic for me when people started talking about "investing" some of it in non-pension related areas. I'm not really sure a proper accounting of this decision has ever been done.

As for this year's budget, it was clearly pointed out (prominently on this blog) that trading an asset that provided annual income for a lump sum would not leave any way to replace the annual income. The idea that a "structural deficit" was somehow unforeseen is nonsense--it was the first-order effect of the decision to lease the sewer system.