Recommendations to Sell The Scranton Parking And Sewer Authorities

By Nick Hughes |, Eric Deabill |

Published 03/13 2014 06:18PM

Updated 07/03 2014 12:01AM

Budget Recommendations:

Sell The Scranton Parking Authority and The Sewer Authority.

Those are just two of the recommendations of a financial consultant to The City of Scranton.

After months of looking at The Electric City's Finances, Consultant Henry Amoroso laid out his recommendations tonight at City Hall.

Amoroso is also urging lawmakers to look at a commuter tax dedicated solely for funding pension costs.

Plus, raising taxes by 18 percent, 6 percent and 4 percent over the next three years.

Amoroso is also urging the city to reopen its current contracts with its unions.

Scranton, Lackawanna County
-Exactly two months after a financial consultant was hired to help the city of Scranton with its finances, Henry Amoroso has laid out some of his findings.

For more than an hour Thursday night, he gave a presentation and answered questions from Scranton city council members.

The financial struggles of the Electric City have made international headlines over the last two years and Amoroso was brought in to help analyze past city budgets and help guide future budgets.

One of the big headlines from his presentation was that he suggested city officials consider selling off the city's parking garages in order to fix some of the city parking authority's debt.

He also said that going forward the city needs annual tax increases, even if they are on the smaller side.

Amoroso said his analysis shows that Scranton only collects about 86% of the taxes that it is owed but that number should be 98%

He also told city council members that fines, fees, permits, licenses and other city revenues were about $2 million under budget in 2013 alone.

He says the Scranton Business Administrator's office is the most under-staffed he has ever seen and he believes the city could benefit from a "Revenue Cycle Officer" to make sure it is getting all the money it should be getting.

Amoroso pegged the city's debt at around $170 million when you add up the city's outstanding debt, the parking authority debt and the money that is owed to unionized police officers and firefighters.

New Scranton mayor Bill Courtright and several of his cabinet members attended the presentation Thursday night.

Amoroso's contract continues with the city for several more months. In the coming months, he plans to reach out to the city's unions and non-profit organizations to see ways that they may be able to assist the city's struggling situation.

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