New Councilman Sworn-In, Commuter Tax Vote Pending

New Councilman Sworn-In, Commuter Tax Vote Pending

With five members now seated on Scranton City Council, a final vote is expected Thursday on a controversial commuter tax.
To tax or not to tax.

That is the question facing Scranton City Council Thursday night.

The final vote on a controversial commuter tax is expected to take place. It is a vote that could cost tens-of-thousands of people more money.

City council members are taking input from residents and commuter at its meeting.

The newest member of council, Wayne Evans, is seated and expected to vote on the issue.

The well-known South Scranton realtor was sworn-in just after 3:00 PM at City Hall. Evans replaces former councilman Jack Loscombe who resigned several weeks ago.

The mayor of Scranton has proposed a three-quarters of one-percent tax on people who live outside of Scranton but work in the city.

The money would go specifically towards the city's pension issue.

City leaders believe it could raise more than $5 million.

The last time a commuter tax issue came up, court records indicate there were approximately 23,000 commuters who work in Scranton.

For someone making $23,000 a year, the mayor of Scranton says the new tax would cost them $375/year.

Eyewitness News asked Wayne Evans, the newest councilmember where he stands on the issue and he says he has not made up his mind.

"I've re-read the Amoroso plan. I've read as much of Act 205 as I can, it's about 60-something pages. It's a very complex issue. We have some questions for the mayor. A lot is going to depend on what the mayor says tonight -- what my answer is going to be," Evans said.

Some critics of the commuter tax call it taxation without representation.

If passed, the new commuter tax will go into effect on October 1st.

Eyewitness News reporter Kelly Choate will have more on tonight's council decision on Eyewitness News at 11:00 PM.
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