(WBRE/WYOU-TV) One of the races that we’ll be watching tomorrow night is the State Senate race in the 40th district which covers most of Monroe County and part of Northampton County.
Incumbent Republican Mario Scavello faces Democrat Tarah Probst – who’s the current mayor of Stroudsburg.
Eyewitness News sat down with the candidates today to ask them about the issues affecting the Poconos. Eyewitness News Anchor Nick Toma has the story,
As with most state legislative races – property tax reform is foremost in the minds of most homeowners.
But the two take very different approaches – Scavello favors an existing plan to eliminate the tax by increasing the personal income and sales taxes.
“If we solve it with the 76 plan or the owner-occupied residential it will bring back the dollars that we didn’t get, “said Senator Mario Scavello.
Probst says the answer to funding education is underground.
“Out of the 34 states that have natural gas in the US, 33 of them take a tax towards education. We don’t, we’re the only one that doesn’t do it.”
Then there’s the proposal to expand I-80 to six lanes through Stroudsburg.
“The widening of that highway, putting acceleration lanes. And the other piece is people get on I-80 for an exit and get off at the next exit. A highway shouldn’t be for that” said Scavello
“Where you need the expansion is up at Bartonsville, Tannersville, and Scotrun where the congestion really starts.” Said Probst
And then there’s the issue of economic growth – and the best way to jumpstart bringing new businesses to the region.
“To me, the most important thing in our region is getting the infrastructure. Without the infrastructure the other stuff doesn’t come in,” said Scavello
Probst says tax reform first pays for that infrastructure improvement.
“Literally 900 million dollars we lose because of the Delaware loophole every year. By cutting that loophole and getting our infrastructure together that money between the rails and roads we should be able to bring good jobs” added Probst.