Speaking on behalf of the Lackawanna County Association of Boroughs and S.T.O.P. (Scranton Taxing Our People), the committee organized by the association to oppose the Scranton commuter tax, Mayor Alex Chelik of Mayfield announced a fundraising drive to raise money for the litigation expenses connected with an upcoming hearingon the City's request to assess and collect a 1 percent surcharge on the income or wage tax paid by commuters beginning January 1, 2013.
We have engaged an attorney with past experience in this type of litigation and we have costs for his services as well as to reproduce exhibits for the hearing, Chelik said, so we need your help to meet our costs.
Non-residents who work in the city now have a 1 percent wage tax withheld from their earnings and paid to Scranton, which collects and forwards the tax to their home municipalities. The wage tax is then usually divided between the home municipality and the local school district.
The city filed a petition to obtain court approval to collect and keep an additional 1 percent tax from non-residents who work in Scranton. The tax surcharge will double the amount of local income taxes being paid by those persons from 1 to 2 percent. As a financially distressed city, Scranton can ask to renew the tax surcharge on non-residents on a yearly basis. The wage taxes assessed on city residents are not being increased.
Each municipality that has not already done so is requested by S.T.O.P to donate $200 to begin the legal process. The committee is also asking commuters to participate, and individual donations can be made by check payable to LCAB Stop Scranton and mailed to 739 Penn Avenue, Mayfield, PA, 18433. Donations can also be made online at stopscranton.com.