As someone who both lives and works in the City of Scranton, the proposed commuter tax would have never affected me.
Despite this, I couldn’t be happier about the news that the law was struck down by a judge on Oct. 1.
According to The Times-Tribune, Senior Judge John Braxton said that Act 205, the act on which Scranton’s argument of the tax’s legality hinged, does not give the City the right to instate a tax such as this.
From the minute that I heard about the proposed tax on commuters, I was angry. The fact that non-residents commute to the City of Scranton to work should be enough of a boon to Scranton’s economy.
To put the burden of a tax such as this on commuters would simply push them to work outside of the City, forcing them to take their business elsewhere, and effectively undoing all the good that the tax would have done in the first place.
Surely, Scranton is struggling, and it needs to do what it can in order to avoid a fate such as Detroit’s—an entire American city going bankrupt.
But Judge Braxton made it clear that this tax was not one of the things that the City can do.
Instating a tax like this simply seemed like a bad public relations decision for the City to make. Without the tax, commuters will no longer have to look to Scranton with distrust.
As a Scrantonian myself, I’m glad that the tax will no longer be around to make the City look like a bad place to do business. At the same time, I worry about where the City will make it’s money. As the saying goes, only time will tell.