Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No more borrowing

County may face cuts and tax hikes

I have some mixed emotions about Luzerne County Commissioner Chair Maryanne Petrilla.

On the one hand I will always hold a grudge because she was recuited to take out the most effective Controller we ever had, Steve Flood, who sounded the alarm bells about the 20 year/$58 million lease with PA Child Care. The place was owned at the time by Greg Zappala and Robert Powell. Since then we have learned that Powell and multi party developer Robert Mericle were paying off the Juvie Brothers to put kids in their private prison.

On the other hand she has been upfront about limits of borrowing to balance the county budget since she became a commissioner and teamed up with Republican Commissioner Steve Urban to restore some sanity. The county is tapped out so borrowing more money for a new prison or anything else is out of the question. There is only so much you can cut so we can expect a big tax increase next year on top of the reassessment that doubled or tripled taxes on some people.

“Raising taxes is a very tough decision that one has to take very, very seriously. But at the same time, I said many times that I can’t make decisions today and tomorrow based on hoping to get re-elected in four years."-Maryanne Petrilla

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