Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Barletta raises taxes

The be all and end all for Republicans is lower taxes but the reality of falling revenues because of the Bush financial meltdown and ensuing recession has forced Hazleton Republican Mayor Lou Barletta to propose a tax and fee increase. Many property owners will fork out $250 or more under Barletta's plan which is almost double what they are paying now, he blames the shortfall on illegal immigrrants.

He then announced his secret plan to put Hazleton on a firm financial footing. Barletta wants to sell the local water department and use the proceeds to build a solar power farm at the Hazleton Airport with the idea of selling the electricity. Sounds good until you think about how much time it would take to sell off the water company then build the solar farm. When I first read about this it sounded like some big idea that Congressman Paul Kanjorski would come up with like the people mover.

I had a short chat with the other Republican candidate, Chris Paige, who ripped into the tax increase and venture capitol fund that Barletta is proposing. Paige has been the most prolific blogger of any candidate for office that I've ever seen. He wants to debate Barletta before the primary proposing a meeting in each of the 5 counties in the district just like Barletta wanted last time around.

Dear Mr. Mayor,

Welcome to what I hope and expect will be an exciting primary race. As you may remember, you complained rather frequently and vociferously when Cong. Kanjorski refused to debate you last year; consequently, I’m certain that you won’t violate your principles by refusing to debate me. In that spirit, therefore, I propose five (5) debates – the same number you proposed to Cong. Kanjorski and one for each county in this District. I am flexible on format and timing, so I’m sure we can arrange those details. Indeed, I suggest we hold the first debate in Hazleton, so you can have a hometown crowd to support and encourage you.

As you can see, I’ve included the press in this invitation because I hope they attend and because I want them to know that you are living up to principles you preached during your race with Cong. Kanjorski. Quite simply, I wouldn’t want them to think you are a hypocrite, so I want them to know how quickly and graciously you agreed to my request.


Stephen Albert said...

It's always a safe bet for a politician to blame problems on people who can't vote.

Anonymous said...

wow raising taxes, pipe dream projefcts, is Lou trying to out Kanjo; Kanjo?????????????

Anonymous said...

Paige is a "prolific blogger" because Paige is a Democrat set up man! He only changed his affiliation to R a few wks ago. Anyone who is remotely tuned into politics knows that. If you fall for Paige, you are falling for the Democrat set up man who is doing the back deal workings for Kanjo!

McGruff said...

Bush financial meltdown= Kanjorski's failure to set in place safeguards with smoke and mirror legislation.

This property tax increase is the first increase in ten years of Barletta in office. Can you say the same for Democratic Mayors in Scranton and Wilkes Barre?

How about Nanticoke, Kanjorski's native town? Tax increase.

Did you do a financial analysis of the cause of Hazleton financial woes that conclusively shows it was from the financial meltdown? Maybe the fact that the Mayor wants to keep the city safe by refusing to layoff police is one reason. Of course no one would want to give credit to a Republican for looking out for a union's interests.

Anonymous said...

Hazelton safe??? Are you fucking nuts????

chicobri said...

Anon @ 12:17 -- I had the same thoughts when I met with Chris Paige last month. He's a RINO, IMO, and is running in the primary as an 'R' to make Barletta use his war chest. I'm not fan of Barletta, but I'd prefer him over Kanjo. And 25 years in office is more than enough!!

Anonymous said...

war chest? wft the dip shit mayor is 1/4 million in the whole from his last attempts.

McGruff said...

No you're fucking kidding me, like Wilkes Barre or Scranton is any better...

In 2009, there have been seven homicides in Luzerne County. Four of them have been in Wilkes-Barre —fourth most in the state


From the Times Leader article

"Just three areas – real estate and EMS tax revenue declines and insurance cost increases – cost the city’s budget more than $900,000, Barletta said."

When did Barletta blame the present tax increase on illegal immigrants in the announcement?

Never mentioned.

Gort doesn't mention the Democrats raising taxes in Luzerne County, the Democratic Congress letting 50 tax breaks expire...and I know this is not just a Democratic problem. All of the country is facing big financial issues.

Gort, did you sit down and have a chat with Barletta to get a response to Rhino Paige's attacks. BTW what venture capital fund is Barletta proposing??? I want to see that in writing.

McGruff said...

From the blame link cited.

Of course, explanations for tax hikes, which no elected official relishes, are always complex. And Mr. Barletta's defense - he had to do it - has a ring of truth.

The city reached its state-allowed limit of 30 mills in property taxes decades ago, but it can raise them next year because Luzerne County has reassessed its real estate. Reassessment raised the assessed values of properties to reflect current market values, which allowed for lowering millage rates by a corresponding amount. Hazleton's dropped to 1.40 mills, which Mr. Barletta is proposing to raise to 2.38 mills.

Try paying decades of annual increases in health care and other costs without being able to raise property taxes, Mr. Barletta argues. Now add in an economy that reduced wage tax collections as workers lost jobs or took pay cuts. People earning less also can't pay bills, a reason the city has more than $1 million in delinquent garbage bills, he said.

Anonymous said...

"People earning less also can't pay bills"

No fucking shit, so how are they going to pay increased property taxes. They can't and they will be on the fucking street.

Anonymous said...

what McGruff doesnt get is , for the people that live in hazleton, they dont give a fuck what happens in wilkes barre, or scranton, or nanticoke, its what he has done while the Mayor of Hazleton. if it isnt what obama did to barletta, or rendell, or kanjo, its everyones fault but louie's. they are jammed for money but he hires an engineer and when asked if it is budgeted he says they will move money around in the budget to pay the 70k plus. finally people are calling barletta out on the carpet, DEBATE Paige, lets hear it out. Gort doesnt have to sit with anyone, lets have a debate and hear it directly.
He wants to say he did all this fantastic work on Pine Street. those homes cost 200k to build and the city sold them for less than 100k, thats our tax money he throws away, and then wants to say what a great idea it is, is that what he will do in Congress, oh yea there he will be able to print more cash if he needs it, thank Gawd he cant in Hazleton.

Anonymous said...

the Mayors plan is to sell the water division of the City and then build a solar farm that will generate all this money. but wait, read on his big cheerleader brings an interesting point out in his one posting that follows:
Blogger McGruff said...

Finally what is the metric of too big to fail? Are we not bailing out the wind and solar industry as we speak with their grants? Those projects would not happen without our tax dollars. The return would not lure investment. Do we own a piece of them or do we just give them our money??

GM just lost $1.2 billion but the spinmeisters called that success.. There is a call for a second stimulus.

Does the United States have a stash of cash we don't know about or are the Chinese going to own us lock, stock, and barrel?

Over 100 banks closed this year, mostly small ones. So if Kanjo wants to break up the bigger ones into smaller ones what is that really going to accomplish???

Kanjo is an opportunist crafted by Mitchell just as Emanuel crafted Obama. Let's see if next election Kanjo wants to stand side by side with Obama??

7:46 PM

so are we just bailing out the solar industry with grants, and once those grants cease, then what, what happens to the business model then? where will all the cash come from that the Mayor talks about.
oh and the company that is proposing the solar farm, they are 50% owned by a French Company , that in a press release talks about the thousand jobs that will be created building the solar panels.......
HEY LOU>>>>>>>you are suppose to create US jobs not ones for the FRENCH>>>>>>>>

Anonymous said...

Government sure is complicated so why do we elect amatures and why did the judges choose to ignore experience in favor of a big cash contributor? Ah politics, ain't it wonderful?

Anonymous said...

paige doesn't seem to be pulling any punches. i wonder if he will go after some of the "other" rumors about Lou.

Big Dan said...

McGruff: Making a case for Barletta by comparing him to Democratic mayors in other towns, doesn't seem like much of a defense for Barletta.