Saturday, December 15, 2007

They had the money

Skrep is in panic pass mode trying to find a way to pay the 2007 Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) but it didn't have to come to this.

A TAN is taken by almost all local governments to bridge the gap between ongoing expenses and the time when property taxes start rolling in. Why they can't budget for this drop off in cash flow is another question. Most local governments pay off their TANS well before the end of the year but not Luzerne County and every year they push it off to the end of the year then borrow more money just to fund last year's payroll and other expenses. It's been going on forever.

Back to my original point. The county tax bills go out in the spring and many people like us pay them early to get the 2% discount so they had the money in the coffers to pay it off by June. In 2003 Commissioner Steve Urban and then-Commissioner Tom Makowski voted to borrow roughly $9 million for a new county-owned juvenile facility. It was never built because Skrep and Vondy outsourced a government function at an outrageous price with a 20 year contract to boot. Some people think that this bond issue is so loosely written so the Commissioners can bail out PA Child Care, the owners of the Pittston facility. But anyway they had the $9 million from that bond in the bank but instead of holding on to it for an emergency like this one they spent it on other things. Just think if they just hung onto the money they could have used it to pay off the TAN.

This is just the kind of thing that I have been objecting to for a long time. Borrow money for one purpose then spend it on another, it's not right. Tim Grier read the law and found out that they have not been following it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HA HA there is a Tim Grier label.