New Castle News

February 5, 2014

County has excuses for increasing taxes


New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Here we go again, the commissioners hit us with another increase in county taxes, this time 7 percent.

What was it, not more than two or three years ago they jacked up our bills a whopping 14 percent?

Back then, the commissioners’ excuse was, “We don’t have enough money to make payroll, we have to raise taxes, we don’t have a choice.”

But every time taxes go up, everyone at the courthouse gets a raise and the salary board creates new jobs.

Hey, what’s wrong with layoffs? Luzerne County just furloughed 22 workers and saved $1.4 million ($70,000 per employee).

Maybe we should just “privatize” the entire courthouse instead of the jail? That would take the burden off the property owners.

If jail workers had to take a pay freeze and pay 5 percent of their health care, why shouldn’t all county employees? What do the commissioners pay? Probably nothing.

I, for one, am tired of the same old line from the commissioners, “We have to give raises, we have to abide by the union contract.”

You know what, when do we home/landowners get to have a “union” and a “contract?” When do we get to “collectively bargain” or “negotiate” our county and school taxes?

Who’s with me on this? Enough is enough, it’s time to stand up.

I would advise any resident who can afford to move to leave Lawrence County. I can say as a matter of fact that property taxes in the remoter areas of Mercer, Crawford and Venango counties are only about one-half to one-third of here.

Robert Zbegan

Old Princeton Road

Shenango Township