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Palmer, Forks React to Easton Commuter Tax

Officials in Palmer and Forks townships have mixed reaction on residents having to pay more to work in Easton.

Residents of Palmer and Forks townships are going to be paying more to work in Easton.

After months of a debate, approved an increase to the city's "commuter tax," the earned income tax for people who work in Easton but aren't residents of the city. Those workers will now pay 1.75 percent, up from a 1 percent tax.

Officials in Forks and had mixed reactions.

"I believe this is a good example of local government being myopic and not considering the long-term impact of raising taxes on commuters," Supervisor David Billings said. "I wonder if Easton business owners will move to other townships that do not burden their employees with unnecessary taxes. It is a shame the City of Easton choose a path of creating a heavier tax burden on taxpayers."

Palmer Township officials were most sympathetic to Easton's plight.

"In this day and age, municipalities are struggling to make ends meet," Palmer Supervisors Chairman Dave Colver said. "Easton I guess felt they needed additional revenue."

Palmer Supervisor said, depending on the township's growth and revenue needs, it could one day be in the same position as Easton.

"We don't like it, but it's the reality," Lammi said. "I feel for the people, but I also understand where the city is coming from."

Periscope August 15, 2012 at 03:24 AM
David Billings, you are a Forks resident. Right? You don't work in Forks, right? Do you really think an Easton business will move to Forks so you and others might save on income taxes. I think not. The City of Easton or Northampton County Offices or even the EASD or Lafayette College administrations will not move. Dream on Billings. Forks has raised its taxes and fees to respond to its financial crisis and its EIT tax is at the highest rate permitted by statute. Cutting budgets, staff / service reductions, plus tax increases are the only tools left to municipalities to deal with avoiding bankruptcy. Easton is not myopic. Easton Council members are realists dealing with serious budget shortfalls. Billings, the "Commuter" doesn't care about Easton or its problems. As a Forks Supervisor, you should be supportive of Easton because if things don't go well for Easton, neighboring Forks will suffer as well. Think about this as you commute tomorrow.

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