Commuters to Easton: Don't Tax Us
Some commuters have already written to Easton about its proposed commuter tax.
The city of Easton will host a meeting Monday night to discuss a proposed commuter tax increase.
But some commuters have already weighed in on the tax, via e-mails presented to council at its meeting last week.
City officials say they need the tax to cover $1.35 million of a projected $1.85 million shortfall in pension obligations. The increase would tax people who work -- but don't live -- in Easton at a rate of 1.75 percent, instead of the current 1 percent.
"Enacting this tax would likely encourage surrounding areas to tax Easton residents who work in other areas," wrote Brenda Cahill of Bethlehem Township.
She said that she works and shops in Easton, but worried she would cease spending money in the city if the tax was enacted.
Upper Nazareth resident Frank Houser said he too spends money in the city.
"But due to your money grabbing move, I shall take my business elsewhere," wrote Houser, a Northampton County employee.
He said he was upset that the tax wouldn't pay for things such as education or housing, but for "yesterday's inequities."
"I'll be very conscientious not to purchase anything in the city of Easton," wrote another county employee, Kerry Isaac.
"The fact that you need a resident of Bethlehem to help pay off Easton's debt does not really say much about the people 'running Easton,'" wrote Marta Husovsky, another county employee.
Around 800 county workers would be affected if the tax is passed. County Executive John Stoffa said earlier this month that he had addressed the issue with county employees on July 5. County Council voted that night for a resolution asking the city not to approve the commuter tax.
And Easton Mayor Sal Panto fired back at the county last week, saying it should consider doing a "payment in lieu of taxes" on the land it owns in Easton.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at city hall.