Scranton’s Unopposed Tripled Local Services Tax Gains Swift Court Approval

March 6, 2019

SCRANTON — Lackawanna County Court Judge Tom Munley approved the city’s petition today to maintain a tripled local services tax of $156 this year on most people who work in the city.

About 30,000 workers pay the tripled LST, which the city budgeted in 2019 to generate $4.65 million in revenue. Those earning less than $15,600 a year are exempt.

A tripled LST, allowed under a 2014 revision to state Act 47, remains part of the city’s Act 47 financial recovery plan but requires annual court approval.

The city had received court approvals for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 for an LST of $156, or $3 a week, up from the prior $1 a week, or $52 per year.

No one from the public filed a formal response in court on the city’s petition for a tripled LST in 2019, nor did anyone from the public attend the hearing.

“I don’t see anybody opposing it (the petition),” Munley told city officials. “This court is going to grant your request.”

City Business Administrator David Bulzoni, City Clerk Lori Reed, and the city’s Act 47 recovery coordinators Gerald Cross and Matt Domines of the Pennsylvania Economy League, attended the hearing. None were called upon to testify.

Assistant City Solicitor Joseph Price, who presented the petition during the hearing, said the next step is for Mayor Bill Courtright’s administration to present legislation to City Council authorizing the city to enact a tripled LST for 2019.

The tax will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019.

Contact the writer: jlockwood@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5185; @jlockwoodTT on Twitter