112th State House Race
Voters will elect a new 112th state House representative tonight.
The two candidates vying for the seat are split on several key issues, including property tax reform.
Archbald Republican Ernest Lemoncelli, a travel company co-owner and former industrial equipment salesman, supports Senate Bill 76, a legislative proposal that would abolish school property taxes and fund education by hiking the personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 4.95 percent and the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, while also expanding the sales tax to dozens of exempt items.
Lemoncelli contends the bill would match property tax revenue “exactly dollar for dollar” to fund schools and provide relief to thousands of Pennsylvanians that lose their homes annually to unpaid property taxes.
Blakely Democrat Kyle Mullins, who served for about eight years as the legislative director for state Sen. John Blake, D-22, Archbald, said he could support such a proposal with some changes. The bill as proposed would “lock in currently inadequate education funding levels” and abolish the school property taxes paid by large corporations, he argues. That would shift the burden of about $3 billion in property taxes paid by businesses annually onto the backs of regular citizens, he said. Responsible property tax reform should instead focus on homestead and farmstead exemptions, he said.
Mullins and Lemoncelli also oppose the expansion of the Keystone Sanitary Landfill and a second power plant in Jessup if one is ever proposed.
The 112th District includes all or parts of Center City, the Hill Section and South Scranton, as well as Archbald, Blakely, Dunmore, Jessup, Olyphant and Throop.
Legislators’ base annual salary is $87,180 this year; the term is two years.
Here are the latest voting results: