Scranton’s property taxes are outrageously high. The current mayor and city council force the people of Scranton to choose between maintaining their homes or paying property taxes. They end up paying property taxes, and their homes deteriorate. Their homes lose value, trapping them in a spiral of loss and further deterioration. When I am mayor, I will cut property taxes. I will make every conceivable effort to drive down the city’s costs so property values go up and people can afford to invest in their homes.
Job creation occurs when taxes are low and regulations that hamper business are kept to a minimum. This makes it easy for entrepreneurs to start small businesses, for large companies to locate in Scranton, and for existing businesses to expand. With five major highways that intersect the city, 90 million Americans are only within 2 hours. In addition, 50,000 young people attend the local college and universities offering great opportunities for recruitment. As mayor, I will work painstakingly to drive down taxes and get rid of unnecessary red tape so that Scranton is fertile ground for new job creation.
The city’s budget is not sustainable. The cost to run the city has far outpaced the ability of the Scranton people to pay for it. As the chart below demonstrates, Scranton’s expenses have increased in the last 30 years while its revenues have decreased. This places a crushing tax burden on the people of Scranton , who are already struggling. 38% of the people of Scranton live on a fixed income. 20% of the people of Scranton live in poverty. With a median income of $38,000, the people of Scranton can no longer offered to pay for the city’s towering budget. As mayor, I will slash waste and unneeded spending, and focus on the real needs of the city and its people. A comparable city in Pennsylvania is capable of managing a city the size of Scranton at half the cost.
The city of Scranton budget is not sustainable. Politicians are selling the city’s public assets and continually raising taxes to pay for special interest pork. The city has spent years racking up debt, and current contracts have no real possibility of being seen fruition. Bankruptcy would allow the city to renegotiate bond obligations as well as union contracts so they’re fair and sustainable. As mayor, I will see it to that the people of Scranton are put first on the negotiation table.
The city has a blight problem. This problem is largely due to Scranton home values plummeting or remaining stagnant because home owners are often forced to make a choice between paying high property taxes or maintaining their property. They pay the taxes and the result is homes that begin falling apart. Eventually, these homes are either abandoned or seized, leaving the city with another boarded up home. As mayor, I will promote a program that offers homes within the government’s inventory free and clear to anyone who will bring the home up to code. This will keep surrounding home values from dropping, spur construction, attract investors within the city, and make our neighborhoods beautiful.
When I’m mayor, the City of Scranton will hire employees based on their merit. No one will get a job because of “who they know.” Nepotism will be a thing of the past. Only those who are there to serve the people of Scranton will have a role at City Hall.