November 30, 2007

100th Post! - Commuter Tax in Johnstown

As I celebrate my 100th post here at Doe Valley, I thought I would get back to the local roots of the area. So here goes.

How does a city try to encourage business growth and attract more workers to the area?

Answer (according to Johnstown City Council):
Add a commuter tax to fund the deficiencies with the city government.

The city of Johnstown, PA passed a commuter tax that will tack effect January 1st. The tax will be 0.2% for those employees that work in the city, but live outside the city.

When I worked in Johnstown in 2001, they had a similar commuter tax. At the end of the year when I filed my taxes, I included a nice little note making suggestions about how NOT to spend my tax money. I never did get a response back from them.

I question the legality of any commuter type tax. Why? Remember the Boston Tea party? It is taxation without representation. Since the people who are taxed (the commuters) do not live in the city, they have no authority to vote for those elected officials. Therefore, they are being taxed, but have no say in the governing process.

Not surprisingly, the vote was 9-0 in favor of the commuter tax. Why? Because it doesn’t effect them! Note: the council did vote to raise the income tax of the residents as well.

When will the government learn, you cannot tax, borrow, and spend your way to grow. Growth comes by reducing/removing the barriers for employers and homeowners.

1 comment:

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