How much money would Bethlehem Township, Pa., lose if it had to give up the tiny percent it receives from certain income taxes? And it looks as if Allentown is coming up with the difference through development fees.
But the suburbs want to either have a drawn-out lawsuit — which I bet would cost them far more than the townships would save if they were able to keep their miniscule share of residents’ income from within the 130-acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone — or legislative changes, neither of which would come quickly.
But why would Lehigh Valley suburbs want to see Allentown recover? It’s not like they’ve been handed sweet developmental deals to turn all that farmland into taxable industrial parks, allowing property taxes to stay low compared to the cities. Or, have they?
I went to an IronPigs game the other day. Everyone there wasn’t from Allentown. But the game was played in Allentown. Much like, if this arena were built, the Phantoms would play here and people from across the region will be able to see a pro hockey game.
But short-sighted politicians in suburban communities say, no, they won’t do anything to help our biggest city, nothing to employ thousands of construction workers. That tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of residents’ tax money is more important.
The only people to benefit here are the law firms that represent these municipalities.
It’s a shame. So, I hope Allentown has a Plan B.