First Week Update

It was a good first week for our new Harrisburg taxpayers’ organization.

Standing together, we collectively and effectively stated our case to the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and anyone else listening. The work is far from done. I think the public servants working at DCED understand that if we oppose a position they take, we do not do so as their enemy. We are citizens simply demanding and expecting our public officials to perform their duties as public servants, keeping the rights of the people in the forefront of their mind. We simply seek integrity, fairness and competence if those who serve in these important roles of governance. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Over the weekend, various filings and communications that DEBT WATCH HARRISBURG presented to DCED will be posted on our website for public view (see “Public Documents“), as will the City’s responses. It is troubling that our City Administration would oppose the requests and demands of their own citizens and taxpayers for a more full and complete record at a Hearing on an Application that they assert was submitted on our behalf. DWH is not an enemy of the Administration. We simply disagree on some paths they have chosen, and some they’ve foregone or overlooked.

The Administration should be aware that DCED itself has very little money available to it to provide to Harrisburg, as it has 16 or so other Distressed Municipalities ahead of us in line. They plainly do not have anywhere near enough funds to legally transfer to help Harrisburg meet a full payroll, yet alone cover its projected cash-flow deficit. DCED cannot pledge the full faith and credit of the Commonwealth to back a bank loan taken by our City, so the instantaneous passage of an ACT 47 application does not provide any real leverage in the necessary short term borrowing being sought. One just does not have a financial or legal relationship to the other. For those who claim otherwise, show us the facts and the source of such claims.

Meeting a $1.2 million payroll requires roughly $25.00 per resident of Harrisburg. I urge CREDC and the Chamber to now bring their money, clout, and ingenuity to bear for the short term needs for our City to make payroll. They have publicly spoken of wanting our City to succeed; have had their members benefit from a long development boom; enjoyed the fruits of long-term tax abatements; and participated in the growth of this City. Please step forward and participate in the time of need, not as a knee jerk public relations move or political spin, but as an act of true citizenship.

On behalf of all of the members of DWH (I think we are about 40 and growing in just 7 days), I want to thank our fellow citizens for your strong support and kind words.

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PLEASE JOIN US

Email us at debtwatchhbg@gmail.com. with the following information:

Name, address, email address, & phone #.  Indicate which of these applies to you:

  • pays real estate taxes in Harrisburg.
  • pays Earned Income taxes to the City of Harrisburg.
  • required to pay Business Privilege/Mercantile Taxes to the City of Harrisburg.

Please know our plan is simple. We will be doing the job we stepped up to do until the job is done.

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