Judge delays order requiring Harrisburg tax hike

Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A state judge who ordered the Harrisburg City Council to double the city's earned income tax has agreed to defer action — at least temporarily.

In an order issued Thursday and made public Friday, Commonwealth Court Judge Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter agreed to reconsider her Aug. 27 order at the request of the city, the city council and the city's state-appointed financial custodian.

Leadbetter said all three parties indicated in a teleconference that they wanted to try again to forge an agreement on how to repair the city's finances. She postponed any action until after oral arguments on the reconsideration motion on Oct. 4.

Cory Angell, spokesman for financial custodian William Lynch, said the parties agreed that continued litigation is "not in the best interest of the citizens of the city."

Harrisburg was placed in receivership by the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett in March due to problems driven mainly by disastrous financing involving its trash incinerator.

The city council had been scheduled to vote next week on the increase, which would boost the earned income tax rate from 1 percent to 2 percent for one year.

If it is implemented, a resident who earns $50,000 would pay $500 more in taxes. The revenue could be used only to finance services essential to public health, safety or welfare.

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