Easton City Council approved a commuter tax Wednesday, raising the earned income tax for more than 10,000 people who work in Easton but live outside the city an average of $127.
City officials estimate the new tax will generate $1.35 million, which Easton can use only toward offsetting a $1.8 million increase in pension obligations. The commuter tax, which takes effect Jan. 1, raises the earned income tax for non-Easton residents from 1 percent to 1.75 percent, the same rate city residents pay.
Council’s 6-1 vote came after an impassioned debate between Mayor Sal Panto Jr. and Councilman Jeff Warren, who wrote a recent op-ed piece opposing the commuter tax. Panto accused Warren, the only council member to vote against the tax, of political grandstanding.
“You keep saying you’re against this but you haven’t laid out any alternatives,” Panto told Warren. “What are you coming up with? What is your solution?”