Scranton, Lackawanna County - Just days before a showdown on Scranton's proposed commuter tax, opponents of the plan have launched a fundraising drive to stop it.
Opponents say they need money to pay for legal bills.
Next Tuesday, a panel of three judges will hear challenges to the proposed commuter tax at the Lackawanna County courthouse.
City leaders say the commuter tax is a key part of the revised recovery plan and would bring in more than $2 million dollars next year alone.
"There's over 20,000 commuters in Scranton so even as little as $10 or $20 a commuter would give us enough money so that we'd be able to pursue this thing in commonwealth court," Mayfield mayor Alex Chelik said.
Scranton leaders say the money the commuter tax will bring in will help to keep property taxes for Scranton homeowners at 12-percent next year.
Many commuters say they understand the financial troubles Scranton is facing but they don't think the city should be punishing them.
"I think they're taking advantage of the fact that people need jobs," Ron Berry of Swoyersville said. "In a big city, they can get away with it."
Opponents of the commuter tax have formed a group called STOP and have even launched a website.
Opponents say commuters are already paying their fair share now by paying a one-percent wage tax and say many others go to restaurants and pay for parking.
"If you're in the parking authority now and you're paying $112 a month, that's over $1,300 a year that a commuter is giving to the coffers of the city of Scranton and that's more than three-quarters of the property owners pay in property taxes," Mayor Chelik said.
Opponents of the commuter tax say besides asking individual commuters for money, 17 of 39 communities in Lackawanna County have also already made donations. Mayor Chelik says five or six others have also made commitments.
Checks can be made payable to and sent to:
LCAB STOP SCRANTON
739 Penn Avenue
Mayfield, PA 18433
Donations can also be made online at www.stopscranton.com