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City controller files objection to Harrisburg 'Strong Plan'

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After no objections in Commonwealth Court last week and judicial approval at the beginning of this week, Harrisburg's amended debt recovery plan is being challenged.

Harrisburg Controller Dan Miller is objecting to the plan, which allows for the sale of the city’s incinerator and long-term lease of its parking assets.

Miller, who is running for mayor, said he continues to believe the plan presented by the receiver is not “comprehensive and sustainable” for the capital city. He said he has “grave concerns” the approved plan will not enable the city to balance its budget for the next three years.

“The receiver’s plan balances the city budget with smoke, mirrors and uncertainty,” Miller said.

He lays out his argument in a court briefing. He also submitted his own analysis using 2012 actual city revenue and adjusting it for the receiver’s estimated changes.

The plan relies on $5 million annually from the commonwealth for fire protection and emergency services. It also relies on $4 million in savings from union contracts that have not yet been achieved, he said.

“Although the 100 percent increase in the city’s EIT is only scheduled to last until 2016, the likelihood that it will become permanent can’t be ignored,” Miller said, referring to earned income tax, which was increased to 2 percent last year. “Other distressed communities in the Act 47 program have seen their EIT increased to 3.4 percent and more.”

Miller said he believes he has 30 days from the date of confirmation of the plan to file an objection, or that he at least had 30 days from the date the plan was filed. The latter was Aug. 26.

Click here to read Miller's objection filing and his own plan analysis.

Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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