Property Owners Against Illegal Scranton Garbage Fees

For: Adam Guiffrida (DBA) "Fight Scranton Fees Account"
Scranton, PA
Organizer: Adam Guiffrida
Property Owners Against Illegal Scranton Garbage Fees (Adam Guiffrida (DBA) "Fight Scranton Fees Account")
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Raised by 14 donors

The Story

  • As Scranton homeowners, we have all been burdened by ridiculous property taxes. Now that the City has pushed their limits on tax increases they have decided to create new revenue sources. Scranton uses dog license fees, rental registration fees, garbage collection fees, and building permit fees to disguise its exploitation of the residents and property owners. As social security has not been increasing, city wages and real estate values have been surely decreasing. Primarily the elderly population has been extremely burdened by the soaring costs of living. Just like the majority of the elderly who can no longer sell their homes and move, the police, firemen, and city employees are confined to living in Scranton. They are directly affected by the outrageous fees and taxes that do not stop rising.
  • It is time we get together and start forcing the changes we need to be made in order to preserve the future of Scranton. As time goes on, we all anticipate gradual increases in our everyday expenses. But, the City of Scranton has taken that to a new level. Increasing garbage fees by 69% in 2015, increasing rental registration fees by 150% in 2015, and increasing local services tax by 150% in 2015, is absolutely unacceptable. Oddly enough, the law states this unacceptable and illegal. As an owner of multiple properties in Scranton, I challenged the rental registration fees in the City and have won the case. It is now a certified class action lawsuit and will require Scranton to pay back a portion of the excessive fees it was unlawfully charging to landlords.
  • For round two, we will be challenging the excessive GARBAGE FEES that Scranton has recently almost doubled. Their revenues and expenses are clearly laid out in their budgets and audits to the public. With pure disregard to the property owners, they have turned the garbage fees into a "cash cow" to fund the never-ending pit of tax payer money. The time has come and it is now. I am calling on all landlords and homeowners to help fund this legal battle. It will preserve the longevity of the people who chased the American dream of home ownership. Please feel free to donate as little or as much as you can. Every dollar counts. With your help, a victory against Scranton on this scale will be a lesson to the politicians that look upon us homeowners as an open wallet. Please see the details and links to media press for the rental registration case that was recently ruled on by one of the honorable judges of Lackawanna County.
  • We are happy to inform everyone that the landlords, developers, and property managers of Scranton have won a major victory. The City of Scranton has now learned that the days of extorting the City's investors are over. We want the administration to know that the property owners of Scranton will no longer be treated like an endless source of revenue. The detrimental real estate tax increases were enough. If Scranton cannot overcome its financial distress with a 125% real estate tax hike over five years, than the administration will need to come up with new sources of revenue that do not include taxes and fees.

Here are the brief points of the Judge's most recent order:

  • The lawsuit is now legally certified as a "Class Action".
  • Any property owner who has paid ANY fees towards rental registration in the years 2014 and 2015 are considered members of the "Class"
  • All members of the "Class" will be entitled to a refund of excessive fees from the City of Scranton. BUT any member MUST send a letter to the City of Scranton "Opting In" to this class action and listing which fees they have paid
  • We are meeting with City Officials soon to determine the "Fair amount" that should've been charged. If no agreement is reached, we are prepared to litigate the case as long as it takes and allow the Judge to determine what the allowable fees are.
  • Interestingly enough the City of Scranton miraculously discovered a master list of properties. It shows all properties that are listed as multi-family homes in Scranton. There are a total of 5,870. So my logic tells me that every multifamily is a minimum of 2 units. This brings an absolute unit count to 11,740. With all of the larger scale buildings in the City, we estimate the City's rental units over 20,000.
Most of all, I would like to thank Attorney Paul Batyko III for his incredible job with the case. His perseverance and true passion for upholding the fairness of the law has landed us a landmark victory over Scranton.

Below is the Link to The Judge's Order:
Judge Nealon's Order to Certify Class Action

  1. Media Press Related:
Judge Allows Class Action Lawsuit Against Scranton's Rental Registration Program/fees

Landlord fights Scranton's rental registration fees

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