The Scranton, Pa., City Council on Thursday introduced increases in the real estate transfer, business privilege and mercantile taxes for 2013, the Times-Tribune in that city reported.

This comes as the city prepares to ask the Lackawanna Court of Common Pleas for approval to impose a 1% commuter tax.

Mayor Chris Doherty's administration and the council usually set these taxes and fees in January, after adopting the municipal budget, according to council members.

The court has set a Dec. 10 hearing date on Scranton's petition for court approval for the commuter tax, which many surrounding communities oppose.

The city must show the court what steps it has taken to increase taxes on its own residents first, the newspaper quoted council members as saying.

“We want to have certain taxes on the agenda before the court date for the commuter tax so we can show the court and demonstrate to them that we are in fact increasing other taxes, which is part of the justification for the commuter tax in itself,” said council Finance Chairman Frank Joyce, according to the Times-Tribune.

Scranton has struggled for access to the capital markets after letting the local parking authority default on a $1 million bond payment in June.

For two weeks in July, the teetering city paid its workers the federal minimum wage.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.