It's official: 2 townships sue over NIZ

HANOVER TWP., Pa. - As promised, two Northampton County townships have filed a lawsuit over Allentown's Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which will be used to finance the city's new hockey arena project.

Hanover and Bethlehem townships filed suit Thursday in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania against the state, including Gov. Tom Corbett, Daniel Meuser, secretary of revenue; Attorney General Linda Kelly, Auditor General Jack Wagner and Treasurer Robert McCord.

Tax money generated by employees inside the zone will help fund projects in the NIZ -- like the arena.

But the townships say money generated by their residents who work in the zone belong to the township.

The NIZ law was authored by Pennsylvania Senator Pat Browne.

He says he believes the townships will get all their money back once the zone starts generating new business.

"The suit filed in Commonwealth Court earlier today stands on its merits," said Hanover Township Manager John Finnegan. "Hanover Township is not opposed to the arena project, the redevelopment of downtown Allentown, or the creation of jobs in the Lehigh Valley. Hanover, like many of the union representatives who attended and spoke at the Board of Supervisors meeting on March 27, 2012, has requested information including financing details without a response from those who should have answers. Numerous requests for information has been denied or delayed."

Hanover and Bethlehem townships say they expect other municipalities in both Lehigh and Northampton counties to join in the suit in the coming weeks.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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