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Lehigh Valley

Lower Saucon pulls out of lawsuit against NIZ

LOWER SAUCON TWP., Pa. - Lower Saucon Township has dropped out of the lawsuit against Allentown's Neighborhood Improvement Zone.

Lower Saucon Council voted 5 - 0 Wednesday night for a resolution that terminated the NIZ litigation, strictly under a conditional agreement.

Residents of Lower Saucon will no longer have their earned income tax withheld from their municipality due to new conditions under the state budget.

The NIZ of Allentown had originally stated that residents of other municipalities who work within a certain section of the downtown area would have their earned income tax used for the NIZ. Within the downtown area is where the hockey arena construction site is located.

With the new conditions that have been set, only those who are both residents and employees of the City of Allentown will have their earned income tax put towards the improvement zone.

When the lawsuit was initiated, it was joined together by 18 municipalities and one school district, all wondering why Allentown was "stealing" their money. The surrounding communities stood together, questioning how Allentown could be withholding money from the employee's rightful township.

"That was one of the issues the township had initially was nobody could tell us how much money was going from here to there," stated Council President Glenn Kern, who said no one could provide the township with a substantial financial report of the anticipated income they were to receive.

Kern also said that they will be satisfied with the agreement if the conditions continue to apply.

The money is to be returned to the township. It is still unclear how much money will be recoiled by the township, but the financial report will be present at the next council meeting.

Council met in an executive session prior to the meeting specifically about the topic of the lawsuit. 

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