Amusement Tax Lawsuit Dropped Against Lehigh Gorge

A Pennsylvania city and school district have dropped their lawsuit against the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway seeking unpaid taxes and are not trying to entice the line to stay.

The Lehigh Gorge had said last month that it would cease operating from Jim Thorpe on Nov. 25 because the borough and a school district have sought to force it to pay more than $95,000 in amusement taxes.

The tourist line, which is owned by the Reading & Northern Railroad had refused to pay the tax, saying it is not an amusement and therefore not subject to the tax.

Borough and railroad officials have reportedly held two meetings seeking to return operations of the Lehigh Gorge to Jim Thorpe in 2020.

Borough council president Greg Strubinger said the city had decided to end the lawsuit, but reserved the right to refill it if the two sides fails to reach an agreement.

It is unclear if the borough will seek other means to collect the unpaid taxes.

Strubinger said one purpose of the discussions was show the railroad its concerns with some of the financial restraints and constraints that the city faces.

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