Harrisburg City Council’s Legal Response to the Office of the Receiver
Pennsylvania Constitution, Article IX, Section 10, Sentence 1.
“Subject only to the restrictions imposed by this section, the General Assembly shall prescribe the debt limits of all units of local government including municipalities and school districts.”
It’s this sentence from the PA Constitution that City Council attorney Neil Grover refers to, asking the Judge to consider the validity of the debt the City of Harrisburg incurred as guarantor of the Incinerator borrowing.
It’s one of three submissions Grover makes in City Council’s objections to the Office of the Receiver’s request to the Commonwealth Court to force Council to raise the Earned Income Tax 1% on City residents.
Overall, City Council is arguing that the Receiver lacks the authority to make Councilors vote to raise taxes declaring there is no Pennsylvania law that gives the Receiver the power to do so.
City Council not only asks the Judge to dismiss the Petition for the Writ of Mandamus, but also that she dissolve the Office of the Receiver based on issues of Constitutionality.
Then the controversial claim is presented—is the debt even valid based on a limit of debt the City of Harrisburg should have been able to incur?
The hearing on the Writ of Mandamus is scheduled for Thursday, August 23rd at 10:30am in Courtroom 3002, PA Judicial Center. Below is Harrisburg City Council’s Preliminary Objections in the matter: