The Order: Commonwealth Court Judges Rules for 1% Earned Income Tax Increase on City Residents
The highlights of Commonwealth Court Judge Bonnie Leadbetter’s Order to Harrisburg City Council:
- Harrisburg City Council is ordered to “enact” a 1% Earned Income Tax increase on Harrisburg city residents within 15 days.
- The tax will be considered “temporary” and will be in place for one year. However, subsequent increases can be petitioned for.
- “The revenues generated as a result of the increase in the earned income tax rate shall be used only to pay for the services essential to the public health, safety or welfare”
- There’s no money for a Mayor’s Communications Director position. Bob Philbin’s position remains unfunded.
Receiver William Lynch’s response (as issued by his spokesperson): “We hope this will lead to some real cooperation with City Council as we go forward.”
Findings, Conclusion and Order
It is hereby ordered that:
1. The Preliminary Objections filed by City Council are OVERRULED. Other Other
2. The Petition for a Writ of Mandamus is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
3. The Petition is GRANTED as to the tax increase and City Council shall, within 15 days, enact a 1% temporary increase, effective for one year, in the earned income tax rate on residents of the City of Harrisburg, to be effective immediately upon enactment;
4. Subsequent temporary increase in the earned income tax rate may be sought by petition, if necessary;
5. The revenues generated as a result of the increase in the earned income tax rate shall be used only to pay for the services essential to the public health, safety or welfare;
6. The revenues shall not be subject to sharing with a school district;
7. No payments shall be made on debt associated with the Resource Recovery Facility until further order of the Court; and,
8. The Petition for Writ to mandate the City Council to amend the budget to provide for the hiring of a Director of Communications at an annual salary of $75,500 is DENIED at this time, without prejudice to further application if circumstances arise creating a compelling necessity.
See order for further details.