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JAMES D. PRIOR ET AL. v. BOROUGH EDDYSTONE (06/16/77)

decided: June 16, 1977.

JAMES D. PRIOR ET AL.
v.
BOROUGH OF EDDYSTONE, APPELLANT. JAMES D. PRIOR ET AL. V. BOROUGH OF EDDYSTONE, APPELLEE



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of James D. Prior v. Borough of Eddystone, Misc. Docket A-33, Page 252, March 1976.

COUNSEL

Edward J. Zetusky, Jr., for Borough of Eddystone.

Kenneth E. Aaron, with him Davidson & Aaron, for James D. Prior, et al.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 537]

We are confronted with two appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County which denied a petition of 28 nonresidents of the Borough of Eddystone (Borough), seeking to have the

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 538]

Borough's Earned Income Tax Ordinance declared invalid.*fn1 Both appeals enter on the following question: Is the aggregate amount of taxes that a borough may impose under The Local Tax Enabling Act*fn2 (Tax Act) limited to an amount equal to the product of 12 mills times the market valuation, rather than the assessed valuation, of real estate in the borough?

The court below concluded that it is assessed valuation of real estate to which the 12-mill limitation is applicable but denied the petition because it was convinced that Section 17(b) of the Tax Act, 53 P.S. § 6917(b),*fn3 "provides clear and unmistakable directional

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 539]

    guides for the Borough, and . . . a remedy if action is not taken." The petitioners appealed here asserting that the court below should have declared the tax ordinance in question invalid because of that portion of Section 6 of the Tax Act, 53 P.S. § 6906, which reads as follows:

It shall be the duty of the court to declare the ordinance and the tax imposed thereby to be valid unless it concludes that the ordinance is unlawful or finds that the tax imposed is excessive or unreasonable; but the court shall not interfere with the reasonable discretion of the legislative body in selecting the subjects or fixing the rates of the tax. The court may declare invalid all or any portion of the ordinance or of the tax imposed or may reduce the rates of tax.

We affirm, but for the reason that we conclude that the aggregate amount of all taxes imposed by the Borough under the provisions of the Tax Act do not exceed the overall limit of tax revenues set by Section 17(a) ...


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