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EDWARD SILVER v. FRANK L. RIZZO (12/07/78)

decided: December 7, 1978.

EDWARD SILVER, INDIVIDUALLY, AND PAUL PAVLIDES, INDIVIDUALLY, AND AS TRUSTEE AD LITEM OF THE NON-RESIDENTS TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION OF PENNSYLVANIA AND NEW JERSEY, AND OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, APPELLANTS
v.
FRANK L. RIZZO, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, AND LENNOX MOAK, DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, AND CHARLES E. DORFMAN, REVENUE COMMISSIONER, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Edward Silver, Individually, and Paul Pavlides, Individually and as Trustee Ad Litem of the Non-Resident Taxpayers Association of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and others similarly situated v. Frank L. Rizzo, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, and Lennox Moak, Director of Finance, and Charles E. Dorfman, Revenue Commissioner, No. 3348 June Term, 1976.

COUNSEL

Kenneth E. Aaron, with him Casper & Davidson, P.C., for appellants.

Stewart M. Weintraub, Assistant City Solicitor, with him John M. McNally, Jr., First Deputy City Solicitor, and Sheldon L. Albert, City Solicitor, for appellees.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers, Blatt, DiSalle and MacPhail. Judges Mencer and Craig did not participate. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.

Author: Bowman

[ 39 Pa. Commw. Page 118]

Appellants, individually and as trustee ad litem of the Non-Residents Taxpayers Association of Pennsylvania and New Jersey (hereinafter Taxpayers) have appealed from a final adjudication and order of the lower court granting the motion of the appellee city officials (hereinafter City) for summary judgment and dismissing their complaint.

Taxpayers instituted this suit by requesting of the lower court a preliminary injunction restraining the City of Philadelphia from levying, collecting, enforcing or imposing the Philadelphia Wage and Net Profits Tax, as amended by Bill No. 207 (Bill 207) and seeking an order declaring said bill void and unenforceable upon the premise that it had not only been promulgated in violation of the councilmanic procedures required by the 1954 Home Rule Charter of Philadelphia, but was also violative of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

[ 39 Pa. Commw. Page 119]

After evidentiary hearing and argument, the Chancellor issued an adjudication and decree nisi sustaining the validity of the ordinance. On exceptions, the court en banc adopted the Chancellor's adjudication and entered a final order dismissing the Taxpayers' exceptions. It is from this order that an appeal has been taken pursuant to Section 762 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S. ยง 762.

In support of this appeal, the Taxpayers reassert their objection to the procedures employed by City Council in enacting Bill 207.*fn1

This bill, as originally introduced on April 29, 1976, states in its title that it is an amendment to Section 19-1502(1) of The Philadelphia Code, "relating to the imposition of the 'Wage and Net Profits Tax,' by increasing the rate of the annual tax on salaries, wages, commissions, other compensation and net profits."

The body of the bill, to wit: Section 19-1502(1) of The Philadelphia Code as amended, recited a chronology of the historical increase of the wage and profits tax up to the amendments effective July 1, 1976. After July 1, 1971, the tax stood at a rate of three and five-sixteenths percent; the amended rate is blank.

Public hearings on Bill 207 commenced on May 13, 1976. Thereafter, separate hearing dates were set for May 17, 20 and 27. It was at the hearing on May 20 that the blank rate was filled in and presented to the ...


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