Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County in case of Robert B. Hargreaves v. Mid-Valley School District, No. 435 September Term, 1977.
John P. Pesota, for appellant.
Thomas M. Hart, for appellee.
Judges Mencer, Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 111]
Mid-Valley School District (school district) has appealed from a decision of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas ordering that it pay to appellee Robert Hargreaves, an elected tax collector within its district, commissions on certain returns for delinquent taxes which were subsequently collected by the Lackawanna County Tax Claims Bureau (the Bureau).
Before January of 1973, local tax collectors within Lackawanna County, including appellee Hargreaves, made returns of delinquent taxes to the County Commissioners under the Act of May 29, 1931,
[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 112]
P.L. 280, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5971a et seq. (Act of 1931).
The County Commissioners in January of 1973 established a new tax collection system by a resolution adopting the Real Estate Tax Sale Law, Act of July 7, 1947, P.L. 1368, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5860.101 et seq. (Tax Sale Law).
The new system established by the Tax Sale Law provides for the creation of a Tax Claims Bureau to take over delinquent-tax collection duties from the County Commissioners and the County Treasurer. However, the duties of tax collectors do not differ significantly from those under the Act of 1931, except that, under Section 306 of the Tax Sale Law, 72 P.S. § 5860.306, the collectors now make delinquency returns to the Tax Claims Bureau, and their initial returns must include all delinquencies from prior years which have not yet been reduced to a judgment.
No section of the Tax Sale Law provides for any commission to be paid to tax collectors on delinquent taxes, but Section 6 of the Act of 1931, 72 P.S. § 5971f, provided that:
After such return of taxes shall have been made in accordance with the provisions hereof, responsibility of the tax collector or receiver of taxes for the collection of the taxes so returned shall cease. . . . On any unpaid taxes returned to the county commissioners, the tax collector or receiver of taxes shall be entitled to receive a commission of two per centum (2%) from the taxing district for which such tax is returned when the tax is paid by the county treasurer to the proper taxing district. . . .
The issue here is whether or not Hargreaves is entitled to 2% commission on taxes which the Bureau collected after July of 1973 under the Tax Sale Law, on returns ...