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SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/13/79)

decided: March 13, 1979.

SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PAUL J. SMITH, SECRETARY OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA AND DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Labor and Industry in case of Appeal of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, dated September 27, 1976.

COUNSEL

Joseph F. Keener, Jr., with him Norman Hegge, Jr., for petitioner.

Sandra S. Christianson, Assistant Attorney General, for respondents.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 219]

The issue in this case is whether the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is exempt from paying the annual assessment to the Workmen's Compensation Administration Fund (Fund) assessed upon insurers and self-insurers by Section 446(b) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act), Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, as amended, added by Section 1 of the Act of February 2, 1976, P.L. 2, 77 P.S. ยง 1000.2(b). We conclude that SEPTA is exempt from this assessment and thereby reverse the Final Determination of the Secretary of Labor and Industry, which approved assessments to the Fund.

Section 446 of the Act, passed on February 2, 1976, states:

(a) There is hereby created a special fund in the State Treasury, separate and apart from all other public moneys or funds of this Commonwealth, to be known as the Workmen's Compensation Administration Fund. The purpose of this fund shall be to finance the operating and administrative expenses of the Department of Labor and Industry, including the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board and staff,

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 220]

    but not the State Workmen's Insurance Fund, in the direct administration of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act and The Pennsylvania Occupation Disease Act. . . .

(b) The fund shall be maintained by no more than one (1) annual assessment payable in any calendar year on insurers and self-insurers under this act, including the State Workmen's Insurance Fund. . . .

The Department of Labor and Industry (Department) says that Section 446 gives it the power to levy an assessment against SEPTA for the Fund.

SEPTA argues it does not have such power and that SEPTA is exempt from any assessment. This is so, asserts SEPTA, by virtue of Section 39(a) of the Metropolitan Transportation Authorities Act of 1963, Act of August 14, 1963, P.L. ...


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