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NEAL BOYER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/19/81)

decided: March 19, 1981.

NEAL BOYER, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Armstrong County in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Neal Boyer, No. 1978-0018-Summary.

COUNSEL

Lee J. Calarie, Calarie and Calarie, for appellant.

J. D. Heim, McCue, Bertocchi and Heim, for appellee.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., MacPhail and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 35]

Appellant Neal Boyer seeks reversal of an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Armstrong County adjudging him guilty of a summary criminal offense: failure to file an income tax return required under a borough earned income tax ordinance. The lower court heard the matter on a trial de novo, after Boyer appealed to that court from his conviction by a district justice.

In 1978 appellant Boyer was served with a private criminal complaint, issued on charges by the tax collector of the Borough of Rural Valley (Borough) that Boyer had not paid income taxes or reported his income for the year 1977 as required by the Borough's Earned Income Tax ordinance of 1976. The ordinance imposed a 1% tax on all compensation paid after January 1, 1977, to residents, and taxed in like manner all compensation paid to non-residents for work done or services rendered in the Borough. The ordinance also imposed a 1% tax on the net profits earned after January 1, 1977, by businesses, professions and other activities conducted by residents or conducted within the Borough by non-residents.

The Borough's income tax ordinance was enacted pursuant to powers conferred upon political subdivisions

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 36]

    by The Local Tax Enabling Act (Act).*fn1 Section 13 IX(a)*fn2 of the Act provides in pertinent part as follows:

Any person who fails, neglects, or refuses to make any declaration or return required by the ordinance . . . shall, upon conviction thereof before any justice of the peace [district justice] . . . be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each offense, and costs, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs to be imprisoned for a period not exceeding thirty days.

The introductory clause of Section 13 of the Act declares that the entire Section shall be included in or construed to be a part of any earned income tax levied by any political subdivision pursuant to the Act.

Before this Court, the appellant first challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. More specifically, he asserts that the evidence adduced by the prosecution below was insufficient to show that he resided in the Borough or that he conducted a business there as to be subject to the Borough's income tax ordinance. The appellant also argues that the Borough ordinance and The Local Tax Enabling Act violate the ...


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