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CITY PITTSBURGH v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/24/87)

decided: December 24, 1987.

CITY OF PITTSBURGH, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, AND RICHARD S. CALIGUIRI, AN INDIVIDUAL AND MAYOR, CITY OF PITTSBURGH, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, RICHARD L. THORNBURGH, GOVERNOR, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, AND JAMES I. SCHEINER, SECRETARY OF REVENUE, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, RESPONDENTS



Original Jurisdiction in the case of City of Pittsburgh, a municipal corporation, and Richard S. Caliguiri, an individual and Mayor, City of Pittsburgh v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and James I. Scheiner, Secretary of Revenue, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

COUNSEL

D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, with him, George R. Specter, Deputy City Solicitor, for petitioners.

D. P. Minahan, Deputy Attorney General, with him, Susan J. Forney, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Andrew S. Gordon, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Litigation Section, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondents.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judges MacPhail, Doyle, Colins and Palladino. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. Judge Colins concurs in the result only. Judge Craig and Judge Barry did not participate in this decision.

Author: Macphail

[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 189]

Petitioners seek injunctive and declaratory judgment relief in our original jurisdiction*fn1 requesting that we declare unconstitutional Section 14 of The Local Tax Enabling Act (LTEA), Act of December 31, 1965, P.L. 1257, as amended, 53 P.S. § 6914*fn2 and Section 302(a)(7)

[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 190]

    of the Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law (HRC Act), Act of April 13, 1972, P.L. 184, as amended, 53 P.S. § 1-303(a)(7)*fn3 and that we enjoin the Commonwealth acting through the Governor and the Secretary of Revenue from the enforcement of those laws.

Respondents have filed preliminary objections, Petitioners have filed an application for summary relief and Respondents have filed a motion to strike the affidavits attached to Petitioners' application. All three of these matters are now before us for disposition.

From Petitioners' petition for review, we ascertain that the City of Pittsburgh (City) is a home rule charter municipality; that it has enacted an ordinance pursuant to the provisions of LTEA imposing a 1% tax on the salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation earned by residents of the City, on the salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation earned by non-residents for work done or services performed or rendered in the City, and on net profits earned from businesses, professions and other activities conducted in the City by non-residents; that it has, pursuant to its home rule powers, enacted an ordinance which imposes a 1.125% tax on the salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation earned by residents of the City, and on the net profits earned from businesses, professions or other activities conducted by residents of the City; and that approximately 57% of the City's daily work force is comprised of commuting non-residents who pay an earned income tax in the municipality where they reside.

[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 191]

The gravamen of the petition for review is that the City's residents bear a constitutionally unfair tax burden by reason of the statutory provisions hereinbefore noted. In particular, Petitioners aver that the LTEA violates the uniformity clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution,*fn4 that the HRC Act violates 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution*fn5 and Sections 1 and 2 of Article IX of the Pennsylvania Constitution and that both statutes violate 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3631 (Fair Housing Law).

Respondents' preliminary objections consist of (1) a demurrer stating that the City is barred from invoking either federal or state constitutional protections against the Commonwealth (2) a demurrer stating that the City lacks standing to assert the constitutional rights of its residents (3) a demurrer stating that the Governor and Secretary are not proper parties and (4) a demurrer stating that the statutory classifications set forth in the challenged statutes bear a ...


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