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JOHN C. NORRIS v. YORK COUNTY (02/19/88)

decided: February 19, 1988.

JOHN C. NORRIS, APPELLANT
v.
YORK COUNTY, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County, in the case of York County v. John C. Norris, No. 86-SU-02144-07.

COUNSEL

John W. Thompson, Jr., for appellant.

J. Christian Ness, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judge Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 542]

John C. Norris, Recorder of Deeds of York County, appeals a York County Common Pleas Court order enjoining him from personally retaining commissions from state realty transfer taxes. We affirm.

York County filed an action for declaratory judgment seeking, inter alia, an order limiting Norris' salary to that fixed by the County Commissioners, enjoining him from retaining commissions derived from transfer taxes and directing him to repay any improperly retained monies. The parties proceeded before the common pleas court on the County's request for injunctive relief as to Norris' entitlement to fees or commissions for 1986 and subsequent years.

Section 4 of the Act of May 5, 1981*fn1 provides, for our purposes, that:

[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 543]

(b) The department shall allow each county a commission equal to one per cent of the face value of the stamps sold or two hundred fifty dollars ($250) whichever is greater. The recorder of deeds shall pay the commission herein allowed Page 543} to the general fund of the county. The department shall pay the premium or premiums on any bond or bonds required by law to be procured by recorder of deeds for the performance of their duties under this Article. (Emphasis added.)

The common pleas court concluded that this provision entitled York County to commissions earned on transfer stamp sales and that the recorder pay commissions to the general fund of York County.

Norris contends that his right to retain commissions is established in Section 3 of the Act of January 25, 1966, P.L. (1965) 1556, 16 P.S. ยง 1555-2, which provides:

Each county officer shall pay all commissions received by him from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and from any political subdivision in excess of seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) in any calendar year, to ...


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