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Telly v. Pennridge School District Board of School Directors

May 24, 2010

DIANE TELLY, SUZANNE CLARKE, JENNIFER CROCUS, SUSAN PAFF, JUDITH PATTON, KATHLEEN PERCETTI, PATRICA H. SIWERT, AND SUE SNYDER
v.
PENNRIDGE SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS SHERRY LABS, DENISE BETTS, NANCY JONES, CAROL SCARBOROUGH, KARI WILLIAMS TYSINSKI, DOROTHY CAMPANA, AND JOHN P. MOHAN
v.
CENTRAL BUCKS SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS



Appeal of: Pennridge School District Board of School Directors and Central Bucks School District Board of School Directors.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Senior Judge Flaherty

Argued: March 15, 2010

BEFORE: HONORABLE RENEE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge, HONORABLE JIM FLAHERTY, Senior Judge.

Pennridge School District Board of School Directors (Pennridge) and Central Bucks School District Board of School Directors (Central Bucks)(Collectively, School Districts) appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County (trial court) which declared void and invalid Pennridge's "Resolution Establishing Tax Collector Compensation, Procedures, and Rules" and Central Bucks' "Procedures for Collecting School Taxes and Remuneration" (Resolutions) and enjoined the School Districts from implementing the aforesaid Resolutions pending further order of the trial court. The trial court further stated that the enabling Resolutions in force prior to the Resolutions questioned here, shall continue in full force and effect until further order of the trial court. The Pennridge Tax Collectors are Diane Telly, Suzanne Clarke, Jennifer Crocus, Susan Paff, Judith Patton, Kathleen Percetti, Patricia H. Siwert, and Sue Snyder (Pennridge Tax Collectors). The Central Bucks Tax Collectors are Sherry Labs, Denise Betts, Dorothy Campana, Nancy Jones, John P. Mohan, Carol Scarborough, and Kari Williams Tyksinski. (Central Bucks Tax Collectors) (Collectively, Tax Collectors). We reverse the decision of the trial court.

The Tax Collectors collect taxes for the School Districts, the County of Bucks and for their respective municipalities. On February 7, 2009, Pennridge passed a resolution which reduced the compensation rate for its tax collectors by 69%. On February 10, 2009, Central Bucks passed a resolution which reduced the compensation rate for its tax collectors by 79%. The Resolutions established the compensation for the Pennridge Tax Collectors for the period of 2010 through 2013 at $.70 per tax bill, the compensation for the Central Bucks Tax Collectors for the period of 2010-2011 was set at $.72 per tax bill, for 2011-2012 at $.81 per tax bill, for 2012-2013 at $.91 per tax bill and for 2013-2014 at $1.01 per tax bill.

The Central Bucks Resolution states in pertinent part as follows:

8. Remuneration for all required services shall be made to the tax collectors as follows:

Year Bill

Collected or liened 2010-2011 $0.72 2011-2012 $0.81 2012-2013 $0.91 2013-2014 $1.01

***

Locally elected tax collectors shall be given the option under this resolution to appoint a School District designated collector as the tax collector.

***

13. The Board strongly encourages all collectors to appoint a deputy tax collector to cover the entire term of this resolution.

14. The intent of the resolution is to implement adequate controls over revenues and to establish appropriate procedures to assure the timely transmittal of cash receipts to the District.

Central Bucks Resolution, R.R. at 778a. The Pennridge Resolution states the following:

1. Per-Bill Compensation Rate. Starting January 1, 2010 and thereafter until changed, if an elected tax collector elects to collect school real estate taxes, the school district will pay compensation to the elected tax collector at the rate of $0.70 per tax bill -- for each tax bill with respect to which the tax collector has collected..

***

3. Tax Collector Option to Disclaim. Elected tax collectors have the option of disclaiming responsibility for collection of school taxes, thereby allowing direct collection by the school district. If an elected tax collector disclaims, the tax collector will have no responsibility with respect to school taxes, and therefore no compensation will be paid to the tax collector. The disclaimer by an elected tax collector shall be on a form provided by the school district and must be signed and delivered to the school district by November 30 of the year in which the tax collector is elected. If there is no elected tax collector in a particular municipality and the municipality appoints a ...


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