City of Harrisburg, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Harrisburg by Ord. No. 6-1972. Amendments noted where applicable.]
CROSS-REFERENCES
Assessments: see Ch. 5-103.
Power to tax: see Local Tax Enabling Act, Act of Dec. 31, 1965, P.L. 1257, as amended (53 P.S. § 6924.101 et seq.).
Real Estate Registry: see Ch. 2-305.
Realty Transfer Tax Act, Act of March 4, 1971, P.L. 6, as amended (72 P.S. § 8101-C et seq.).

§ 5-701.1 Authority and purpose.

[Ord. No. 6-1990]
A. 
This chapter is enacted under the authority of the Local Tax Enabling Act and under the Realty Transfer Tax Act.
B. 
The tax imposed and assessed hereunder is levied for general revenue purposes.

§ 5-701.2 Definitions.

[Ord. No. 6-1990]
The following words and phrases of words, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ACQUIRED COMPANY
A real estate company which undergoes a change in the ownership interest in the company, however effected, if the change:
A. 
Does not affect the continuity of the company; and
B. 
Of itself or together with prior changes, has the effect of transferring, directly or indirectly, 90% or more of the total ownership interest in the company within a period of three years.
DOCUMENT
Any deed, instrument or writing which conveys, transfers, devises, vests, confirms, or evidences any transfer or devise of title to real estate, but does not include wills, mortgages, deeds of trust, or other instruments of like character given as security for a debt and deeds of release thereof to the debtor; or land contracts whereby the legal title does not pass to the grantee until the total consideration specified in the contract has been paid, or any cancellation thereof, unless the consideration is payable over a period of time exceeding 30 years; or instruments which solely grant, vest or confirm a public utility easement. "Document" shall also include a declaration of acquisition required to be presented for recording under Section 1102-C.5 of the Realty Transfer Tax Act.[1]
REAL ESTATE COMPANY
A corporation or association which is primarily engaged in the business of holding, selling or leasing real estate, 90% or more of the ownership interest in which is held by 35 or fewer persons and which:
A. 
Derives 60% or more of its annual gross receipts from the ownership or disposition of real estate; or
B. 
Holds real estate, the value of which comprises 90% or more of the value of its entire tangible assets holdings, exclusive of tangible assets which are freely transferable and actively traded on an established market.
TRANSFER
The transaction whereby all or part of the interest of any person in lands, tenements or hereditaments, situated wholly or partly within the municipal limits of the City, passes to another person by deed or other instrument of conveyance.
A. 
In the case of any bona fide sale of real estate at arm's length for actual monetary worth, the amount of the actual consideration therefor, paid or to be paid, including liens or other encumbrances thereon existing before the transfer and not removed thereby, whether or not the underlying indebtedness is assumed, and ground rents, or a commensurate part thereof where such liens or other encumbrances and ground rents also encumber or are charged against other real estate, provided that where such documents shall set forth a nominal consideration, the value thereof shall be determined from the price set forth in or actual consideration for the contract of sale;
B. 
In the case of a gift, sale by execution upon a judgment or upon the foreclosure of a mortgage by a judicial officer, transactions without consideration or for consideration less than the actual monetary worth of the real estate, a taxable lease, an occupancy agreement, a leasehold or possessory interest, any exchange of properties, or the real estate of an acquired company, the actual monetary worth of the real estate determined by adjusting the assessed value of the real estate for local real estate tax purposes for the common level ratio of assessed values to market values of the taxing district as established by the State Tax Equalization Board, or a commensurate part of the assessment where the assessment includes other real estate;
C. 
In the case of an easement or other interest in real estate, the value of which is not determinable under Subsection A or B, the actual monetary worth of such interest; or
D. 
The actual consideration for or actual monetary worth of any executory agreement for the construction of buildings, structures or other permanent improvements to real estate between the grantor and other persons existing before the transfer and not removed thereby or between the grantor, the agent or principal of the grantor or a related corporation, association or partnership and the grantee existing before or effective with the transfer.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 72 P.S. § 8102-C.5.

§ 5-701.3 Imposition of tax; rate.

Commencing July 1, 1972, and continuing thereafter, the City hereby levies, assesses, and imposes upon the transfer of real property situated wholly or partly within the municipal boundaries of the City, or any interest therein, a tax at the rate of 1% of the value thereof. Said tax is hereby levied, assessed, and imposed as aforesaid, regardless of where the instruments making the transfers are made, executed, or delivered, or where the actual settlements on such transfers take place. Said tax shall continue in force and effect without annual reenactments, unless the rate thereof is subsequently changed.

§ 5-701.4 Exempt transfers.

[Ord. No. 6-1990]
The following transfers of real estate or any interest therein are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:
A. 
Transfers by will, mortgage or by the intestate laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
B. 
A transfer by the owner of previously occupied residential premises to a builder of new residential premises when such previously occupied residential premises are taken in trade by such builder as part of the consideration from the purchaser of a new previously unoccupied single-family premises;
C. 
A transfer from a nonprofit industrial development agency or authority to a grantee of property conveyed by the grantee to that agency or authority as security for a debt of the grantee; a transfer to a nonprofit industrial development agency or authority; or a transfer from a nonprofit industrial development agency or authority to a grantee purchasing directly from it, but only if:
(1) 
The grantee shall directly use such real estate for the primary purpose of manufacturing, fabricating, compounding, processing, publishing, research and development, transportation, energy conversion, energy production, pollution control, warehousing, or agriculture; and
(2) 
The agency or authority has the full ownership interest in the real estate transferred;
D. 
A transfer between husband and wife, or a transfer between persons who were previously husband and wife but who have been divorced, provided such transfer is made within three months of the date of the granting of the final decree in divorce and the property or interest therein, subject to such transfer, was acquired by the husband and wife, or husband or wife, prior to the granting of the final decree in divorce;
E. 
A transfer between parent and child or the spouse of such child, or between parent and trustee for the benefit of a child or the spouse of such child;
F. 
A transfer by and between a principal and dummy party for the purpose of placing a mortgage or ground rent upon the premises;
G. 
A transfer contained in a correctional deed without consideration;
H. 
A transfer to the United States, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or to any other instrumentalities, agencies or political subdivisions thereof by gift, dedication or deed in lieu of condemnation, or deed of confirmation in connection with condemnation proceedings;
I. 
A transfer by reconveying by the condemning body the property condemned to the owner of record at the time of condemnation, which reconveyance may include property line adjustments, provided the reconveyance is made within one year of the date of condemnation;
J. 
A transfer of an interest of real estate by virtue of a lease agreement, except as provided in this chapter;
K. 
The transfer for no or nominal consideration to a trustee under a recorded trust agreement for the express purpose of holding title in trust as security for a debt contracted at the time of conveyance under which the trustee is not the lender and requiring the trustee to make reconveyance to the grantor-borrower upon the repayment of the debt.

§ 5-701.5 Location of land subject to tax.

[Ord. No. 6-1990]
In case of any land, tenements, hereditaments or interests therein, partly within and partly without the boundaries of the City, the tax imposed by this chapter shall be computed only on the consideration paid for the portion lying within the boundaries of the City. Payment of the tax imposed by this chapter shall be evidenced by the affixing of a documentary stamp or stamps to every document. In the case of an acquired company, said company shall, within 30 days of becoming an acquired company, present a declaration of acquisition with the recorder of each county in which it holds real estate for the affixation of documentary stamps and recording. Such declaration shall set forth the value of real estate holdings of the acquired company in such county. A copy of the Pennsylvania realty transfer tax declaration of acquisition may be submitted for this purpose.

§ 5-701.6 Time of payment and liability.

The tax imposed and assessed by this chapter is due and payable at the time of transfer and is to be paid by the grantee or purchaser involved in any such transfer, who shall remain personally liable for any unpaid taxes.

§ 5-701.7 Lien; collection.

The tax assessed and imposed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, when due and unpaid, shall become a lien on the lands, tenements, hereditaments, or any other interests therein, which are described in a document, and shall be collected as other taxes are collected in accordance with the provisions of the law.

§ 5-701.8 Adoption of state law.

[Ord. No. 6-1990]
To the extent not addressed in this chapter, the provisions of the Realty Transfer Tax Act, as the same shall be amended from time to time, are adopted by reference as provisions of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 72 P.S. § 8101-C et seq.

§ 5-701.99 Penalty.

See Chapter 5-717, Enforcement and Penalties.