[Adopted 12-12-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-11]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. III, Occupation Privilege Tax, adopted 12-28-1970 by Ord. No. 1970-7 (Ch. 24, Part 4, of the 1990 Code), as amended.
The following words and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this article, except where the context or language clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
- (1) Earned income, i.e., compensation, as determined under Section 303 of the Pennsylvania Tax Reform Code of 1971 (72 P.S. § 7303) and regulations in 61 Pa. Code Part 1, Subpart B, Article V (relating to personal income tax), not including, however, wages or compensation paid to individuals on active military service. Employee business expenses are allowable deductions as determined under Article III of the Tax Reform Code of 1971, and the amount of any housing allowance provided to a member of the clergy shall not be taxable as earned income.
- (2) Net profits, i.e., the net income from the operation of a business, profession or other activity, except corporations, determined under Section 303 of the Tax Reform Code of 1971 (72 P.S. § 7303) and regulations in 61 Pa. Code Part 1, Subpart B, Article V (relating to personal income tax).
- (3) The term does not include income which is not paid for services provided and which is in the nature of earnings from an investment. For taxpayers engaged in a business, profession or activity of farming, the term shall not include:
- (a) Any interest earnings generated from any monetary accounts or investment instruments of the farming business;
- (b) Any gain on the sale of farm machinery;
- (c) Any gain on the sale of livestock held 12 months or more for draft, breeding or dairy purposes; and
- (d) Any gain on the sale of other capital assets of the farm.
- An individual, partnership, association, corporation, governmental body, agency or other entity employing one or more persons on a salary, wage, commission or other compensation basis, including a self-employed person.
- Any person, male or female, engaged in any occupation, trade or profession in the Township of Swatara.
- Any trade, profession, business, or undertaking of any type, kind or character, including services, domestic or other, carried on or preformed in the Township of Swatara for which compensation is charged or received, whether by means of salary, wages, commissions or fees for services rendered.
- The local services tax, in the amount of $52, levied by this article.
- TAX ADMINISTRATOR
- The Tax Administrator of Swatara Township as provided for under Article VI, § 261-59, Schedule 1, of this chapter and/or such bureau, clerk, collector, private agency or other person appointed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners to administer, assess and collect the local services tax.
- TOWNSHIP OF SWATARA
- The area within the boundaries of the Township of Swatara.
"He," "his" or "him" shall mean and indicate the singular and plural number, as well as male, female and neuter gender.
Imposition of tax. The Township of Swatara levies and imposes on each occupation engaged in by individuals within the Township of Swatara during the calendar year of 2008 and each calendar year thereafter a local services tax. This tax is in addition to all other taxes of any kind or nature hereto before levied by the Township of Swatara.
Exemption from tax. The following persons shall be exempt from the local services tax:
Any person who served in any war or armed conflict in which the United States was engaged and is honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service if, as a result of military service, the person is blind, paraplegic or a double or quadruple amputee or has a service-connected disability declared by the United States Veterans' Administration or its successor to be a total 100% permanent disability.
Any person who serves as member of a reserve component of the armed forces and is called to active duty at any time during the taxable year. For the purposes of this subsection, "reserve component of the armed forces" shall mean the United States Army Reserve, United States Coast Guard Reserve, United States Navy Reserve, United States Marine Corps Reserve, United States Air Force Reserve, the Pennsylvania Army National Guard or the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.
Any person whose total earned income and net profits from all sources within Swatara Township is less than $12,000 for the calendar year in which the tax is levied.
A person seeking to claim an exemption from the local services tax may annually file an exemption certificate with the Township of Swatara and with the person's employer affirming that the person reasonably expects to receive earned income and net profits from all sources within the Township of Swatara of less that $12,000 in the calendar year for which the exemption certificate is filed. In the event the Township of Swatara utilizes a tax collection officer pursuant to the Local Tax Enabling Act (53 P.S. § 6901 et seq. and 53 P.S. § 6924.101 et seq.), the Township of Swatara shall provide a copy of the exemption certificate to that officer. The exemption certificate shall have attached to it a copy of all of the employee's last pay stubs or W-2 forms from employment within the Township of Swatara for the year prior to the fiscal year for which the employee is requesting to be exempted from the local services tax. Upon receipt of the exemption certificate and until otherwise instructed by the Township of Swatara or except as required by Subsection C(2), the employer shall not withhold the tax from the person during the calendar year or the remainder of the calendar year for which the exemption certificate applies. Employers shall ensure that the exemption certificate forms are readily available to employees at all times and shall furnish each new employee with a form at the time of hiring. The uniform exemption certificates required by this subsection shall be developed by and made available to the Township of Swatara and employers by the Department of Community and Economic Development.
With respect to a person who claimed an exemption for a given calendar year from the local services tax, upon notification to an employer by the person or by the Township of Swatara that the person has received earned income and net profits from all sources within the Township of Swatara equal to or in excess of $12,000 in that calendar year or that the person is otherwise ineligible for the tax exemption for that calendar year, or upon an employer's payment to the person of earned income within the Township of Swatara in an amount equal to or in excess of $12,000 in that calendar year, an employer shall withhold the local services tax from the person under Subsection C(3).
If a person who claimed an exemption for a given calendar year from the local services tax becomes subject to the tax for the calendar year under Subsection C(2), the employer shall withhold the tax for the remainder of that calendar year. The employer shall withhold from the person, for the first payroll period after receipt of the notification under Subsection C(2), a lump sum equal to the amount of tax that was not withheld from the person due to the exemption claimed by the person under this subsection, plus the per-payroll amount due for that first payroll period. The amount of tax withheld per payroll period for the remaining payroll periods in that calendar year shall be the same amount withheld for other employees. In the event the employment of a person subject to withholding of the tax under this subsection is subsequently severed in that calendar year, the person shall be liable for any outstanding balance of tax due, and the Township of Swatara may pursue collection under this article.
Beginning with the first day of January 2008, each occupation, as herein before defined in § 261-17, engaged in within the corporate limits of the Township of Swatara shall be subject to a local services tax in the amount of $52 per annum, said tax to be paid by the individual so engaged during any portion of each calendar year in which the tax is effective.
All funds derived from the local services tax may be used only for:
Emergency services, which shall include emergency medical services, police services and/or fire services.
Road construction and/or maintenance.
Reduction of property taxes.
Property tax relief through implementation of a homestead and farmstead exclusion in accordance with 53 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 85, Subchapter F (relating to the homestead property exclusion), and pursuant to the provisions of Section 22.6 of the Local Tax Enabling Act (53 P.S. § 6922.6).
Editor's Note: 53 P.S. § 6922.6 was repealed July 2, 2008, by P.L. 197, No. 32, § 34. See now 53 P.S. § 6924.330.
No less than 25% of the funds derived from the local services tax shall be used for emergency services; otherwise, the allocation of the funds derived from said tax among the purposes of Subsection B(1), (2), (3), or (4) above shall be determined solely by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Swatara.
Each employer within the Township of Swatara, as well as those employers situated outside the Township of Swatara but who engage in business within the Township of Swatara, is hereby charged with the duty of collecting from each of his employees engaged by him and performing for him within the Township of Swatara the said tax of $52 per annum and making a return and payment thereof to the Tax Administrator and/or such other bureau, clerk, collector, private agency or person appointed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Swatara Township. Further, each employer is hereby authorized to deduct this tax from each employee in his employ, whether said employee is paid by salary, wages or commission, and whether or not part or all such services are performed within the Township of Swatara. The employer shall collect the local services tax by assessing each employee a pro rata share of the tax for each payroll period which the employee is engaging in an occupation. The pro rata share of the tax assessed on the employee for a payroll period shall be determined by dividing $52, levied for the calendar year, by the number of payroll periods established by the employer for the calendar year. For purposes of determining the pro rata share, an employer shall round down the amount of the tax collected each payroll period to the nearest one-hundredth of a dollar. Collection of the local services tax levied pursuant to this article shall be made on a payroll-period basis for each payroll period in which the employee is engaged in an occupation, except that in a case of concurrent employment, an employer shall refrain from withholding the local services tax if the employee provides a recent pay statement from a principal employer that includes the name of the employer, the length of the payroll period and the amount of the local services tax withheld and a statement from the employee that the pay statement is from the employee's principal employer and the employee will notify other employers of a change in principal place of employment within two weeks of its occurrence. The employee shall utilize the uniform employee statement form provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
Each employer shall prepare and file a return showing a computation of the tax on forms to be supplied to him by the Tax Administrator. Each employer shall file this return and make payment of the tax withheld from its employees. If the employer fails to file said return and pay said tax, whether or not he makes the collection thereof from the salary, wages or commissions paid by him to said employee, the employer shall be responsible for the payment of the tax in full as though the tax had originally been levied against him.
In the event of the overpayment by an employee of the local services tax, which overpayment in that calendar year exceeds $1, the employee shall be entitled to a refund of such overpayment. Any claim for refund shall be made pursuant to the provisions of Article VI, Local Taxpayers Bill of Rights, of this chapter. Refunds made within 75 days of a refund request or 75 days after the last day the employer is required to remit the local services tax for the last quarter of the calendar under Section 9 of the Local Tax Enabling Act (53 P.S. § 6909), whichever is later, shall not be subject to interest imposed under § 261-59, Schedule 1, Paragraph 108, of Article VI of this chapter.
Each employer shall, in each calendar year, use his employment records from the first day of January to March 31 for determining the number of employees from whom said tax shall be deducted and paid over to the Tax Administrator and/or such other bureau, clerk, collector, private agency or person appointed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Swatara Township on or before April 30. Supplemental reports shall be made by each employer on July 31, October 31 and January 31 of the following calendar year of new employees as reflected on his employment records from April 1 to June 30, July 1 to September 30 and October 1 to December 31. Payments on these supplemental reports shall be made on July 31, October 31 and January 31 of the following calendar year, respectively.
Each individual who shall have more than one occupation within the Township of Swatara shall be subject to the payment of this tax on his principal occupation, and his principal employer shall deduct this tax and deliver to him evidence of deductions on a form to be furnished to the employer by the Tax Administrator and/or such other bureau, clerk, collector, private agency or person appointed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Swatara Township, which form shall be evidence of deduction having been made and, when presented to any other employer, shall be authority for such employer to not deduct this tax from the employee's wages, but to include such employee on his return by setting forth his name, address and the name and account number of the employer who deducted this tax.
In the event a person is engaged in more than one occupation, that is, concurrent employment, or an occupation which requires his working in more than one political subdivision during a payroll period, the priority of claim to collect such local services tax shall be in the following order:
First, the political subdivision in which a person maintains his principal office or is principally employed;
Second, the political subdivision in which the person resides and works, if such a tax is levied by that political subdivision;
Third, the political subdivision in which a person is employed and which imposes the tax nearest in miles to the person's home. The place of employment shall be determined as of the day the taxpayer first becomes subject to the tax during each payroll period.
It is the intent of this provision that no person shall be subject to the payment of the local services tax in any payroll period by more than one political subdivision, irrespective of the number of political subdivisions within which such person may be employed within any given payroll period. In case of dispute, a tax receipt of the taxing authority for that payroll period declaring that the taxpayer has made prior payment constitutes prima facie certification of payment to all other political subdivisions.
All self-employed individuals who perform services of any type or kind, engaged in any occupation or profession within the Township of Swatara, shall be required to comply with this article and pay the tax to the Tax Administrator and/or such other bureau, clerk, collector, private agency or person appointed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Swatara Township on April 30 of the calendar year, or as soon thereafter as he engages in an occupation. In the event a self-employed person is engaged in more than one occupation within or without the Township of Swatara or an occupation which requires his working in more than one political subdivision during the year, reporting priority of claims and prima facie certification of payment shall be in accordance with § 261-23A and B.
All employers and self-employed individuals residing or having their place of business outside of the Township of Swatara but who perform services of any type or kind or engage in any occupation or profession within the Township of Swatara do, by virtue thereof, agree to be bound by and subject themselves to the provisions, penalties and regulations promulgated under this article with the same force and effect as though they were residents of the Township of Swatara. Further, any individual engaged in an occupation within the Township of Swatara and an employee of a nonresident employer may, for the purpose of this article, be considered a self-employed person, and, in the event this tax is not paid, the Township of Swatara shall have the option of proceeding against either the employer or employee for the collection of this tax as hereinafter provided in §§ 261-26 through 261-28.
It shall be the duty of the Tax Administrator of Swatara Township, and/or such other bureau, clerk, collector, private agency or person appointed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Swatara Township, to accept and receive payments of this tax and to keep a record thereof showing the amount received by this Tax Administrator, bureau, agency, or person from each employer or self-employed person, together with the date the tax was received.
The Tax Administrator of Swatara Township, and/or such other bureau, clerk, collector, private agency or person appointed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Swatara Township, is hereby charged with the administration and enforcement of this article and is hereby charged and empowered to prescribe, adopt and promulgate rules and regulations relating to any matter pertaining to the administration and enforcement of this article, including specific provisions for the examination and correction of any return made in compliance with this article and any payment alleged or found to be incorrect or as to which overpayment is claimed or found to have occurred, said rules and regulations to supplement the provisions and requirements of Article VI of this chapter.
The Tax Administrator of Swatara Township, and/or such other bureau, clerk, collector, private agency or person appointed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Swatara Township, is hereby authorized to examine the books and payroll records of any employer in order to verify the accuracy of any return made by an employer or, if no return was made, to ascertain the tax due. Each employer is hereby directed and required to give the Tax Administrator and/or such other bureau, clerk, collector, private agency or person the means, facilities and opportunity for such examination.
In the event that any tax under this article remains due or unpaid 30 days after the due dates above set forth in §§ 261-22, 261-24 and 261-25, the Tax Administrator and/or such other bureau, clerk, collector, private agency or person appointed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Swatara Township may sue for the recovery of any such tax due or unpaid under this article, together with interest and penalty.
If for any reason the tax is not paid when due, interest at the rate of 6% on the amount of said tax shall be calculated, beginning with the due date of said tax, and a penalty of 5% shall be added to the flat rate of said tax for nonpayment thereof. Where suit is brought for the recovery of this tax, the individual liable therefor shall, in addition, be responsible and liable for the reasonable costs incurred to provide notices of delinquency or to implement similar procedures utilized to collect delinquent taxes from a taxpayer.
Whoever makes any false or untrue statement on any return required by this article or who refuses inspection of his books, records or accounts in his custody and control setting forth the number of employees subject to this tax who are in his employment or whoever fails or refuses to file any return required by this article shall, upon a summary conviction before a Magisterial District Judge, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 for each offense and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, be imprisoned in the local or Dauphin County Jail for a period not exceeding 30 days for each offense. It is further provided that the action to enforce the fine and penalty herein provided may be instituted against any person in charge of the business of any employer who has failed or refused to file a return required by this article.
This article is enacted under the authority of the Act of December 31, 1965, P.L. 1257, as amended.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 6901 et seq. and 53 P.S. § 6924.101 et seq.
Except as set forth hereafter, all ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed. Nothing herein shall be construed to repeal the imposition and collection of an Occupation Privilege Tax, plus applicable penalties and interest, for calendar year 2005 and all prior calendar years, or of an Emergency and Municipal Services Tax, plus applicable penalties and interest, for calendar years 2006 and 2007, as the same exist prior to this amendment.
The tax imposed by this article shall be effective on January 1, 2008, and all calendar years thereafter, unless repealed or modified by ordinance of the Township of Swatara.