[Adopted 11-9-1998 by Ord. No. 1381; amended 1-10-2005 by Ord. No. 1504 (Title 2, Ch. 7, Art. 7, of the 1977 Code)]
The hearing officer shall be appointed at the biannual reorganization meeting held pursuant to the First Class Township Code.
The hearing officer shall have the authority to hear and decide appeals from determinations of the Business Tax Office regarding assessments, audits and denial or reductions of refunds or credits of business privilege, mercantile license and/or occupational privilege tax. The hearing officer shall not have the authority to reduce or abate penalty and interest assessed by the Business Tax Office in accordance with the Township's ordinances and the Local Tax Enabling Act.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 6901 et seq. and 53 P.S. §§ 6924.101 to 6924.312.
A hearing will be scheduled on a petition for review no less than seven days and no more than 30 days after a completed petition has been received in the Business Tax Office. Subsequent hearings, if necessary, will be scheduled upon agreement of the hearing officer and the parties.
The hearing shall be held at the Township Building and closed to the public in keeping with the confidential nature of the issues to be decided.
Any taxpayer seeking review of a determination by the Business Tax Office shall file a completed petition for review with the Business Tax Office for a hearing by the local tax hearing officer.
The petition for review shall be on the form provided by the Business Tax Office and contain the following information:
Name and business address of the taxpayer;
A complete description of the business activity of the taxpayer which gives rise to the tax or to the claimed refund or adjustment;
A copy of the assessment or tax return for which review is sought;
The taxpayer's written explanation of the reason that the assessment should be changed or a refund should be given; and
Copies of all supporting documentation for the taxpayer's position.
There shall be no fee charged to the taxpayer for the filing of the petition for review or the hearing on the petition.
Written notice of the hearing shall be given to the taxpayer and Business Tax Office. The notice shall state the time, date and place of the hearing.
The taxpayer that filed the petition for review of a determination shall present evidence in support of its petition, including documentation and through witnesses.
The petitioning taxpayer must prove by clear and convincing evidence its entitlement to a refund or change in assessment.
A taxpayer may be represented by an attorney before the hearing officer. A corporate taxpayer must be represented by an authorized officer and may have an attorney present.
All testimony shall be given under oath.
A representative of the Business Tax Office may question any witnesses presented by the taxpayer. A representative of the taxpayer may question any witness presented by the Business Tax Office.
At the conclusion of the evidence presented by the taxpayer, a representative of the Business Tax Office may present its evidence in support of the determination appealed from.
The hearing officer's decision must be rendered in writing within 60 days of the receipt of the completed petition for review. The taxpayer may execute a waiver of time to allow the presentation of additional evidence by the taxpayer or at the hearing officer's request to allow additional time to render a decision.
The hearing officer may affirm, reverse, or modify the determination appealed from in accordance with the ordinances of the Township and the Local Tax Enabling Act, as amended. After the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision, stating findings of fact and conclusions of law. The decision shall be mailed by regular mail to the parties and representatives, if any, at their last known addresses.