City of Erie, PA
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
CROSS REFERENCES
Power to tax — See Local Tax Enabling Act (Act 511, approved December 31, 1965); 53 P.S. § 6924.101 et seq.
[Act 160 of 1967 removed from Act 511, the Local Tax Enabling Act, the provisions of Sections 4, 5, and 7 of the act relating to annual re-enactment of taxes and specifies that every tax levied under the provisions of the act would continue in force on a calendar or fiscal year basis without annual re-enactment unless the rate of the tax was subsequently changed.]
[Ord. 110-1959 § 1, passed 11-24-1959]
The following words, when used in this article, shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
(a) 
ASSOCIATION — A partnership, limited partnership or any other form of unincorporated enterprise, owned by two or more persons.
(b) 
BUSINESS — An enterprise, activity, profession or undertaking of an unincorporated nature conducted for profit or ordinarily conducted for profit, whether by a person, partnership, association or any other entity.
(c) 
CORPORATION — A corporation or joint stock association organized under the laws of the United States, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any other state, territory, foreign country or dependency.
(d) 
EMPLOYER — A person, partnership, association, corporation, institution, governmental body or unit or agency or any other entity employing one or more persons on a salary, wage, commission or other compensation basis.
(e) 
NET PROFITS — The net income from the operation of a business, profession or other activity, except corporations, after provision for all costs and expenses incurred in the conduct thereof, either paid or accrued in accordance with the accounting system used, and without deduction of taxes based on income.
(f) 
NONRESIDENT — A person, partnership, association or other entity domiciled outside the City of Erie.
(g) 
PERSON — A natural person.
(h) 
RESIDENT — A person, partnership, association or other entity domiciled in the City of Erie.
(i) 
TAXPAYER — A person, whether an individual, partnership, association or any other entity required hereunder to file a return of earnings or net profits or to pay a tax thereon.
(j) 
The singular includes the plural and the masculine includes the feminine and the neuter.
[Ord. 10-2003, passed 1-29-2003; Ord. 3-2006, passed 1-12-2006]
(a) 
Imposition of tax. Pursuant to Act 511, an annual tax for general revenue purposes of 1% is hereby imposed on (1) salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation earned on and after January 1, 1960, by residents of Erie, and on (2) salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation earned on and after January 1, 1960, by nonresidents of Erie for work done or services performed or rendered in Erie, and on (3) the net profits earned by both residents and nonresidents of Erie on and after January 1, 1960, from businesses, professions or other activities conducted in Erie.
[Amended by Ord. 81-2019, passed 12-18-2019]
(b) 
Subjects of taxation. The taxes levied under Subsection (a)(1) and (2) hereof shall relate to and be imposed upon salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation paid by an employer or on his behalf to any person who is employed by or renders services to him. For purposes of this subsection, salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation shall also include deferred compensation and individual retirement accounts (IRA's). The taxes levied under Subsection (a)(3) hereof shall relate to and be imposed on net profits of any business, profession or enterprise carried on by any person or owner or proprietor, either individually or in association with some other person.
(c) 
Time of imposition. The tax shall first be levied, collected and paid with respect to the salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation earned on and after January 1, 1960, and with respect to the net profits of businesses, professions or other activities, earned on and after January 1, 1960, and continuing for each taxable year thereafter.
(d) 
Pursuant to Act 205, an annual distressed municipal pension recovery tax of 0.65% is hereby imposed on (1) salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation earned on and after January 1, 2020, by residents of Erie, and on (2) salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation earned on and after January 1, 2020, by nonresidents of Erie for work done or services performed or rendered in Erie, and on (3) the net profits earned by both residents and nonresidents of Erie on and after January 1, 2020, from businesses, professions or other activities conducted in Erie. The proceeds of said tax increase shall be applied solely to the Pension Funds of the City of Erie.
[Amended by Ord. 2-2019, passed 1-2-2019; Ord. 81-2019, passed 12-18-2019]
(e) 
The earned income and net profits tax set forth in Subsection (a) above is hereby increased in the amount of 1.18% and imposed on earned income and net profits by the nonresidents of the City of Erie for work done or services performed or rendered in the City of Erie beginning January 1, 2006, and continuing for each taxable year thereafter, with an effective date of February 1, 2006, and continuing for each taxable year thereafter. The proceeds of said tax increase shall be applied solely to the Pension Funds of the City of Erie.
[Ord. 110-1959 § 3, passed 11-24-1959]
Each person whose earnings or profits are subject to the tax imposed by this article shall, on or before April 15 of each year, make and file with the Collector of Taxes a return on a form furnished by or obtainable from the Collector of Taxes, setting forth the aggregate amount of salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation or net profits earned by him during the preceding year and subject to the tax, together with such other pertinent information as the Collector of Taxes may require. However, where the return is made for a fiscal year or any other period different from a calendar year, the return shall be made within 105 days from the end of the fiscal year or other period.
Such return shall also show the amount of the tax imposed by this article on such earnings and profits. The person making the return shall, at the time of filing thereof, pay to the Collector of Taxes the amount of tax shown as due thereon. However, all taxpayers who are self-employed on a full-time or part-time basis, and/or who are not subject to the withholding provisions of the article, shall file on or before April 15 a declaration of anticipated earnings for the current calendar year. The person making the declaration shall, at the time of filing thereof, pay to the Collector of Taxes the amount of tax shown as due thereon.
However, the taxpayer shall have the right to pay the tax or the balance of the tax as shown on the declaration in four quarterly installments, the first installment thereof at the time of filing of the declaration, and the other installments thereof on or before July 15, October 15 and December 15, respectively, in the year. Further, where any portion of the tax so due shall have been deducted at source and shall have been paid to the Collector of Taxes by the person making the deduction, credit for the amount so paid shall be deducted from the amount shown to be due, and only the balance, if any, shall be due and payable at the time of the filing of the return or as hereinabove provided. Further, the Collector of Taxes is authorized to provide by regulation that the return of an employer or employers, showing the amount of tax deducted by him or them from the salary, wages or commissions of an employee and paid by him or them to the Collector of Taxes shall be accepted as the return required of any employee whose sole income subject to the tax under this article is such salary, wages or commissions.
[Ord. 110-1959 § 4, passed 11-24-1959]
Each employer within the City who employs one or more persons on a salary, wage, commission or other compensation basis shall deduct, at the time of the payment thereof, the tax of 1% of salaries, wages, commissions or other compensation due by the employer to the employee for services performed or rendered after January 1, 1960, and shall, on or before the fifteenth day of the month next following the deduction, or on or before the last day of the month following the end of the calendar quarter of the deduction, make a return and pay to the Collector of Taxes the amount of tax so deducted.
The return shall be on a form furnished by or obtainable from the Collector of Taxes and shall set forth the amount of salaries, wages, commissions or other compensation earned during such preceding month or quarter by all employees, together with such other pertinent information as the Collector of Taxes may require. However, the failure or omission by any employer, either residing within or outside the City, to make such return and/or pay such tax, shall not relieve the employee from the payment of such tax and the compliance with such regulations with respect to making returns and payment thereof, as may be fixed in this article or established by the Collector of Taxes.
[Ord. 110-1959 § 5, passed 11-24-1959]
It shall be the duty of the Collector of Taxes to collect and receive the tax imposed by this article. It shall also be the duty of the Collector of Taxes, in addition to keeping the records now required by law or ordinance, to keep a record showing the amount received by him from each taxpayer and the date of such receipt.
[Ord. 74-2002, passed 12-31-2002]
(a) 
Powers of collector of taxes. The Collector of Taxes is charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this article, and is empowered, subject to the approval of the Mayor and Council, to adopt, promulgate and enforce rules and regulations relating to any matter or thing pertaining to the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this article, including provisions for the re-examination and correction of returns and payments alleged or found to be incorrect or as to which an overpayment or underpayment is claimed or found to have occurred.
(b) 
Power to examine records, etc. The Collector of Taxes or any agent or employee authorized in writing by him is authorized to examine the books, papers and records of any employer or supposed employer, or of any taxpayer or supposed taxpayer, in order to verify the accuracy of any return made or, if no return was made, to ascertain the tax imposed by this article. Every such employer or supposed employer or taxpayer or supposed taxpayer is directed and required to give to the Collector of Taxes, or his duly authorized agent or employee, the means, facilities and opportunity for such examinations and investigations as are hereby authorized. The Collector of Taxes is authorized to examine any person under oath concerning any income which was or should have been returned for taxation. To this end he may compel the production of books, papers and records and the attendance of all persons before him, whether as parties or witnesses, whom he believes to have knowledge of such income.
(c) 
Information confidential; penalty for violation. Any information gained by the Collector of Taxes or any other official or agent of the City, as a result of any returns, investigations, hearings or verifications required or authorized by this article, shall be confidential, except for official purposes, and except in accordance with proper judicial order, or as otherwise provided by law. Any person or agent divulging such information shall, upon conviction before any justice of the peace, alderman or magistrate, or court of competent jurisdiction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500 and costs for each offense, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs to be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 30 days.
(d) 
From and after the enactment of this article, when suit is brought against any delinquent party, to each delinquent earned income tax assessment, levy or obligation owed to the City of Erie, there shall be added such attorney's fees, charges and expenses incurred in the delinquent collection process. Such additional charges shall be collected in addition to all interest and penalties as are allowed by law.
(e) 
Such fees shall be reasonable and the same are hereby established in a fee rate schedule as attached herein and made a part hereof under Subsection (g) below. Said schedule of fees is hereby deemed to be reasonable, fair and necessary in order to allow the City of Erie to collect such sum due. This schedule may be amended by resolution of the Erie City Council.
(f) 
Any person or entity empowered to collect sums on behalf of the City of Erie is directed to add such fees as are incurred to the extent allowed as set forth in Subsection (g). Such sums collected pursuant to this article shall be in addition to any tax penalty, interest or other costs already part of the delinquent account or assessment.
(g) 
Costs of collection to be charged against delinquent taxpayers:
(1) 
Prepare and mail Notice of Impending Suit: $50.
(2) 
Prepare District Justice complaint: $75.
(3) 
Attend District Justice hearing: $250.
(4) 
Attend Constable execution sale: $350.
(5) 
Prepare Arbitration complaint: $150.
(6) 
Attend Arbitration trial: $350.
(7) 
Negotiate and prepare payment plan agreement: $75.
(8) 
Enter default judgment: $150.
(9) 
Issue Writ of Execution: $250.
(10) 
Attend Sheriff sale, levy or judgment execution: $250.
(11) 
Non-litigation Legal work: $80/hr.
(12) 
Litigation Legal work: $100/hr.
(13) 
All other clerical work not itemized above: $50/hr.
[Ord. 110-1959 § 7, passed 11-24-1959]
It shall be the duty of the Mayor and Council to appoint such officers, clerks, collectors or other assistants and employees as they may deem necessary for the assessment and collection of taxes imposed by this article, to fix the rate of compensation for the same, and to secure whatever supplies and equipment are necessary for the assessment and collection of the taxes.
[Ord. 110-1959 § 8, passed 11-24-1959]
All taxes imposed by this article remaining unpaid after they become due shall bear interest, in addition to the amount of the unpaid tax, at the rate of 6% per year, and the persons upon whom the taxes are imposed shall be further liable to a penalty of 1/2 of 1% of the amount of the unpaid tax for each month or fraction of a month for the first six months of nonpayment.
[Ord. 110-1959 § 9, passed 11-24-1959]
All taxes imposed by this article, together with all interest and penalties, shall be recoverable by the City Solicitor as other debts of like amount are recoverable.
[Ord. 110-1959 § 11, passed 11-24-1959]
This article shall not apply to any person or property as to whom or which it is beyond the legal power of Council to impose the tax or duties herein provided for.
[Ord. 110-1959 § 12, passed 11-24-1959]
If any sentence, clause, section or part of this article is for any reason found to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such unconstitutionality, illegality or invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections or parts of this article. It is declared the intent of Council that this article would have been adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid sentence, clause, section or part thereof not been included herein.
[Ord. 74-2002, passed 12-31-2002]
Any person who fails, neglects, or refuses to make any declaration or return required by this article, any employer who fails, neglects or refuses to register or to pay the tax deducted from his employees, or fails, neglects or refuses to deduct or withhold the tax from his employees, any person who refuses to permit the Collector of Taxes or any agent designated by him to examine his books, records, and papers, and any person who knowingly makes any incomplete, false or fraudulent return, or attempts to do so anything whatsoever to avoid the full disclosure of the amount of his net profits or earned income in order to avoid the payment of the whole or any part of the tax imposed by this article, shall, upon conviction thereof before any justice of the peace, alderman or magistrate, or court of competent jurisdiction in the county or counties in which the political subdivision imposing the tax is located, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500 for each offense, and costs, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs to be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 30 days.
Such fine or penalty shall be in addition to any other penalty imposed by any other section of this article.
The failure of any employer or any taxpayer to receive or procure a return form shall not excuse him from making a return.