Township of Lower Saucon, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 12-21-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-05[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also superseded former Art. I, Earned Income and Net Profits Tax, adopted 5-20-1998 by Ord. No. 98-15.
For purposes of this article, all terms defined in the Local Tax Enabling Act, 53 P.S. § 6924.101, et seq., shall have the meanings set forth therein. In addition, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth herein, unless the context shall clearly indicate otherwise:
EFFECTIVE DATE
January 1, 2012.
LOCAL TAX ENABLING ACT
The Local Tax Enabling Act, 53 P.S. § 6924.101 et seq., and as amended in the future, including any regulations adopted by the Department of Community and Economic Development thereunder.
TAX
The taxes on earned income and net profits imposed by this article.
TAX OFFICER
The person or entity appointed as tax officer pursuant to the Local Tax Enabling Act to collect the tax in the TCD.
TAXPAYER
A person or business required under this article or the Local Tax Enabling Act to file a tax return or to pay the tax imposed pursuant to this article.
TAX RETURN
A form or forms prescribed by the Department of Community and Economic Development, or by the Tax Officer with the approval of the TCC, for reporting the amount of tax or other amount owed or required to be withheld, remitted or reported under this article or the Local Tax Enabling Act.
TAX YEAR
The period from January 1 to December 31 in a single calendar year.
TCC
The tax collection committee established to govern and oversee the collection of income tax within the TCD under the Local Tax Enabling Act.
TCD
The Northampton Tax Collection District, or any future tax collection district, to which the Township or any part of the Township is assigned under the Local Tax Enabling Act.
A. 
General purpose resident tax. The Township hereby imposes a tax for general revenue purposes at the rate of 1% on earned income and net profits of residents of the Township.
B. 
General purpose municipal nonresident tax. The Township also imposes a tax for general revenue purposes at the rate of 1% on earned income and net profits derived by a nonresident from any work, business, profession or activity of any kind engaged in within the boundaries of Township.
C. 
Open space municipal resident tax. In addition to the tax levied for general revenue purposes set forth in Subsection A hereinabove, the Township hereby imposes a tax for acquisition and expenses related to open space lands under 32 P.S. § 5007.1, at the rate of 0.25% on earned income and net profits of residents of the Township for a period of five years. The revenue collected as a result of this additional tax shall be used to retire indebtedness of the Township incurred in purchasing interests in real property or in making additional acquisitions of real property for the purpose of securing open space and benefits under the provisions of the Open Space Lands Act, 32 P.S. § 5001 et seq., as amended. The revenue collected as a result of this additional tax may also be used for any and all related and/or incidental costs incurred in retiring indebtedness of the Township, incurred in purchasing interests in real property or making additional acquisitions of real property for the purpose of securing an open space benefit or benefits under the provisions of the Open Space Lands Act, including but not limited to any and all costs associated with preparation of a comprehensive open space plan, attorneys' fees, closing costs, surveying expenses, engineering fees, financing costs, environmental cleanup costs, insurance premiums and fees of other consultants and professionals. Revenue from the additional tax shall be used in accordance with the Open Space Lands Act for any of the purposes authorized and stated therein, including but not limited to financing the acquisition, preservation and conservation of open space, acquiring agricultural conservation and forest easements, protecting and preserving recreation or historic lands, protecting and conserving natural and scenic resources, and developing and maintaining land acquired pursuant to the Open Space Lands Act, as amended. The additional tax was authorized by voter referendum at the November 8, 2016 general election for a period of five years ending on December 31, 2021.
[Amended 2-15-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-01]
D. 
Ongoing tax. The tax shall continue at the above rates during the current tax year and each tax year thereafter, without annual reenactment, until this article is repealed or the rate is changed.
E. 
Local Tax Enabling Act applicable. The tax is imposed under authority of the Local Tax Enabling Act, and all provisions thereof that relate to a tax on earned income or net profits are incorporated into this article. Any future amendments to the Local Tax Enabling Act that are required to be applied to the tax will automatically become part of this article upon the effective date of such amendment, without the need for formal amendment of this article, to the maximum extent allowed by 1 Pa.C.S.A. § 1937.
F. 
Applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures. The Tax shall be collected and administered in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations and rules, regulations, policies and procedures adopted by the TCC or by the tax officer in conformity with the Local Tax Enabling Act. This includes any regulations, policies and procedures adopted in the future to the maximum extent allowed by 1 Pa.C.S.A. § 1937.
Although credits and deductions against the tax are permitted under certain circumstances, as provided in applicable law and regulations, no individuals are exempt from the tax based on age, income or other factors, with the exception that all persons whose total income from all sources is less than $5,000 in any given tax year shall be exempt from the tax imposed by this article.
Every taxpayer receiving earned income or earning net profits in any tax year shall make and file tax returns and declarations and pay the tax in accordance with the Local Tax Enabling Act and the rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the TCC and tax officer. A taxpayer is required to file timely an annual tax return even if no tax payment is due and owing. In addition, even though a resident of the Township did not have earned income or net profits in the prior tax year, the resident must file an annual tax return, when requested to do so by the tax officer, stating the reason why there was no income or net profits to report.
Every employer shall register, require employee residency certificates, withhold and remit the tax, and file tax returns and withholding statements in accordance with the Local Tax Enabling Act and the rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the TCC and tax officer.
A. 
Collection of tax. The tax will be collected from taxpayers and employers by the tax officer. The tax officer is authorized to file an action in the name of the Township for the recovery of the tax due to the Township and unpaid. Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of the Township to file an action in its own name for collection of the tax under the Local Tax Enabling Act.
B. 
Criminal complaints for violations. The tax officer is authorized to file criminal complaints on behalf of the Township for violation of this article or the Local Tax Enabling Act. Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of the Township to file a criminal complaint on its own behalf for violation of this article or the Local Tax Enabling Act.
In the event of violation of this article or the Local Tax Enabling Act, or nonpayment of the tax, taxpayers and employers are subject to interest, penalties, costs and fines in accordance with the Local Tax Enabling Act, including costs of collection imposed by the tax officer in accordance with authorization by the TCC. The tax officer may retain reasonable costs of collection in accordance with the Local Tax Enabling Act and as approved by the TCC.
The provisions of this article are severable, and if any of its provisions are ruled by a court invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions of this article. It is declared to be the intention of the governing body of the Township that this article would have been adopted if such invalid or unconstitutional provision had not been included.
The primary purpose of this article is to conform the Township's currently existing earned income and net profits tax to the Local Tax Enabling Act, as amended and restated by Act 32 of 2008, and to do so within the time frame required by Act 32. Any prior ordinance or part of any prior ordinance conflicting with the provisions of this article is rescinded insofar as the conflict exists. To the extent the provisions of this article are the same as any ordinance in force immediately prior to adoption of this article, the provisions of this article are intended as a continuation of such prior ordinance and not as a new ordinance. If this article is declared invalid, any prior ordinance levying a similar tax shall remain in full force and effect and shall not be affected in any manner by adoption of this article. The provisions of this article shall not affect any act done or liability incurred, nor shall such provisions affect any suit or prosecution pending or to be initiated to enforce any right or penalty or to punish any offense under the authority of any ordinance in force prior to adoption of this article. Subject to the foregoing provisions of this section, this article shall supersede and repeal on the effective date any ordinance levying a tax on earned income or net profits in force immediately prior to the effective date. The tax imposed by this article shall not apply to any person to whom it is beyond the legal power of the Township to impose the tax herein provided under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
This article is intended to be consistent with the Local Tax Enabling Act. This article is intended to include all necessary authorizations to permit the tax officer to take all actions for the collection, administration, disbursement and enforcement of the tax and all other actions on behalf of the political subdivisions of the TCD as authorized by the Local Tax Enabling Act, subject to the policies and procedures of the TCC. To give full force and effect to this article, the authority of the tax officer shall be interpreted in the broadest permissible sense for the benefit of the tax officer's ability to perform its duties.
The provisions of this article shall become effective on January 1, 2012, and shall apply to earned income received or earned and net profits earned or made by a taxpayer during calendar year 2012 and each year thereafter without annual reenactment unless the rate of tax is subsequently changed. Changes in the rate of tax shall become effective on the date specified in the ordinance imposing such change.