PRINTER'S NO.  1636

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

SENATE BILL

 

No.

1281

Session of

2011

  

  

INTRODUCED BY FONTANA, FERLO, SCHWANK AND WASHINGTON, OCTOBER 3, 2011

  

  

REFERRED TO FINANCE, OCTOBER 3, 2011  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

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Amending the act of November 26, 1997 (P.L.508, No.55), entitled

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"An act providing for the tax exemption of institutions of

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purely public charity; exempting real property owned by

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State-related universities or Federal Government

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instrumentalities from taxation; providing for unfair

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competition; imposing penalties; and making repeals," further

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providing for legislative findings; and providing for the

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definition of "governing body," for other contributions and

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for partial property tax exemption.

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The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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hereby enacts as follows:

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Section 1.  Section 2(a) of the act of November 26, 1997

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(P.L.508, No.55), known as the Institutions of Purely Public

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Charity Act, is amended by adding a paragraph to read:

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Section 2.  Legislative intent.

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(a)  Findings.--The General Assembly finds and declares as

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follows:

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* * *

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(8)  It is necessary and proper for local governments to

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have the option to ensure the continued viability of certain

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essential services it provides or causes to be provided by

 


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requiring a contribution from owners of tax-exempt properties

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toward the cost of the services.

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* * *

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Section 2.  Section 3 of the act is amended by adding a

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definition to read:

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Section 3.  Definitions.

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The following words and phrases when used in this act shall

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have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

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context clearly indicates otherwise:

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* * *

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"Governing body."  Any city council, borough council,

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incorporated town council, board of county commissioners or

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their home rule successor in function, board of township

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commissioners, board of township supervisors, governing council

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of a home rule municipality or optional plan municipality or

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governing council of a similar general purpose unit of

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government which may be created by statute after the effective

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date of this definition.

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* * *

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Section 3.  The act is amended by adding a section to read:

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Section 7.1.  Tax on real estate.

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(a)  Authorization.--Notwithstanding any other provision of

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law, the governing body of a municipality may, through

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ordinance, impose the real estate tax authorized under

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subsection (b) on real property owned by an institution of

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purely public charity within the municipality.

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(b)  Real estate tax.--The governing body may impose a real

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estate tax on real property located within the municipality and

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owned by an institution of purely public charity. The following

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shall apply:

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(1)  The tax shall be imposed on 100% of the assessed

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value of the land owned by the institution of purely public

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charity and shall not be imposed on the assessed value of any

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structure that sits upon the land.

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(2)  The tax shall not be levied on a per parcel basis

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but shall be levied against the aggregate assessed value of

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the real property owned by the institution of purely public

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charity within the municipality.

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(3)  The ordinance authorizing the real estate tax shall

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exempt the first $200,000 of aggregate assessed value of the

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real property owned by the institution of purely public

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charity from taxation.

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(c)  Enactment of ordinance or resolution.--

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(1)  Prior to adopting an ordinance imposing a real

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estate tax under this section, the governing body shall adopt

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a proposed ordinance which shall include all of the following

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information:

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(i)  The content of the ordinance that will be

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enacted, including the effective date.

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(ii)  A statement that the proposed ordinance is

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being adopted pursuant to and subject to the requirements

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of this section.

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(2)  The governing body shall make the proposed ordinance

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available for public inspection at least 20 days prior to its

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adoption and shall hold at least one public hearing on the

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proposed ordinance prior to its adoption.

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(3)  The governing body must give public notice of its

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intent to adopt the proposed ordinance. Publication of the

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notice shall be made by advertisement once a week for three

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weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the

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municipality if there is a newspaper of general circulation

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and, if there is not, the publication shall be made in a

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newspaper of general circulation within the county in which

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the advertising municipality is located.

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(d)  Prohibition.--Nothing in this section shall be construed

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to permit a governing body to impose a real estate tax on any of

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the following:

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(1)  Property owned by the Commonwealth.

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(2)  Property owned by a political subdivision of the

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Commonwealth.

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(3)  Property owned by the Commonwealth and local

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authorities.

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(4)  Property owned by police, fire, including volunteer

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fire and relief, public works or emergency services.

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(5)  Property owned by the Federal Government.

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(e)  Uniformity.--A real estate tax imposed under this

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section shall apply to all institutions of purely public charity

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owning tax-exempt property within the municipality.

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Section 4.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

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