19550130ua

AN ACT

 

Relating to counties of the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the laws relating thereto; relating to imposition of excise taxes by counties, including authorizing imposition of an excise tax on the rental of motor vehicles by counties of the first class; and providing for regional renaissance initiatives. (Title amended June 25, 1999, P.L.182, No.25)

19550130uc

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Sections

101-110

 

 

 

201-211

 

 

(a)  Division of the State into Counties; Corporate Powers

201-203

(b)  Classification

210-211

 

 

301-306

 

 

401-460

 

 

(a)  General Provisions

401-414

(b)  Official Bonds

420-437

(c)  State Associations

440-446

(d)  Removal of County Officers

450

(e)  Conduct of Official Business

460

 

 

 

501-521

 

 

(a)  Commissioners

501-513

(b)  Chief Clerk of County Commissioners

520-521

 

 

601-607

 

 

701-704

 

 

801-807

 

 

901-904

 

 

1001-1002

 

 

1101-1106

 

 

1201-1263

 

 

(a)  Sheriff

1201-1215

(b)  Coroner

1231-1253

(c)  Provisions Relating to Sheriffs and Coroners

 

1260-1263

 

 

 

 

 

1301-1316

 

 

 

1401-1441

 

 

(a)  District Attorney

1401-1409

(b)  Assistant, Special, Deputy and Acting District Attorneys, Stenographers and Clerks

 

 

1420-1426

(c)  County Detectives

1440-1441

 

 

1501-1505

 

 

1550-1556

 

 

 

 

 

1601-1630

 

 

(a)  Fees of Salaried County Officers

1601-1610

(b)  Salary Boards

1620-1625

(c)  Payment of Solicitors Appointed by County Officers

 

1630

 

 

1701-1795

 

 

(a)  Fiscal Policy and Systems

1701-1706

(b)  Accounts, Audits and Reports by Controller or Auditors

 

1720-1739

(c)  Disbursals of County Moneys

1750-1754

(d)  County Treasury and County Depositories

1760-1764

(e)  County Taxation, Borrowing and Transfer    of Funds

 

1770-1772

(f)  Budgets

1780-1785

(g)  Sinking Fund Commission

1790-1795

 

 

1801-1807

 

 

 

1901-1999i

 

 

(a)  Appropriations for Military Purposes

1901-1903

(b)  Burial of Deceased Service Persons and Surviving Spouses

 

1908-1916

(c)  Memorial Observances

1921-1923

(d)  County Histories

1928-1931

(e)  Animal and Plant Husbandry

1935-1939

(f)  Communications

1943-1944

(g)  Prevention and Control of Floods

1947

(g.1)  Disaster-Emergency Aid to Municipalities

 

1948

(h)  Aid to Fire Fighting Departments and Companies

 

1951-1952

(h.1)  Fire Marshal and Assistant Fire Marshals

 

1953

(i)  Utilities

1955-1956

(j)  Law Libraries (Repealed)

1962-1965

(k)  Rewards and Bounties

1971-1972

(l)  Garbage and Refuse Disposal

1975

(m)  County and County Aided Institutions

1980

(n)  Appropriations to Industrial Development Agencies and Tourist Promotion Agencies

 

 

1985-1986

(o)  Surplus Foods and Food Stamp Program

1990-1991

(p)  Historical Property

1995

(q)  Transportation

1997

(r)  Public Defenders (Repealed)

1998

(s)  Appropriations for Recreation and Historic and Museum Projects of Boroughs and Townships

 

 

1999

(t)  Appropriations to Institutions of Higher Learning or to Nonprofit Educational Trusts

 

 

1999a

(u)  Agreements with the Federal Government for the Promotion of Health or Welfare

 

 

1999b

(v)  Appropriations for Reservoirs and Water Resources

 

1999c

(w)  Tourist Promotion Agencies

1999d

(x)  Crime Detection Laboratory and Police Training School

 

1999e

(y)  Parking Facilities

1999f

(z)  Non-debt Revenue Bonds for Industrial Development Projects

 

1999g

(z.1)  Grants to Nonprofit Art Corporations

1999h

(z.2)  Commission on Women

1999i

 

 

 

2001-2039

 

 

(a)  County and Regional Planning Commissions (Repealed)

 

2001-2011

(b)  County Zoning (Repealed)

2020-2039

 

 

2101-2199.8

 

 

(a)  General Provisions

2101

(b)  County and Joint County Hospitals

2110-2119

(c)  County Health Aid to Institutions and Political Subdivisions

 

2130-2132

(d)  Insect Control

2150-2152

(e)  Care of Dependents and Children

2160-2177

(f)  Training for County Health, Welfare and Probation Personnel

 

2180

(g)  Boards of Health in Counties of the Third Class

 

2185-2199.2

(1)  Board of Health

2185-2195.2

(2)  Abatement of Public Nuisances

2196-2199.1

(3)  Penalties

2199.2

(h)  General Hospitals

2199.5-2199.8

 

 

2201-2210

 

 

2301-2399.73

 

 

(a)  General Provisions

2301-2304

(b)  Acquisition, Use, Leasing and Disposing of Real Property for County

 

2305-2311

(c)  Acquisition, Construction or Alteration of County Buildings

 

2315-2320

(d)  Policing, Administration and Public Order of Grounds and Buildings

 

2325-2329

(e)  Special Provisions for Temporary County Buildings and for Rooms in County Buildings

 

 

2335-2339

(f)  Improvement of Streets Along County Buildings; Street Lighting

 

2345-2346

(g)  Comfort Stations

2350

(h)  Monuments and Memorials

2355-2367

(i)  Public Auditoriums, Public Libraries, Public Memorial Buildings and Monuments

 

 

2368-2370

(j)  Homes and Hospitals

2374-2385

(k)  Morgues

2390-2393

(l)  Garbage and Refuse Disposal Plants and Incinerators

 

2396

(m)  Tax for Capital Costs Retirement

2398

(n)  Third Class County Convention Center Authorities

2399.1-2399.23

(o)  Third Class County Convention Center Authorities (Alternative Provision)

 

2399.51-2399.73

 

 

 

2401-2433

 

 

2501-2517

 

 

2601-2676

 

 

(a)  General Authority and Procedures for Providing Bridges

 

2601-2616

(b)  Special Authorities and Procedures

2630-2639

(c)  Taking Over or Assisting with Township or Municipal Bridges

 

2650-2661

(d)  Provisions Relating to Contracts

2670

(e)  Taxation and Borrowing

2675-2676

 

 

2701-2787

 

 

(a)  Authorization, Construction and Maintenance

 

2701-2745

1.  County Roads, Establishment and Maintenance

 

2701-2714

2.  System of Main Thoroughfares Adopted, Laid Out and Constructed by County and Becoming Borough and Township Roads

 

 

 

2720-2725

3.  Roads, Tunnels, Subways and Underground Roads

 

2730-2734

4.  General Provisions

2740-2745

(b)  Vacation as County Roads

2750

(c)  Continuous Highways from One County to Another

 

2753

(d)  County Aid to Municipalities and Townships

 

2756-2770

(e)  Detours

2775-2777

(f)  Protection of Roads

2781-2787

 

 

 

2801-2807

 

 

Article XXX.  Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Renaissance Initiative

 

3011-3081

 

 

(a)  Preliminary Provisions

3011-3013

(b)  Regional Growth Fund

3021-3022

(c)  Regional Renaissance Authority

3031-3039

(d)  Bonds and Funds of Authority

3041-3044

(e)  Additional Sales and Use Taxes

3051-3057

(f)  Increase in Hotel Tax

3061-3064

(g)  Regional Destination Facilities Fund

3071-3072

(h)  Conveyance of David L. Lawrence Convention Center

 

3081

 

 

3901-3903

19550130uh

 

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:

 

19550130u101h

 

ARTICLE I

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

 

19550130u101s

Section 101.  Short Title.--This act shall be known and may be cited as "The County Code." The provisions of this act shall become effective January one, one thousand nine hundred fifty-six.

19550130u102s

Section 102.  Applicability.--(a)  Except incidentally, as in sections 108, 201, 210, 211, 401 and 1401 or as provided in section 1770.12 and Article XXX, this act does not apply to counties of the first, second A, or second classes. ((a) amended Apr. 20, 2016, P.L.134, No.18)

(b)  Except where otherwise specifically limited, this act applies to all counties of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes.

(102 amended July 14, 2005, P.L.312, No.57)

19550130u102v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 102(a), in part, was declared unconstitutional on March 14, 2013, by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania State Association of Jury Commissioners v. Commonwealth, 64 A.3d 611 (Pa. 2013).

19550130u103s

Section 103.  Excluded Provisions.--This act does not include any provisions of, and shall not be construed to repeal:

(1)  The Municipal Borrowing Law, approved June twenty-five, one thousand nine hundred forty-one (Pamphlet Laws 159).

(2)  The Pennsylvania Election Code, approved June three, one thousand nine hundred thirty-seven (Pamphlet Laws 1333).

(3)  ((3) repealed Sep. 19, 1961, P.L.1495, No.638)

(4)  The Local Health Administration Law, approved August twenty-four, one thousand nine hundred fifty-one (Pamphlet Laws 1304).

(5)  The Municipal Unclaimed Moneys Act, approved May seventeen, one thousand nine hundred forty-nine (Pamphlet Laws 1403).

(6)  Any law relating to the collection of municipal and tax claims.

(7)  Except as provided under subdivision (e) of Article XVII, any law relating to the assessment and valuation of property and persons for taxation. ((7) amended Nov. 9, 2006, P.L.1350, No.142)

(8)  Any law relating to the giving of county consent to public utility corporations.

(9)  Any law relating to State highways.

(10)  Any law relating to the validation of elections, bonds, resolutions and accounts of corporate officers.

(11)  Any law relating to collections by county officers of moneys for the Commonwealth, and the issuance of State licenses.

(12)  Any law relating to the government and regulation of jails, prisons and other correctional institutions and the commitment thereto, and maintenance and care of prisoners or inmates therein.

(13)  Any law relating to civil and criminal procedure, except special provisions concerning action.

(14)  Any law relating to joint county and municipal buildings and works.

(15)  Any law relating to county libraries, except law libraries.

(16)  Any law relating to the recording of deeds, mortgages or other instruments in writing.

(17)  Any law relating to the re-binding, re-indexing and transcribing of records in county offices.

(18)  Any law relating to the fees of county officers, except as any such acts are repealed by section two thousand nine hundred one of this act.

(19)  Any temporary law.

(20)  Any amendment or supplement of any of the laws referred to in this section.

(21)  The Public Utility Law, approved May twenty-eight, one thousand nine hundred thirty-seven (Pamphlet Laws 1053).

19550130u103v

 

Compiler's Note:  Act 142 of 2006 amended section 103(7) of the County Code. Section 6 of Act 142 provides that the amendment is to apply retroactively to real property assessments for taxes levied and collected for fiscal periods of political subdivisions beginning on or after January 1, 2005, and section 4 prohibits the amendment from being interpreted either as authorizing, ratifying, or affirming any assessment of signs or sign structures as real property, or as creating an implication that The General County Assessment Law, the act of May 22, 1933 (P.L.853, No.155), should not be applied uniformly.

19550130u104s

Section 104.  Saving Clause.--(a)  The provisions of this act, as far as they are the same as those of existing laws, shall be construed as a continuation of such laws, and not as new enactments. The repeal by this act of any provisions of law, shall not revive any law heretofore repealed or superseded, nor affect the existence or class of any county heretofore created. The provisions of this act shall not affect any act done, liability incurred, or right accrued or vested, nor affect any suit or prosecution, pending or to be instituted, to enforce any right or penalty, or punish any offense under the authority of such repealed laws.

(b)  All resolutions, regulations and rules, made pursuant to any act of Assembly repealed by this act, shall continue with the same force and effect as if such act had not been repealed. All local acts of Assembly applying to particular counties, not specifically repealed, shall continue in force, and any provisions of this act inconsistent therewith shall not apply to the counties affected by such local laws, unless such application is clearly indicated.

(c)  All acts and parts of acts of Assembly relating to counties, or to particular classes of counties, in force at the time of the adoption of this act, and not repealed hereby, shall remain in force in the same manner and with the same effect as prior to the adoption of this act.

19550130u105s

Section 105.  Holding of Office.--Any person holding elective office under any act of Assembly repealed by this act shall continue to hold such office until the expiration of the term thereof, subject to the conditions and salary attached to such office prior to the passage of this act.

19550130u106s

Section 106.  Construction of References.--Whenever in this act reference is made to any act by title, or name, such reference shall also apply to and include any codifications wherein the provisions of the act referred to are substantially reenacted or to reenactments, revisions or amendments of the act.

19550130u107s

Section 107.  Constitutional Construction.--The provisions of this act shall be severable, and, if any of its provisions are held to be unconstitutional, the decision of the court shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this act. It is hereby declared as a legislative intent that this act would have been adopted by the General Assembly had such unconstitutional provisions not been included therein.

19550130u108s

Section 108.  Legislation According to Class.--The affairs of counties are herein and shall hereafter be legislated for and regulated by general laws, applicable to all counties, or to particular classes, as herein fixed and appointed. All laws adopted by the General Assembly for one or more of the classes herein fixed and appointed shall be deemed to be general laws.

19550130u109s

Section 109.  Proceedings for Recovery of Penalties.--Unless herein otherwise specifically provided, in every case in which any pecuniary penalty or forfeiture is imposed by this act, the proceeding for the recovery of the same shall be by indictment in the court of quarter sessions, or by civil action as debts of equivalent amount are by law recoverable. Aldermen or justices of the peace shall not have jurisdiction of any suit or action for the recovery of any penalty imposed by this act for official misconduct. Such suit or action, when brought in the court of common pleas, shall have preference for trial over all other actions.

19550130u109v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 28 of Act 207 of 2004 provided that any and all references in any other law to a "district justice" or "justice of the peace" shall be deemed to be references to a magisterial district judge.

19550130u110s

Section 110.  Publication of Legal Notices.--Whenever, under the provisions of this act, advertisement, notice or publication is required to be published in one newspaper, such publication shall be made in a newspaper of general circulation as defined by the act, approved May sixteen, one thousand nine hundred twenty-nine (Pamphlet Laws 1784), known as the "Newspaper Advertising Act," printed in the county, unless the matter in connection with which the advertising is being done affects only a political subdivision, in which case such advertisement shall be published in a newspaper printed in such political subdivision, if there is such a newspaper and, if not, then in a newspaper circulating generally in such political subdivision. If such notice is required to be published in more than one newspaper, it shall be published in at least one newspaper of general circulation, defined as aforesaid, printed, if there be such a newspaper, or circulating generally, as above provided in the county. When such notice relates to any proceeding or matter in any court, or the holding of an election for the increase of indebtedness, or the issue and sale of bonds to be paid by taxation, such notice shall also be published in the legal newspaper, if any, designated by the rules of court of the proper county for the publication of legal notices and advertisement, unless such publication be dispensed with by special order of court. All ordinances, auditors' reports, controllers' reports, or advertisements, inviting proposals for public contracts and for bids for materials and supplies, shall be published only in newspapers of general circulation, as hereinbefore defined.

19550130u201h

 

ARTICLE II

NAMES AND CORPORATE POWERS

CLASSIFICATION OF COUNTIES

 

(a)  Division of the State into Counties;

Corporate Powers

 

19550130u201s

Section 201.  Enumeration of Counties.--The State shall be divided into the following sixty-seven named counties, as now established by law: Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, York, Cumberland, Berks, Northampton, Bedford, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Washington, Fayette, Franklin, Montgomery, Dauphin, Luzerne, Huntingdon, Allegheny, Mifflin, Delaware, Lycoming, Somerset, Greene, Wayne, Adams, Centre, Beaver, Butler, Mercer, Crawford, Erie, Warren, Venango, Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson, McKean, Clearfield, Potter, Tioga, Cambria, Bradford, Susquehanna, Schuylkill, Lehigh, Lebanon, Columbia, Union, Pike, Perry, Juniata, Monroe, Clarion, Clinton, Wyoming, Carbon, Elk, Blair, Sullivan, Forest, Lawrence, Fulton, Montour, Snyder, Cameron and Lackawanna.

19550130u202s

Section 202.  General Powers.--Each county shall have capacity as a body corporate to:

(1)  Have succession perpetually by its corporate name.

(2)  Sue and be sued and complain and defend in all proper courts by the name of the county of . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)  Purchase, acquire by gift or otherwise, hold, lease, let and convey such real and personal property as shall be deemed to be for the best interests of the county.

(4)  Make contracts for carrying into execution the laws relating to counties and for all lawful purposes.

(5)  Have and use a seal which shall be in the custody of the commissioners thereof. The official acts of the commissioners shall be authenticated therewith. The commissioners may prescribe the form of such seal.

(6)  To make appropriations for any purpose authorized by this or any other act of the General Assembly.

(202 amended Jun. 30, 1969, P.L.113, No.45)

19550130u203s

Section 203.  Vesting of Corporate Power.--The corporate power of each county shall be vested in a board of county commissioners.

19550130u210h

(b)  Classification

 

19550130u210s

Section 210.  Counties Divided Into Nine Classes.--For the purposes of legislation and the regulation of their affairs, counties of this Commonwealth, now in existence and those hereafter created, shall be divided into nine classes as follows:

(1)  First Class Counties, those having a population of 1,500,000 inhabitants and over.

(2)  Second Class Counties, those having a population of 800,000 and more but less than 1,500,000 inhabitants.

(2.1)  Second Class A Counties, those having a population of 500,000 and more but less than 800,000 inhabitants.

(3)  (i)  Third Class Counties, those having a population of 210,000 and more but less than 500,000 inhabitants.

(ii)  After the results of any Federal Decennial Census are published, any county of the third class having a population of 500,000 inhabitants and over may elect not to become a county of the second class A by enacting an ordinance or adopting a resolution of the Board of County Commissioners not later than February 15 of the year following the year in which the figures from the Federal Decennial Census are certified by the United States Department of Commerce and available.

(4)  Fourth Class Counties, those having a population of 145,000 and more but less than 210,000 inhabitants.

(5)  Fifth Class Counties, those having a population of 90,000 and more but less than 145,000 inhabitants.

(6)  Sixth Class Counties, those having a population of 45,000 and more but less than 90,000 inhabitants and those having a population of 35,000 and more but less than 45,000 inhabitants which by ordinance or resolution of the Board of County Commissioners elect to be a county of the sixth class.

(7)  Seventh Class Counties, those having a population of 20,000 or more but less than 45,000 inhabitants and those having a population of 35,000 and more but less than 45,000 inhabitants which have not elected to be a county of the sixth class.

(8)  Eighth Class Counties, those having a population of less than 20,000 inhabitants.

(210 amended Dec. 22, 2011, P.L.611, No.132)

19550130u210v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 7 of Act 107 of 2001, which amended section 210, provided that any county whose classification upon the effective date of section 7 would be advanced from its classification during the preceding decade as a result of the amendment of section 210 shall retain the classification of the county existing during the preceding decade unless the Board of County Commissioners of the county elects by ordinance or resolution to advance its classification. Section 8 of Act 107 provided that prior to January 1, 2002, the Governor shall notify, in accordance with section 211(b), the board of county commissioners of the amendment of section 210 and of the effect of that amendment.

19550130u211s

Section 211.  Ascertainment, Certification and Effect of Change of Class.--(a)  The classification of counties shall be ascertained and fixed according to their population by reference from time to time to the decennial United States census as hereinafter provided, deducting therefrom the number of persons residing on any lands that have been ceded to the United States.

(b)  Whenever it shall appear by any such census that any county has attained a population entitling it to an advance in classification, or whenever it shall appear by the last two preceding censuses that a county has heretofore or hereafter decreased in population so as to recede in classification, as herein prescribed, it shall be the duty of the Governor, under the great seal of this Commonwealth, to certify that fact accordingly, to the board of county commissioners on or before the first day of October of the year succeeding that in which the census was taken or as soon thereafter as may be, which certificate shall be forwarded by the commissioners to the recorder of deeds and be recorded in his office.

It is the intent of this section that the classification of any county shall not be changed because its population has decreased at the time of one United States decennial census, because it is recognized that a change in the form of local government is attended by certain expense and hardship, and such change should not be occasioned by a temporary fluctuation in population, but rather only after it is demonstrated by two censuses that the population of a county has remained below the minimum figure of its class for at least a decade.

(c)  Changes of class ascertained and certified as aforesaid shall become effective on the first day of January next following the year in which the change was so certified by the Governor to the county commissioners but the salaries of county officers shall not thereby be increased or decreased during the term for which they shall have been elected. In the municipal election following such certification of change of class and preceding the effective date of such change, the proper number of persons shall be elected to fill any elective office which will exist in the county by the change of classification certified. No election shall be held for any office which will be abolished as a result of such change of classification.

(211 amended Aug. 22, 1961, P.L.1048, No.478)

19550130u211v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 8 of Act 107 of 2001, which amended section 210, provided that prior to January 1, 2002, the Governor shall notify, in accordance with section 211(b), the board of county commissioners of the amendment and of the effect of that amendment.

19550130u301h

 

ARTICLE III

FIXING AND RELOCATING LINES AND BOUNDARIES

 

19550130u301s

Section 301.  Petition to Superior Court.--(a)  The boundary line between any two or more adjoining counties may be determined, surveyed, relocated or marked in the manner provided by this article. ((a) repealed in part Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

(b)  Such a proceeding shall be instituted on petition of any taxpayer, the county commissioners or the corporate authorities of any political subdivision of any of the counties involved.

19550130u301v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 3 of Act 223 of 1970 provided that section 301 is repealed insofar as it vests jurisdiction and powers in the Superior Court and such jurisdiction and powers are vested by Act 223 in the Commonwealth Court.

19550130u302s

Section 302.  Superior Court to Designate Neutral Court; Appointment of Commission.--(a)  The court, upon the filing of such petition, shall designate a court of a county not affected by the question and not adjoining any of the counties involved to act in the proceeding. The court so designated shall sit in its home county. ((a) repealed in part Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

(b)  If it appears to the court so designated that the county line, or any part thereof, shall be surveyed or marked, it shall appoint a commission, composed of three surveyors or professional engineers in civil engineering, to act for the court as hereinafter provided.

19550130u302v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 2 of Act 53 of 1978 provided that upon petition the Commonwealth Court shall designate the court having jurisdiction under section 302. All actions by or against a county shall be conducted by the board of commissioners.

Compiler's Note:  Section 3 of Act 223 of 1970 provided that section 302 is repealed insofar as it vests jurisdiction and powers in the Superior Court and such jurisdiction and powers are vested by Act 223 in the Commonwealth Court.

19550130u303s

Section 303.  Compensation, Assistants and Expenses.--(a)  The surveyors or professional engineers in civil engineering composing such commission shall each receive such compensation as the court shall fix for the time necessarily spent in the discharge of their duties and, in addition thereto, shall be reimbursed the necessary expenses incurred by them respectively while engaged upon the work of such commission.

(b)  The commission may employ such assistants as the court shall allow, at a compensation to be fixed by the court, and such assistants shall be reimbursed the actual necessary expenses incurred by them respectively while employed by such commission.

(c)  All costs, including the necessary expenses of advertising the meeting of the commissioners as hereinafter provided, and in procuring and setting the monuments needful to mark in a permanent manner such county line, the expenses of the commission and its assistants and all other expenses necessarily incurred, shall be paid by the interested counties jointly, in equal parts, or by any party or parties to the proceeding as the court may direct, upon presentation of properly itemized bills, duly verified by affidavit of the person claiming payment or some one on his behalf.

19550130u304s

Section 304.  Oath; Organization and Duties.--(a)  The members of the commission shall take and subscribe an oath to perform their duties impartially and with fidelity.

(b)  The commission shall meet and organize within two weeks of its appointment. It shall select from its membership a chairman and also a secretary who shall keep a full record of the proceedings and work of the commission. Before entering upon its duties, it shall designate, by advertisement in not more than two newspapers published in each of the counties concerned, a time and place of meeting, when and where parties interested shall be heard. After such hearing, it shall, without unreasonable delay, ascertain the location, and survey and mark with suitable monuments of a permanent character the existing county line between such counties, if it shall consider such old county line a proper one.

19550130u304v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 3(3) of Act 76 of 2008 provided that all acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar as they are inconsistent with Act 76. Section 1 of Act 76 amended 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 (relating to general provisions) by adding section 1141 (relating to form of oaths of office), which provides the form of oaths of office for elected or appointed officials of municipalities.

19550130u305s

Section 305.  Authority to Fix New County Line.--(a)  When the commission has ascertained, located and determined said line, if it appears to it that the existing county line, from any cause whatever, has become inconvenient for any purpose, or improper, difficult to ascertain, or not related to the natural or other land marks, the commission shall report these facts, or any of them, to the court of quarter sessions having appointed the commission, with a recommendation that a new county line be established in whole or in part.

(b)  Thereupon, if said court shall be of opinion that it is to the interest and advantage of the respective counties that a new county line be established, they may direct said commission to fix and determine a new county line and to mark the same with suitable monuments of a permanent character.

(c)  Notice shall be given to the counties interested, and to the owners of all lands which will be affected by the proposed change, of the time when the recommendation of the commission for a new county line will be considered by the court.

19550130u306s

Section 306.  Report of Commission; Approval by Court; Certification of Line.--(a)  The commission, or a majority thereof, shall make a report, in writing, and attach thereto a map or draft showing the courses and distances of the line ascertained and designated by them as the existing county line, or where they may have been directed to fix and determine a new county line, such map or draft, in lieu thereof, shall show the courses and distances of new county line. In either case, the map or draft shall also show the lands through which said line passes and the buildings in close proximity thereto, together with the roads and streams crossed by or near to such line.

(b)  The report and map, signed by the members of the commission or a majority of them, shall be filed in the court of quarter sessions having been given jurisdiction, and if approved by such court, shall be ordered recorded in the records thereof. A copy of the report and approval shall be certified by the clerk of the court to the clerk of the court of quarter sessions of each county affected, where it shall be recorded in the records. The line so ascertained, surveyed and fixed and so marked shall thenceforth be the boundary line between the counties.

(c)  The clerk of the court of quarter sessions, having determined the matter, shall certify the approval of the court on two copies of the report and map filed in this office and, within thirty days, transmit a copy by mail to the Secretary of Internal Affairs, to be by him deposited in his department, and another to the Department of Highways.

19550130u401h

 

ARTICLE IV

COUNTY OFFICERS

 

(a)  General Provisions

 

19550130u401s

Section 401.  Enumeration of Elected Officers.--(a)  In each county, there shall be the following officers elected by the qualified electors of the county:

(1)  Three county commissioners.

(2)  Three auditors or, in all counties where the office of auditor has heretofore been or shall hereafter be abolished, one controller.

(3)  One treasurer.

(4)  One coroner.

(5)  One recorder of deeds.

(6)  One prothonotary.

(7)  One clerk of the court of quarter sessions and of the court of oyer and terminer.

(8)  One clerk of the orphans' court.

(9)  One register of wills.

(10)  One sheriff.

(11)  One district attorney.

(12)  Two jury commissioners.

(b)  All such officers shall be elected at the municipal election next preceding the expiration of the terms of the officers now in office, and quadrennially thereafter, and shall hold their offices for a term of four years from the first Monday of January next after their election and until their successors shall be duly qualified, but in the event that any such officer so elected, excepting a county commissioner or auditor, shall fail to qualify, or if no successor shall be elected, then the chief deputy, first assistant, first deputy or principal deputy in office at the time the vacancy occurred shall assume the office until a successor has been appointed pursuant to section 409 or until the first Monday in January following the next municipal election, whichever period is shorter. In the case of a county commissioner or auditor, there shall be a vacancy which shall be filled as provided in this act.

(c)  All the county officers enumerated in this section shall remain as now constituted. This section does not create any office in any county where such office does not now exist.

(d)  The office of jury commissioner may be abolished by referendum at the option of each county which on the effective date of this subsection is a county of the third class having a population under the 1990 Federal decennial census in excess of 237,000 residents, but less than 240,000 residents, or a population under the 1990 Federal decennial census in excess of 337,000 residents, but less than 341,000 residents, whenever electors equal to at least five per centum of the highest vote cast for any office in the county at the last preceding general election shall file a petition with the county board of elections, or the governing body of the county adopts, by a majority vote, a resolution to place such a question on the ballot and a copy of the resolution is filed with the county board of elections for a referendum on the question of abolishing the office of jury commissioner. Proceedings under this subsection shall be in accordance with the provisions of the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the "Pennsylvania Election Code." Upon approval of the referendum the office of jury commissioner shall expire at the completion of the current jury commissioners' terms of office. The referendum shall not take place in any year in which the office of jury commissioners is on the ballot.

(e)  The office of jury commissioner may be abolished in a county of the third class having a population during the 2000 decennial census of not less than 371,000 and not more than 380,000 if the governing body of the county adopts, by a majority vote, a resolution abolishing the office of jury commissioner. Upon approval of the resolution, the office of jury commissioner shall expire at the completion of the current jury commissioners' terms of office.

(f)  After review of the procedures in effect within the county to ensure that lists of potential jurors are a representative cross section of the community, the governing body of a county of the second class A or third through eighth class may adopt, by a majority vote, a resolution abolishing the office of jury commissioner. Upon approval of the resolution, the office of jury commissioner shall expire at the completion of the current jury commissioners' terms of office. ((f) added Dec. 15, 2011, P.L.442, No.108 and amended May 6, 2013, P.L.22, No.4)

(401 amended May 9, 2002, P.L.301, No.41)

19550130u401v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 401(f) was declared unconstitutional on March 14, 2013, by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania State Association of Jury Commissioners v. Commonwealth, 64 A.3d 611 (Pa. 2013).

Compiler's Note:  Section 2 of Act 41 of 2002, which amended section 401, provided that Act 41 shall apply to jury commissioners holding office on or after the effective date of Act 41.

Compiler's Note:  Section 5 of Act 79 of 1998, which added section 401(d), provided that, if the conditions placed on "county" in section 401(d) are found to be an unconstitutional classification, then section 401(d) is nonseverable and void.

19550130u402s

Section 402.  Incompatible Offices.--(a)  No elected county officer or county solicitor shall, at the same time, serve as a member of the legislative body of any city, borough, town or township of any class, nor as treasurer or tax collector of any city, borough, incorporated town or township, nor as school director of any school district, nor as a member of any board of health. ((a) amended June 19, 1963, P.L.150, No.95)

(b)  No member of Congress from this State, nor any person holding or exercising any office or appointment of trust or profit under the United States, shall, at the same time, hold or exercise any county office in this State to which a salary, fee or perquisites are attached. This section shall not apply to United States Reserve Officers or enlisted personnel not called into active duty. ((b) amended Oct. 4, 1978, P.L.964, No.190)

19550130u403s

Section 403.  Oath of Office.--(a)  In addition to any oath or affirmation required by any other act of Assembly, all county officers, their deputies, assistants and clerks, shall, before entering on the duties of their respective offices or employments, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this Commonwealth; and that I will discharge the duties of my office (or employment) with fidelity; that I have not paid or contributed, or promised to pay or contribute, either directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing to procure my nomination or election (or appointment), except for necessary and proper expenses expressly authorized by law; that I have not knowingly violated any election law of this Commonwealth, or procured it to be done by others in my behalf; that I will not knowingly receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing for the performance or non-performance of any act or duty pertaining to my office (or employment) other than the compensation allowed by law".

(b)  The foregoing oath shall be administered by some person authorized to administer oaths, and shall be filed in the office of the prothonotary of the county in which the same is taken. Any person refusing to take said oath or affirmation shall forfeit his office. Any person who shall be convicted of having sworn or affirmed falsely, or of having violated said oath or affirmation, shall be guilty of perjury, and shall be subject to such penalties as are provided therefor in the act, approved June twenty-four, one thousand nine hundred thirty-nine (Pamphlet Laws 872), known as The Penal Code, and be forever disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit within this Commonwealth.

19550130u403v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 3(3) of Act 76 of 2008 provided that all acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar as they are inconsistent with Act 76. Section 1 of Act 76 amended 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 (relating to general provisions) by adding section 1141 (relating to form of oaths of office), which provides the form of oaths of office for elected or appointed officials of municipalities.

19550130u403.1s

Section 403.1.  Compensation When Salary Not Fixed by Law.--In counties where no annual salary is fixed by law for the county treasurer, he shall receive in full compensation for his services on behalf of the county a certain amount per centum on all moneys received and paid by him, which rate shall be settled, from to time, by the county commissioners with the approbation of the county auditors.

(403.1 added May 7, 1956, P.L.1539, No.510)

19550130u404s

Section 404.  Officers to Have Commissions Recorded.--Every county officer receiving a commission from the Governor shall, immediately, deliver the same to the recorder of deeds for recordation at the expense of such officer. No such officer shall execute any of the duties of his office until he has so delivered the said commission.

19550130u405s

Section 405.  Location of Offices, Records and Papers.--(a)  The commissioners, auditors, controller, treasurer, sheriff, recorder of deeds, prothonotary, clerk of courts of quarter sessions and oyer and terminer, clerk of orphans' court, register of wills, recorder of deeds and district attorney shall keep their respective offices, and all public records and papers belonging thereto, at the county seat, and in such buildings as may be erected or appropriated for such purpose. The county commissioners shall have the power to keep and maintain records and to contract with persons, for storage, retrieval, and transmission of county records within or outside the county except that no records shall be stored outside the county seat without the approval of the president judge and the officer in charge of the office to which the records belong. Public records stored outside of the county seat shall be made accessible to the general public at the county seat by means of an electronic telecopying system or facility which will permit the retrieval of the records or exact copies thereof within three business days.

County records used on a regular or frequent basis shall remain in the county seat.

(b)  The county commissioners shall furnish each of such officers with an office in the county building, court house or other building at the county seat.

(c)  Any person failing or refusing to maintain his office and to keep all public records and papers belonging thereto in the buildings appropriated for such purpose in accordance with the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to undergo imprisonment until he complies with the provisions of this section, or until sooner discharged by order of the court, and to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), to be paid to the use of the county.

(405 amended Oct. 17, 1974, P.L.750, No.252)

19550130u406s

Section 406.  Records Open to Inspection.--(a)  The minute book and other fiscal records and documents of every county may be open to the inspection of any taxpayer thereof, but the proper officers may make reasonable rules and regulations respecting the time of such inspection.

(b)  In case any officer shall refuse to permit the inspection of any fiscal record or document the taxpayer may, by petition to the court of common pleas of the county, set forth his reasons for desiring to make such inspection, and, if the court deems such reasons proper, it shall order the officer to permit the inspection to be made.

19550130u407s

Section 407.  Officers to Secure Funds, Records, Books, Et Cetera, from Predecessors.--(a)  Any person, elected or appointed, and duly commissioned to any county office, shall demand and receive all records, books, drafts, plans, papers, seals or other official things, including all public funds held in such office, and not otherwise provided for by the act, approved May seventeen, one thousand nine hundred forty-nine (Pamphlet Laws 1403), known as the Municipal Unclaimed Moneys Act, belonging to such office from the person or persons who held the office immediately before his election or appointment, or from any other person or persons holding or possessing them.

(b)  Any person detaining from such a county office any records, books, drafts, plans, papers, seals or other official things, including public funds, as herein provided, belonging to such office after reasonable demand therefor, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to undergo imprisonment until the delivery of any such official things found to be in his possession or control to the proper officer, or until sooner discharged by order of the court, and to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), to be paid to the use of the county.

19550130u408s

Section 408.  Deputies to Act in Certain Cases.--(a)  Whenever any county officer is authorized or required to appoint a deputy or deputies, such deputy or principal deputy, where there are more than one, shall, during the necessary or temporary absence of his principal, perform all duties of such principal, and also, in case of a vacancy or as provided in section 401(b), until a successor is qualified. While fulfilling these duties, in the case of a vacancy, the deputy shall receive the salary provided by law for the principal or the salary provided for the deputy, whichever is greater. ((a) amended Dec. 7, 1990, P.L.633, No.163)

(b)  No person temporarily succeeding to any county office by reason of the death, resignation or removal of the duly elected or appointed officer, shall execute any of the duties of such office until he has first taken oath and filed the bond required of the principal officer.

19550130u409s

Section 409.  Vacancies Not Otherwise Provided For.--In case of a vacancy, happening by death, resignation or otherwise, in any county office created by the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth, and where no other provision is made by the Constitution, or by the provisions of this act, to fill the vacancy, it shall be the duty of the Governor to appoint a suitable person to fill such office, who shall continue therein and discharge the duties thereof until the first Monday in January following the next municipal election occurring not less than ninety days after the occurrence of the vacancy, or for the balance of the unexpired term, whichever period is shorter. If there is a municipal election occurring not less than ninety days after the occurrence of the vacancy, other than the one at which the office ordinarily is filled, then the office shall be filled at that election for the balance of the unexpired term. Such appointee shall be confirmed by the Senate if in session.

(409 amended Dec. 18, 1984, P.L.1065, No.211)

19550130u409v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 4 of Act 231 of 2002 provided that section 409 is repealed insofar as it relates to the consent required by the Senate to appointments by the Governor. Act 231 also added section 207.1(d)(5.1) to the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929, relating to the Governor's filling vacancies in certain elected offices, including elected county row offices, with the advice and consent of a majority of the Senate, and requiring that the person appointed be of the same political party as was the person who vacated the office on the date that the person vacating the office took the oath of office.

19550130u410s

Section 410.  County Officials to Furnish Information to Heads of the Governmental Departments.--(a)  It shall be the duty of all county officers to furnish, on application therefor, to the head of any department of the State government such information and copies of such records or documents contained in their respective offices, as in the opinion of such head of department may be necessary or pertinent to the work of his respective department. The county so furnishing information shall receive for copying and forwarding the same such reasonable compensation as the Auditor General may determine. Such compensation shall be paid to the county by the State Treasurer, out of moneys not otherwise appropriated, upon warrant from the Auditor General.

(b)  All county officers shall also furnish to the Department of Community Affairs such information as may be requested by it. ((b) amended Oct. 5, 1967, P.L.342, No.147)

19550130u410v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Community Affairs, referred to in subsec. (b), was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and its functions were transferred to the Department of Community and Economic Development.

19550130u411s

Section 411.  Penalty for Neglect or Refusal to Perform Duties.--If any county officer neglects or refuses to perform any duty imposed on him by the provisions of this act, or by the provisions of any other act of Assembly, or by any rule of court, or other provision of law, he shall, for each such neglect or refusal, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500).

19550130u412s

Section 412.  Absconding Officers.--The office of any county officer absconding from the county shall be vacant to all intents and purposes.

19550130u413s

Section 413.  Qualifications of Elected County Officers.--No person shall be elected to any county office, except the office of district attorney otherwise provided for by this act, unless he shall be at least eighteen years of age, a citizen of the United States and a resident of the county, and shall have resided within the county for one year next preceding his election.

(413 amended Jun. 16, 1972, P.L.468, No.149)

19550130u414s

Section 414.  Mileage of County Officials and Employes.--All county officials and employes may, when authorized by the county commissioners, be reimbursed at the rate of twelve cents (12¢) per mile for the use of their personal vehicle when discharging their official duties or performing a duty imposed upon them unless provisions of law require the payment of a higher rate.

(414 added May 31, 1974, P.L.308, No.98)

19550130u420h

(b)  Official Bonds

 

Compiler's Note:  The provisions of 16 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 Subch. B (relating to required fiscal security for officers and employees) provide for obtaining financial security for county elected and appointed officials and employees acting in a fiduciary capacity on behalf of the county and, in some case, the Commonwealth.

 

19550130u420s

Section 420.  Official Bonds; Requirements.--(420 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u421s

Section 421.  General Conditions; Commissioners; Treasurer.--(421 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u422s

Section 422.  Obligees Suits on Bonds.--(422 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u423s

Section 423.  Approval, Substitution or Addition of Surety.--(423 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u424s

Section 424.  Single Bond for Combined Offices.--(424 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u425s

Section 425.  Custodians of Official Bonds.--(425 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u426s

Section 426.  Acknowledgment, Evidence.--(426 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u427s

Section 427.  Amounts of Official Bonds; Exclusive Provisions.--(427 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u428s

Section 428.  Premiums of Official Bonds.--(428 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u429s

Section 429.  Bonds of Deputies and Other Appointees of County Officers.--(429 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u430s

Section 430.  Determination of Bonds of Deputies and Other Appointees.--(430 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u431s

Section 431.  Insurance to Protect Against Robbery, Burglary and Larceny; Liability Insurance.--(431 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u432s

Section 432.  Bond of Register of Wills.--(432 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u433s

Section 433.  Form of Bond of Sheriff.--(433 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u434s

Section 434.  Amount of Bond of Sheriff and of Coroner.--(434 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u435s

Section 435.  Amount of Bond of County Commissioner.--(435 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u436s

Section 436.  Amount of Bond of Recorder of Deeds.--(436 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u437s

Section 437.  Amount of Bond of Controller.--(437 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u440h

(c)  State Associations

 

19550130u440s

Section 440.  State Associations Authorized.--County officers of each county may organize for themselves a State association as follows:

(1)  The county commissioners, together with the county solicitor and the chief clerk to the county commissioners and certain officers who are counterpart personnel in counties having a Home Rule Charter or optional form of government.

(2)  The county controllers.

(3)  The sheriffs.

(4)  The district attorneys.

(5)  The probation officers.

(6)  The registers of wills and clerks of orphans' courts.

(7)  The prothonotaries and clerks of courts of quarter sessions.

(8)  The county treasurers.

(9)  The recorders of deeds.

(10)  The directors of veterans' affairs.

(11)  The coroners.

(12)  Jury commissioners.

(13)  The county auditors.

(14)  The public defenders.

(440 amended Sept. 28, 1978, P.L.800, No.154)

19550130u441s

Section 441.  Purpose; Annual Meetings.--(a)  The purpose of the respective State associations shall be to discuss and resolve the various questions arising in the discharge of the duties and functions of the respective officers, and to provide uniform, efficient and economical methods of administering the affairs of the counties pertaining to their offices.

(b)  In order to achieve such purposes by cooperation, coordination and full exchange of information, each State association is authorized to hold an annual meeting at such time and place within the Commonwealth as it may designate.

(c)  The association of county controllers, county auditors and the association of county treasurers, may meet in joint session with the association of county commissioners, solicitors and chief clerks, if such associations mutually so agree, but in any case each association shall have a separate session on at least two days of the annual meeting. ((c) amended Sep. 1, 1967, P.L.289, No.120)

19550130u442s

Section 442.  Deputies and Solicitors May Attend Annual Meetings.--The deputy controller, the deputy sheriff, the deputy register of wills, the deputy clerk of orphans' court, the deputy treasurer, the deputy prothonotary, the deputy clerk of the courts of quarter sessions, the first assistant district attorney, one assistant public defender and the deputy recorder of deeds and the chief deputy coroner, with the approval of his principal, and the solicitor for each officer, may attend the annual meetings of his respective associations either together with the controller, sheriff, register of wills, treasurer, prothonotary, clerk of the courts of quarter sessions, district attorney, public defender, recorder of deeds or coroner as the case may be or in his place.

(442 amended Sept. 28, 1978, P.L.800, No.154)

19550130u443s

Section 443.  Expenses of Attending Members to be Paid by County; Time Limit on Meetings.--(a)  The actual expenses of all authorized elected county officers attending the annual meetings of their associations shall be paid by the several counties out of the general county fund. Each of these officers, except the county commissioners, shall be reimbursed for actual expenses not to exceed one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day for the number of days specified in subsection (b) of this section, together with mileage going to and returning from such meeting and the registration fee. The sum of one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day as set forth in this subsection shall be adjusted annually by the annual increase in the cost of living as determined annually by the United States Department of Labor.

(a.1)  The actual expenses of all authorized nonelected county officers and employes attending the annual meetings of their associations may be paid by the several counties out of the county general fund. Each of these officers may be reimbursed for actual expenses in an amount not to exceed one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day for the number of days specified in subsection (b) of this section, together with mileage going to and returning from such meetings and the registration fee. The sum of one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day shall be adjusted annually as set forth in subsection (a) of this section.

(a.2)  Every delegate attending the annual meeting shall submit to the county an itemized account of expenses incurred at the meeting. The county may authorize employes to be compensated at their regular employe rate during their attendance at the annual meeting. The actual expenses for elected officers shall, and for nonelected officers may, be paid for the number of days specified in subsection (b). In addition, elected county officers shall receive, and nonelected county officers and employes may receive, actual expenses not to exceed one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day for each day not in excess of two in going to and returning from such meeting. The sum of one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day shall be adjusted annually as set forth above.

(b)  The annual meeting of the association of county commissioners, county solicitors and chief clerks shall not exceed four days, that of the district attorneys shall not exceed three days, and those of all other State associations shall not exceed three days in every case, exclusive of the time spent in traveling to and from the said meetings.

(443 amended Apr. 2, 2002, P.L.209, No.18)

19550130u444s

Section 444.  Other Meeting Expenses Paid by Counties.--(a)  In addition to the expenses hereinbefore authorized, the necessary expenses of the annual meetings of the associations hereinafter named, including annual association dues, printing, committee expenses and stenographical expense, shall be paid in equal parts by the several counties whose officers are members of the respective associations.

(b)  In the case of county commissioners, county solicitor and county clerk, county controllers, county auditors, sheriffs, register of wills, clerks of orphans' courts, county treasurers, recorders of deeds, prothonotaries, clerks of courts, public defenders, district attorneys, jury commissioners and coroners, the portion of the annual expenses charged to each county of the third and fourth class shall not exceed six hundred dollars ($600), to each county of the fifth and sixth class, five hundred dollars ($500), to each county of the seventh and eighth class, four hundred dollars ($400), and in the case of the directors of veterans' affairs the portion charged to each county shall not exceed four hundred dollars ($400), and in the case of the probation officers an annual membership subscription not exceeding ten dollars ($10) per member shall be paid by the county, and shall be in lieu of the expenses hereinbefore in this section provided for other county officers.

(444 amended Dec. 22, 2011, P.L.552, No.116)

19550130u445s

Section 445.  Annual Assessments for County Commissioners, Etc.--(a)  In addition to the expenses hereinbefore authorized, the necessary expenses of the association of county commissioners, county solicitors and chief clerks shall be apportioned among the counties holding membership in the association in amounts provided for by the rules and regulations of the association.

(a.1)  In addition to the expenses hereinbefore authorized, the necessary expenses of the association of district attorneys shall be apportioned among the counties holding membership in the association in amounts provided for by the rules and regulations of the association.

(b)  Such annual apportionments of expenses shall be as approved at each annual convention of the said association by a majority vote of the members present and, when so approved, shall be paid by the several counties from general county funds.

(445 amended Dec. 21, 1988, P.L.1414, No.172)

19550130u446s

Section 446.  Associations and Organizations Concerned with Governmental Affairs.--The county commissioners of any county may, by resolution, join associations and organizations concerned with county or governmental affairs, other than the Pennsylvania State Association of County Commissioners, may pay dues to such associations and organizations and may send delegates to meetings or conventions of such associations and organizations and pay the necessary expenses incident to their attendance at such meetings or conventions.

The county commissioners of any county may by resolution authorize any county official and his employes to attend meetings of professional associations and organizations, or study or training sessions for persons holding the same or similar office or employment, and may pay all or any specified portion of the necessary expenses incident to their attendance at such meetings or sessions.

Every person attending any convention, meeting or study or training session referred to in this act shall submit to the controller, or to the county commissioners in counties having no controller, an itemized account of his expenses thereat, including traveling expenses or mileage, which the county commissioners may have agreed to pay.

(446 added Sep. 2, 1965, P.L.482, No.244)

19550130u450h

(d)  Removal of County Officers

 

19550130u450s

Section 450.  Removal of County Officers and Appointees.--(a)  The county commissioners, the sheriffs, coroners, prothonotaries, registers of wills, recorders of deeds, treasurers, auditors or controllers, clerks of the courts, district attorneys and any other officers of the several counties, whether elected or duly appointed to fill a vacancy, shall be removable from office only by impeachment, or by the Governor for reasonable cause after due notice and full hearing on the advice of two-thirds of the Senate, or upon conviction of misbehavior in office, or of any infamous crime in accordance with the Constitution of this Commonwealth, but their title to office may be tried by proceedings of quo warranto as provided by law. ((a) amended Nov. 26, 1968, P.L.1099, No.341)

(b)  Appointees to county offices or positions other than to elected offices shall subject to removal at the pleasure of the appointing power, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, and they shall also be removed on conviction of misbehavior in office or of any infamous crime.

19550130u460h

(e)  Conduct of Official Business

 

19550130u460s

Section 460.  Meetings Open to Public.--(a)  All meetings, regular and special, of the board of county commissioners and of all boards, commissions and authorities, created by or operating as agencies of a county, are hereby declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times.

(b)  Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the county commissioners or any such board, commission or authority from holding executive sessions from which the public is excluded, but no final official action shall be taken as to any proposed or existing resolution, ordinance, rule or regulation, or part thereof, at such an executive session.

19550130u501h

 

ARTICLE V

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND CHIEF CLERKS

 

(a)  Commissioners

 

19550130u501s

Section 501.  Election; Vacancies.--(a)  Three county commissioners shall be elected in each county in the year one thousand nine hundred and fifty-five, and every fourth year thereafter. In the election of commissioners, each qualified elector shall vote for no more than two persons. The three persons having the highest number of votes shall be elected.

(b)  Any casual vacancy in the office of county commissioners shall be filled, for the balance of the unexpired term, by the court of common pleas of the county in which such vacancy shall occur by the appointment of a registered elector of the county who was a member of the same political party as the commissioner whose place is to be filled at the time the commissioner was elected.

19550130u502s

Section 502.  Organization.--The county commissioners shall meet on the first Monday of January, in the year one thousand nine hundred and fifty-six, and on the first Monday of January every fourth year thereafter, in the office provided for them at the county seat for the purpose of organization. If the first Monday is a legal holiday, the meeting shall be held the first day following.

(502 amended Apr. 4, 1957, P.L.33, No.22)

19550130u503s

Section 503.  Meetings, Regular and Special; Conduct of Meetings; Notices.--(a)  The county commissioners shall adopt rules for the conduct and order of business, establishing also regular times and places of meeting. A copy of such rules shall be posted at all times in a conspicuous place in the county court house for the benefit of the public.

(b)  Each commissioner shall have at least twenty hours notice of any special meeting and of the nature of business to be conducted thereat, unless such notice be waived by him in writing or by attendance at such special meeting.

19550130u504s

Section 504.  Quorum; Execution of Official Instruments.--(a)  The commissioners shall constitute a board, two members of which shall be a quorum for the transaction of business, and, when convened in pursuance of notice or according to adjournment, shall be competent to perform all the duties appertaining to the office of county commissioners.

(b)  Where any official document, instrument or official paper is to be executed by the county commissioners, it shall be done by at least two of the commissioners and attested by the chief clerk who shall affix the county seal thereto.

19550130u505s

Section 505.  Certified Copies of Proceedings to be Evidence.--Copies of the proceedings of the commissioners, and of all records in their possession, certified by their chief clerk under the county seal, shall be admitted in evidence in any of the courts of this Commonwealth.

19550130u506s

Section 506.  Power to Administer Oaths.--The commissioners shall respectively have power to administer oaths and affirmations in all cases arising in the performance of the duties of their office.

19550130u507s

Section 507.  Expenses.--The county commissioners shall be allowed their expenses, necessarily incurred and actually paid, in the discharge of their official duties, or in the performance of any service, office, or duty imposed upon county commissioners.

19550130u508s

Section 508.  Office Furniture, Stationery, Etc.--(a)  The county commissioners, at the cost of the county, shall purchase and provide the office furniture, equipment and supplies, blank books, blanks, dockets, books for records, stationery, postage, fuel, light and janitor and telephone service, required for each of the county officers whose offices are located in the county buildings or at such other places at the county seat as may be designated by the commissioners, and all supplies used by the public in connection with such offices.

(b)  The county commissioners, at the cost of the county, shall purchase and provide all of the same items as needed for each of the county officers whose offices are not required by law to be kept and maintained in county buildings or at the county seat.

(c)  Before purchasing office furniture, equipment or supplies, blank books, blank dockets, books for records or stationery, the county officers who are to be furnished with any of such items shall have an opportunity to state in writing his preferences as to the type and make of such articles or any of them. The commissioners shall, when feasible, purchase and supply to each officer his preference in such articles when such preference has been given.

19550130u509s

Section 509.  Ordinances and Resolutions.--(a)  The board of commissioners may adopt resolutions and ordinances prescribing the manner in which powers of the county shall be carried out and generally regulating the affairs of the county.

(b)  All such proposed ordinances, unless otherwise provided by law, shall be published at least once in one newspaper of general circulation in the county not more than sixty days nor less than seven days prior to passage. Public notices of any proposed ordinance shall include either the full text thereof or the title and a brief summary prepared by the county solicitor setting forth all the provisions in reasonable detail and a reference to a place within the county where copies of the proposed ordinance may be examined. If the full text is not included a copy thereof shall be supplied to a newspaper of general circulation in the county at the time the public notice is published. If the full text is not included an attested copy thereof shall be filed in the county law library. In the event substantial amendments are made in the proposed ordinance or resolution, upon enactment, the commissioners shall within ten days re-advertise in one newspaper of general circulation in the county, a brief summary setting forth all the provisions in reasonable detail together with a summary of the amendments. Such ordinances shall not become effective until recorded in the ordinance book of the county. In any case in which maps, plans or drawings of any kind are adopted as part of an ordinance, the commissioners may, instead of publishing the same as part of the ordinance, refer in publishing the ordinance to the place where such maps, plans or drawings are on file and may be examined. ((b) amended July 9, 1976, P.L.532, No.128)

(c)  The board of county commissioners may also prescribe fines and penalties not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) for a violation of a building, housing, property maintenance, health, fire or public safety code or ordinance and for water, air and noise pollution violations, and not exceeding six hundred dollars ($600) for a violation of any other county ordinance, which fines and penalties may be collected by suit, brought in the name of the county, in like manner as debts of like amount may be sued for. ((c) amended Mar. 2, 1988, P.L.107, No.21)

(d)  Any person violating any of the ordinances adopted by the board of county commissioners pursuant to this section shall, upon conviction thereof at a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay such fine as may be prescribed in such ordinances by the county commissioners but not in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000), to be paid to the use of the county, with costs of prosecution, or to be imprisoned for not more than ten days, or both. ((d) amended Mar. 2, 1988, P.L.107, No.21)

19550130u510s

Section 510.  Take Money and Property by Gift, Etc.--(510 repealed June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u511s

Section 511.  Provide for Temporary Investments.--(511 repealed Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1131, No.258)

19550130u512s

Section 512.  Creation of Capital Reserve Fund for Anticipated Capital Expenditures.--(512 repealed June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u513s

Section 513.  Operating Reserve Fund.--(513 repealed June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u520h

(b)  Chief Clerk of County Commissioners

 

19550130u520s

Section 520.  Chief Clerk.--The county commissioners shall appoint a chief clerk.

19550130u521s

Section 521.  Duties and Powers of Chief Clerk.--(a)  The chief clerk shall keep the books and accounts of the board of county commissioners, record and file their proceedings and papers, attest all orders and voucher checks issued by them and perform all other duties pertaining to his office as chief clerk.

(b)  He shall have general power to administer oaths and affirmations, pertaining to the business of the office of the county commissioners.

19550130u601h

 

ARTICLE VI

CONTROLLER

 

19550130u601s

Section 601.  Election and Term; Seal.--(a)  At the municipal election immediately preceding the expiration of the term of the controller now in office, and quadrennially thereafter, the qualified electors of each county of the third, fourth and fifth classes, and of every other county where the office of controller has been or may hereafter be established, including counties in which the office was established by general law, or otherwise, while such counties were in a higher classification, shall elect one citizen of the county, who shall serve as controller for the term of four years from the first Monday of January following his election, or until his successor shall be qualified, if he so long shall behave himself well.

(b)  Each county controller shall be provided with an official seal of his office by the county commissioners of the county, which shall be used for the attestation of all official papers.

19550130u602s

Section 602.  Eligibility.--(a)  No person holding office under the United States shall be eligible to the office of county controller during his continuance in such office, nor until one year thereafter.

(b)  The county commissioners, county treasurer, prothonotary, register of wills, clerk of the courts, recorder of deeds, sheriff and district attorney, and their chief clerks or deputies, shall be ineligible, during their continuance in such office and for two years thereafter, to the office of county controller.

(c)  The controller shall always be eligible to reelection or appointment.

19550130u603s

Section 603.  Deputy Controller and Clerks.--(a)  The controller in counties of the third, fourth and fifth classes shall appoint a deputy controller and clerks, and in counties of the sixth, seventh and eighth classes may appoint a deputy controller and clerks, and each controller may authorize one or more of the clerks employed in his office to administer to all persons oaths and affirmations, pertaining to the business of the office, with the same force and effect as if administered by the controller or deputy controller.

(b)  The controller may appoint a second deputy controller, who shall possess and discharge all the rights, powers and duties of the principal deputy controller during his necessary or temporary absence.

(603 amended Nov. 21, 1990, P.L.559, No.140)

19550130u604s

Section 604.  Solicitor to the Controller.--The county controller may designate and appoint one person, learned in the law, to act as his solicitor. Such solicitor shall advise upon all such legal matters as may be submitted to him, and shall conduct any litigation desired by the county controller. He shall hold office at the pleasure of the controller.

19550130u605s

Section 605.  Establishment of Office of Controller in Counties of the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Classes.--(a)  The office of controller may be established in any county of the sixth, seventh or eighth class by the affirmative vote of a majority of the electors of the county voting on the question submitted, as herein provided, at the general election in which the auditors are in the third year of their term.

(b)  The question shall be submitted to the electors of the county whenever county electors file a petition containing signatures equal to at least five per centum of the highest vote cast for any office in the county at the last preceding general election. Such petition shall be filed with the county commissioners at least sixty days before the day of the general election at which the question is to be submitted. If the petition is sufficiently signed the county commissioners shall cause the question to be submitted in the manner provided by the Pennsylvania Election Code.

(c)  If the majority of electors voting on the question shall vote in favor of establishing the office of county controller, such office shall thereby be established, and, at the next municipal election, and quadrennially thereafter, the electors of the county shall choose a citizen of the county for the office of controller in place of the county auditors.

(605 amended June 25, 2001, P.L.666, No.57)

19550130u606s

Section 606.  Appointment by Governor; Duties of Auditors; Abolition of Office of Auditor.--(a)  Whenever the office of controller is established in any county, under the provisions of section 605 of this act, or by a change in class of such county not otherwise provided for by law, the Governor shall appoint a suitable person to act as controller of said county until his successor in office is duly elected and installed.

(b)  Upon the appointment of a controller, as provided in this section, the county auditors then in office shall proceed to audit all accounts as required by law, and shall file a report of such audit with the controller so appointed, not later than three months after the controller assumes his office, whereupon the office of county auditor shall be abolished and cease to exist in said county.

19550130u607s

Section 607.  Expenses.--The county controller and his deputy, clerks, and auditors shall be allowed their expenses necessarily incurred and actually paid in the discharge of their official duties, or in the performance of any service or duty imposed upon them.

19550130u701h

 

ARTICLE VII

AUDITORS

 

19550130u701s

Section 701.  Election and Vacancies.--(a)  In each county where the office of controller has not been established, three county auditors shall be elected in the year one thousand nine hundred fifty-five, and every fourth year thereafter. In the election of auditors, each qualified elector shall vote for no more than two persons. The three persons having the highest number of votes shall be elected.

(b)  Any casual vacancy in the office of county auditors shall be filled, for the balance of the unexpired term, by the court of common pleas of the county, by the appointment of an elector who voted for the auditor whose place is to be filled.

19550130u702s

Section 702.  Eligibility.--(a)  No person shall be eligible to the office of county auditor who, within two years, shall have been treasurer of the county.

(b)  No person holding the office of county auditor shall at the same time hold or be employed in any office of the county, the county institution district, any school district, any board of health or any municipality authority of which the county is a member.

19550130u703s

Section 703.  Meetings; Quorum.--The auditors shall assemble at the county seat on the first Monday of January in each year, and begin their audit of the fiscal affairs of the county for the fiscal year immediately preceding, and thereafter, at such times as they may find necessary for the completion of their audit before the first day of the following July. They may, upon petition to the court of common pleas, have such additional time for the completion of their report as the court shall allow. Any two auditors when duly convened shall be a quorum for the purpose of transacting any business.

(703 amended July 2, 2007, P.L.71, No.22)

19550130u704s

Section 704.  Counsel.--The auditors may employ a competent attorney-at-law to act as their counsel and attorney.

19550130u801h

 

ARTICLE VIII

TREASURER

 

Compiler's Note:  The provisions of 16 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 Subch. B (relating to required fiscal security for officers and employees) provide for obtaining financial security for county elected and appointed officials and employees acting in a fiduciary capacity on behalf of the county and, in some case, the Commonwealth.

 

19550130u801s

Section 801.  County Treasurer; Eligibility.--No judge, clerk or prothonotary of any court, register of wills, recorder of deeds, county commissioner, or county controller shall be eligible to serve as county treasurer during their continuance in office.

(801 amended Nov. 26, 1968, P.L.1102, No.342)

19550130u802s

Section 802.  Bond in Favor of Commonwealth.--(802 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u803s

Section 803.  Removal from Office for Failure to Transmit Bond to Auditor General.--(803 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u804s

Section 804.  When Auditor General to Deliver Up Bond of Treasurer.--(804 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19550130u805s

Section 805.  Misapplication of Funds Collected for Specific Purposes.--Whenever any moneys are collected by law in any county for any special purpose, and paid into the hands of the treasurer of such county, it shall be unlawful for such treasurer to apply such moneys, or any part thereof, to any other purpose than that for which such moneys were collected. Every such misapplication shall be a misdemeanor, upon conviction thereof such treasurer shall be punished by a fine of not less than the amount so misapplied, or by imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than one year, or both.

19550130u806s

Section 806.  Deputy Treasurer.--The county treasurer is hereby authorized to appoint a deputy county treasurer who shall perform such duties as shall be prescribed by the county treasurer.

19550130u806.1s

Section 806.1.  Second Deputy Treasurer.--The county treasurer may appoint a second deputy treasurer, who shall possess and discharge all the rights, powers and duties of the principal deputy treasurer during his necessary or temporary absence.

(806.1 added July 13, 1987, P.L.316, No.57)

19550130u807s

Section 807.  Solicitor to County Treasurer in Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Class Counties.--In counties of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes, the county treasurer is authorized to appoint one person, learned in the law, as his solicitor. The solicitor shall advise upon all legal matters that may be submitted to him and shall conduct any litigation when requested so to do by the treasurer.

(807 amended Jun. 7, 1961, P.L.245, No.141)

19550130u901h

 

ARTICLE IX

COUNTY SOLICITOR

 

19550130u901s

Section 901.  Appointment; Qualifications.--The county commissioners shall appoint a county solicitor, who shall be an attorney-at-law admitted to practice in the courts of this Commonwealth. He shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, file with the county commissioners an agreement to pay all fees, attorney's fees, and commissions received from every source as county solicitor into the county treasury.

19550130u902s

Section 902.  Duties.--He shall commence and prosecute all suits brought, or to be brought, by the county, wherein or whereby any rights, privileges, properties, claims or demands of the county are involved, as well as defend all actions or suits brought against the county, and shall perform all duties now enjoined by law upon county solicitors, and shall do all and every professional act and render legal advice incident to the office which may be required of him by the commissioners.

(902 amended Jun. 7, 1961, P.L.245, No.141)

19550130u903s

Section 903.  Employes in Third Class Counties.--In counties of the third class, the county solicitor may, with the consent of the county commissioners, employ a stenographer as an assistant in his office.

19550130u904s

Section 904.  Assistant County Solicitors.--The county commissioners may appoint one or more assistant county solicitors, and special counsel who shall be attorneys at law admitted to practice in the courts of this Commonwealth. Each assistant and special counsel shall perform such duties in connection with the legal affairs of the county as may be assigned to him by the county commissioners or the county solicitor.

(904 amended Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1448, No.158)

19550130u1001h

 

ARTICLE X

ENGINEER

 

(Hdg. amended Nov. 26, 1968, P.L.1099, No.341)

 

19550130u1001s

Section 1001.  County Engineer; Appointment; Term.--The county commissioners of any county may appoint a professional engineer in civil engineering, who shall be styled the county engineer. Such engineer shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioners.

(1001 amended Nov. 26, 1968, P.L.1099, No.341)

19550130u1002s

Section 1002.  Duties.--The county engineer shall:

(1)  prepare plans, specifications, and estimates of all engineering work undertaken by the county, and, whenever required, shall furnish the commissioners with reports, information, or estimates on any such work and, in general, shall perform all such duties with reference to any county engineering work as the county commissioners may from time to time prescribe.

(2)  perform all duties relating to surveying as may be assigned to him by the county commissioners or by law; and

(3)  perform all duties heretofore imposed on county surveyors.

(1002 amended Nov. 26, 1968, P.L.1099, No.341)

19550130u1002v

Compiler's Note:  The act of Nov. 26, 1968, P.L.1099, No.341 eliminated what had been section 1001 and renumbered sections 1002 and 1003 to read sections 1001 and 1002 respectively; thus, there is no section 1003.

19550130u1101h

 

ARTICLE XI

BOARD OF VIEWERS

(Art. XI repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

 

19550130u1101s

Section 1101.  Number of Members; Qualifications.--(1101 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1102s

Section 1102.  Qualifications.--(1102 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1103s

Section 1103.  Appointment of members; Vacancies; Rules and Regulations.--(1103 repealed Apr. 28, 1978 P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1104s

Section 1104.  Term of Office; Removal.--(1104 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1105s

Section 1105.  Power to Administer Oaths.--(1105 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1106s

Section 1106.  Clerks and Stenographers.--(1106 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1201h

 

ARTICLE XII

SHERIFF AND CORONER

 

(a)  Sheriff

 

19550130u1201s

Section 1201.  Unfinished Business of Outgoing Sheriff.--(a)  It shall be the duty of every outgoing sheriff, to deliver all unfinished and unexecuted writs and process whatsoever to his successor whose duty it shall be to receive and execute the same as if said writs and process had been originally issued and directed to him, and to carry out and complete all other official duties of his predecessor.

(b)  Whenever any real estate shall be sold under any execution by a sheriff who shall, in any lawful manner, be succeeded in office before any deed shall be executed and acknowledged by him in due form of law for such real estate, his successor in office shall have the same power and be under the same duty to execute and acknowledge a deed for such real estate to the purchaser thereof as the sheriff selling such real estate under execution if he were still in office, which deed so executed shall be as effectual in law as if the title had been completed by the former sheriff.

(c)  No court order shall be necessary in any event to authorize an incoming sheriff to carry out his duties as prescribed by this act.

19550130u1202s

Section 1202.  Sheriff May Act by Deputy.--Whenever the sheriff is or shall be required by law to act in person under or by virtue of any writ or process whatsoever issued by the courts of this Commonwealth, he may act either in person or by a regularly appointed deputy sheriff.

19550130u1203s

Section 1203.  Chief Deputy; Compensation.--The sheriff of each county shall appoint, by commission duly recorded in the office for recording deeds, a chief deputy, whose appointment shall be revocable by the sheriff at pleasure on recording in said office a signed revocation thereof. The chief deputy, during his continuance in office, shall have full power and authority to perform any duty incumbent upon such sheriff, with like effect in law as if such official act had been done by the sheriff in person, regardless of the ability or temporary disability of such sheriff to act, while such sheriff continues in office. Nothing in this section shall operate to relieve such sheriff or his sureties from liability upon their official bond.

19550130u1204s

Section 1204.  Real Estate Deputies in Counties of the Third and Fourth Classes.--In counties of the third and fourth classes, the sheriff may have a real estate deputy to take charge of all matters relating to sheriff's sales of real estate and distributions of the proceeds thereof, whose appointment shall be made and be revocable as hereinbefore provided for the chief deputy. Such deputy shall have full power to perform all duties incumbent upon the sheriff in like manner as his chief deputy with like effect in law as if such official acts had been done by the sheriff in person. Such duties shall include the execution and acknowledgment of sheriff's deeds for real estate upon receipt of the purchase price thereof. Nothing in this act shall operate to relieve the sheriff or his sureties from liability upon their official bonds but such liability shall continue as heretofore.

19550130u1205s

Section 1205.  Deputies and Clerks.--The sheriff of each county may appoint such deputies and clerks as may be necessary to properly transact the business of his office. He may revoke the appointment of deputies in the same manner as his chief deputy. The sheriff may also appoint necessary special deputies, when any emergency arises, to assist him in executing any civil or criminal process or court order or in preserving the peace, who shall serve only so long as they are absolutely needed.

19550130u1206s

Section 1206.  Deputy Sheriff's Qualifications.--A sheriff shall not appoint any person a chief deputy or any other deputy sheriff unless the sheriff files with the prothonotary, prior to the appointment of such person, the name and photograph of such person, together with an affidavit of such person setting forth the following:

(1)  His full name, age, and residence address.

(2)  That he is a citizen of the United States, and eighteen years of age or over. ((2) amended Jun. 16, 1972, P.L.468, No.149)

(3)  ((3) deleted Feb. 10, 1976, P.L.6, No.3)

(4)  That he has never been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude under the laws of this Commonwealth, or of any other state, or of the United States.

(5)  That he has not, for a period of two years immediately preceding the filing of such affidavit, acted either for himself or as the agent or employe of another, in any labor dispute, or hired himself out or performed any service as a private detective, private policeman or private guard in any labor dispute, or received any fee or compensation whatsoever for acting as a private detective, private policeman or private guard in any labor dispute, or conducted the business of a private detective agency, or of any agency supplying private detectives, private policemen or private guards, or advertised or solicited any such business in this Commonwealth in connection with any labor dispute.

19550130u1207s

Section 1207.  False Statements in Deputy's Affidavit.--Any false statement contained in any such affidavit shall constitute perjury, and shall be punishable as such.

19550130u1208s

Section 1208.  Filed Items, Public Records.--The name, photograph, and affidavit of any such person so filed with the prothonotary, shall constitute a public record.

19550130u1209s

Section 1209.  Public List of Applicants for Deputy Sheriff.--The sheriff shall, from time to time, prepare a list of the names of all persons who have applied for appointment as deputy sheriff and who meet the qualifications hereinbefore prescribed. Such list shall be posted in a public place for a period of not less than ten days, and thereafter shall be filed in the office of the prothonotary. No deputies shall be appointed by the sheriff whose names do not appear on said list.

19550130u1210s

Section 1210.  Private Services, Gifts and Payments, Contracts, Prohibited.--(a)  No sheriff, deputy sheriff, detective or other county police officer whatsoever, shall perform, directly or indirectly, any official services or official duties for any person, association or corporation, or receive, directly or indirectly, any compensation, gifts or gratuities from any person, association or corporation during the period of his official services. Nothing herein contained shall prohibit such officers from serving writs and other legal process as authorized by law. Any compensation payable to any such officer for official duties and services shall be paid only out of the proper county, or other public funds, to the amount and in the manner prescribed by law. Gifts, donations, and gratuities of any nature whatsoever made by any person, association or corporation to the county or to any official or agent thereof, shall not constitute public funds within the meaning of this section.

(b)  No county, or any official or agent thereof, shall accept as a gratuity, gift or donation any arms, ammunition, military supplies, tear gas or equipment, or supplies or articles of a similar character from, nor shall any such gratuity, gift or donation be made by any person, association or corporation.

(c)  Any contract or agreement, whatsoever, made in violation of the provisions of this section, shall be utterly void and of no effect, in law or in equity, and is hereby declared to be contrary to public policy.

(d)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, unless otherwise prohibited by resolution or ordinance of the county, an individual who is employed as a sheriff, deputy sheriff, detective or other county police officer may engage in outside employment, including employment in security, during a period in which the individual is not scheduled to perform nor performing duty as a county employe. The county is not liable for any damage resulting from an act of an individual acting under this subsection.

(1210 amended June 28, 2002, P.L.470, No.77)

19550130u1211s

Section 1211.  Penalties.--Any sheriff, deputy sheriff or any other county police officer, whatsoever, or any other official of the county or any person, association or corporation, violating any of the provisions of sections 1206, 1209 or 1210 of this act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), or to undergo imprisonment for not less than ninety days nor more than two years, or both.

19550130u1212s

Section 1212.  Construction.--Nothing contained in sections 1206 or 1210 of this act, shall be construed to prohibit the appointment, employment or compensation by any county in the manner expressly provided by law of--(1) night watchmen, (2) railroad police, (3) bank police, (4) payroll police, (5) special policemen to police and protect cemeteries and grounds and buildings open to the public, or to enforce laws for the prevention of cruelty to persons or animals, (6) fire police whose only duty shall be to direct traffic and maintain order to, at or from fires, (7) police or guards employed by nonprofit corporations or organizations.

19550130u1213s

Section 1213.  Solicitor in Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Class Counties.--In all counties of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes, the sheriff may appoint one person, learned in the law, as his solicitor. Said solicitor shall advise the sheriff upon all legal matters that may be submitted to him, and shall conduct any litigation in connection with the sheriff's office when requested so to do by the sheriff.

(1213 amended Jun. 7, 1961, P.L.245, No.141)

19550130u1214s

Section 1214.  Chief Deputy Coroner to Act as Coroner in Case of a Vacancy.--If any coroner shall be legally removed from his office or shall die or resign before the expiration of the term for which he was commissioned, the chief deputy coroner shall execute the office of coroner and perform all things thereunto appertaining and receive and retain for his own use the compensation provided by law for coroners until another coroner is commissioned and notice thereof is given to such chief deputy coroner.

(1214 amended May 3, 1968, P.L.115, No.59)

19550130u1215s

Section 1215.  Sheriff to Keep Docket.--Every sheriff and every coroner, acting as sheriff, shall provide and keep in his office a book or books in which he shall enter all writs that may come to him and the proceedings thereon, and, at the expiration of his term of office, such book or books shall be deposited in the office of the prothonotary for the inspection of all persons interested therein.

19550130u1231h

(b)  Coroner

 

19550130u1231s

Section 1231.  Deputies.--The coroner may appoint one or more deputies to act in his place and stead, as he may deem proper and necessary. Such deputy or deputies shall have the same powers as the coroner.

(1231 amended Jun. 27, 1973, P.L.72, No.31)

19550130u1232s

Section 1232.  Duties with Respect to County Morgues.--The coroner of each county in which a county morgue is established, shall make general rules and regulations for its government and control, and shall appoint suitable persons for each morgue so established to have charge of the same, and who shall be removable at the pleasure of the coroner. The number of such persons and the salary of each shall be fixed by the salary board.

19550130u1233s

Section 1233.  Removal of Bodies to Morgue.--Whenever the body of any deceased person who is unidentified or which body is unclaimed by proper persons has been found within the county, it shall be removed to the county morgue or to a private morgue serving in lieu thereof. The coroner shall, if he deems it necessary, cause any such body to be properly embalmed or prepared for preservation for such length of time as he may think proper. Any such body shall be examined or inspected only by such persons as the coroner authorizes in writing, or who are admitted in his presence. No such body shall be removed from any such morgue except upon the certificate of the coroner.

19550130u1234s

Section 1234.  Ambulance.--In each county, the county commissioners may furnish and maintain, from the general funds of the county, an ambulance for the removal of bodies of deceased persons to and from the morgue, and for the burial of unclaimed bodies. The coroner may provide rules and regulations for the use and maintenance of the ambulance.

(1234 amended Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.602, No.152)

19550130u1235s

Section 1235.  Unclaimed Property of Deceased; Sales.--(a)  The coroner shall safely keep in his charge all personal effects and property which appear to have been on or about the person at the time of his death, or being found on any decedent whose body is received at the county morgue or at any other morgue serving in lieu thereof, and all such effects and property which are delivered to him according to law. The coroner shall hold such property for one year, unless sooner claimed by legal representatives of the deceased, or otherwise duly and lawfully claimed or disposed of.

(b)  After one year, the coroner shall cause such property remaining unclaimed, or so much thereof as remains undisposed of according to law, except moneys and such properties as securities which may not be subject to such a sale, which shall be turned over to the commissioners for proper disposition or use, to be sold at public sale.

(c)  Notice of any such public sale shall be published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county once a week for three successive weeks. The proceeds of all such sales shall be paid immediately into the county treasury, and the coroner shall make a written report thereof to the county commissioners, under oath, at the same time. If the body has been buried at the expense of the institution district, the county shall pay the proceeds of sale, or such property as was not subject to sale, as hereinbefore provided, less costs, over to the institution district. The foregoing provisions shall be in lieu of escheat to the Commonwealth.

19550130u1236s

Section 1236.  Private Morgue May be Used.--In any county where a county morgue is not maintained, the coroner may cause any body which he is authorized to admit to a county morgue to be removed to a private morgue within the county, and, for the use thereof, the owner shall be paid a sum to be established by the salary board, to be paid in the same manner as fees of coroner's jurors are paid.

19550130u1236.1s

Section 1236.1.  Requests for Examinations and Reports.--(a)  Requests for examinations or other professional services by other counties or persons may be complied with at the discretion of the coroner pursuant to guidelines established by the county commissioners.

(b)  A set of fees and charges for such examinations or professional services shall be established by the coroner, subject to approval by the county commissioners, and shall be accounted for and paid to the county treasurer pursuant to section 1760. Payment for examinations or professional services shall be the responsibility of the county or person requesting such services.

(c)  The coroner may charge and collect a fee of up to one hundred dollars ($100) for each autopsy report, up to fifty dollars ($50) for each toxicology report, up to fifty dollars ($50) for each inquisition or coroner's report and such other fees as may be established from time to time for other reports and documents requested by nongovernmental agencies. The fees collected shall be accounted for and paid to the county treasurer pursuant to section 1760 and shall be used to defray the expenses involved in the county complying with the provisions of the act of March 2, 1988 (P.L.108, No.22), referred to as the Coroners' Education Board Law.

(1236.1 added Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.602, No.152)

19550130u1237s

Section 1237.  Coroner's Investigations.--(a)  The coroner having a view of the body shall investigate the facts and circumstances concerning deaths which appear to have happened within the county, regardless where the cause thereof may have occurred, for the purpose of determining whether or not an autopsy should be conducted or an inquest thereof should be had, in the following cases:

(1)  sudden deaths not caused by readily recognizable disease, or wherein the cause of death cannot be properly certified by a physician on the basis of prior (recent) medical attendance;

(2)  deaths occurring under suspicious circumstances, including those where alcohol, drugs or other toxic substances may have had a direct bearing on the outcome;

(3)  deaths occurring as a result of violence or trauma, whether apparently homicidal, suicidal or accidental (including, but not limited to, those due to mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical or radiational injury, drowning, cave-ins and subsidences);

(4)  any death in which trauma, chemical injury, drug overdose or reaction to drugs or medication or medical treatment was a primary or secondary, direct or indirect, contributory, aggravating or precipitating cause of death;

(5)  operative and peri-operative deaths in which the death is not readily explainable on the basis of prior disease;

(6)  any death wherein the body is unidentified or unclaimed;

(7)  deaths known or suspected as due to contagious disease and constituting a public hazard;

(8)  deaths occurring in prison or a penal institution or while in the custody of the police;

(9)  deaths of persons whose bodies are to be cremated, buried at sea or otherwise disposed of so as to be thereafter unavailable for examination;

(10)  sudden infant death syndrome; and

(11) stillbirths.

(b)  The purpose of the investigation shall be to determine the cause of any such death and to determine whether or not there is sufficient reason for the coroner to believe that any such death may have resulted from criminal acts or criminal neglect of persons other than the deceased.

(c)  As part of this investigation, the coroner shall determine the identity of the deceased and notify the next of kin of the deceased.

(1237 amended Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.602, No.152)

19550130u1238s

Section 1238. Autopsy; Inquest; Records.--(a)  If, upon investigation, the coroner shall be unable to determine the cause and manner of death, he shall perform or order an autopsy on the body.

(b)  If the coroner is unable to determine the cause and manner of death following the autopsy, he may conduct an inquest upon a view of the body, as provided by law. At the inquest, the coroner's duty shall be to ascertain the cause of death, to determine whether any person other than the deceased was criminally responsible therefor by act or neglect, and if so, the identity of the person, and to examine any further evidence and witnesses regarding the cause of death.

(c)  The proceedings at the inquest shall be recorded, at the expense of the county, in a manner to be provided by the county commissioners.

(1238 amended Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.602, No.152)

19550130u1239s

Section 1239.  Sudden Deaths Defined.--The coroner shall regard any death as sudden if it occurs without prior medical attendance by a person who may lawfully execute a certificate of death in this Commonwealth, or if, within twenty-four hours of death, the decedent was discharged from such medical attendance or a change of such medical attendance had occurred, or if any such medical attendance began within twenty-four hours of death and the medical attendant refuses or is unable to certify the cause of death. Medical attendance includes hospitalization.

The provisions of this section shall not be construed to affect the coroner's discretion as to whether or not any death was suspicious, nor shall they be construed to authorize a coroner to investigate a sudden death any further than necessary to determine the cause and manner of death.

(1239 amended Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.602, No.152)

19550130u1240s

Section 1240.  Bodies not to be Moved.--In all cases where the coroner has jurisdiction to investigate the facts and circumstances of death, the body and its surroundings shall be left untouched until the coroner has had a view thereof or until he shall otherwise direct or authorize, except as may be otherwise provided by law, or as circumstances may require. Bodies upon a public thoroughfare or in other places may be removed so much as is necessary for precaution against traffic accidents or other serious consequences which might reasonably be anticipated if they were left intact.

(1240 amended Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.602, No.152)

19550130u1241s

Section 1241.  Release of Coroner's Jurisdiction.--Whenever the coroner assumes jurisdiction of a body pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision or of any other law, the body shall not be released or removed from his jurisdiction except upon his directions and consent, in accordance with law.

19550130u1242s

Section 1242.  Cooperation with District Attorney.--In the exercise of his duties as contained in this subdivision, the coroner shall, so far as may be practicable, consult and advise with the district attorney. The district attorney shall act as counsel to the coroner in matters relating to inquests.

19550130u1243s

Section 1243.  Justices of the Peace not Affected.--The provisions of this subdivision shall not be construed to affect any provisions of law requiring or authorizing justices of the peace in certain cases to act in place of the coroner.

19550130u1243v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 28 of Act 207 of 2004 provided that any and all references in any other law to a "district justice" or "justice of the peace" shall be deemed to be references to a magisterial district judge.

19550130u1244s

Section 1244.  Certificate of Cause of Death.--The coroner shall issue a certificate of cause of death in all cases referred to him by the local registrar of vital statistics, pursuant to the provisions of the act, approved June twenty-nine, one thousand nine hundred fifty-three (Pamphlet Laws 304), known as the "Vital Statistics Law of 1953," and in all other cases of which he has jurisdiction, if no person duly authorized by the said act certifies the cause of death.

(1244 amended May 9, 1961, P.L.197, No.98)

19550130u1245s

Section 1245.  Power of Subpoena and Attachment.--The coroner shall have power to issue subpoenas to obtain the attendance of any person whom it may be necessary to examine as a witness at any inquest, and to compel attendance by attachment in like manner and to the same extent as any court of common pleas of this Commonwealth may or can do in cases pending before them, and also to compel in like manner the production of all papers and other things relative to such inquest. Such subpoena and attachment shall be served and executed by the sheriff or by the coroner himself or his deputy, as the case may require.

(1245 amended Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.602, No.152)

19550130u1245.1s

Section 1245.1.  Inquests; Juries.--(a)  The coroner may at his discretion summon a jury of six to be selected from the jury panels of the court of common pleas.

(b)  The function of such jury shall be to determine the manner of death and whether any criminal act or neglect of persons known or unknown caused such death. Such jury shall be paid as provided by law as if they were serving the court of common pleas.

(1245.1 added Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.602, No.152)

19550130u1246s

Section 1246.  Power to Administer Oaths.--The coroner shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations to all persons brought or appearing before him, and any person swearing or affirming falsely on such examination shall be guilty of perjury.

19550130u1247s

Section 1247.  Commitment to County Prison.--If any person appearing before the coroner for examination shall refuse to take oath or affirmation, or after having been sworn or affirmed shall refuse to make answer to such questions as shall be put to him by the coroner touching the matters of the inquest, such persons so refusing may be committed by the coroner to the county jail by warrant, under his hand and seal, directed to the sheriff or any constable of the county, setting forth particularly the causes of such commitment, until he shall submit to be sworn or affirmed or to make answers to such questions or be otherwise legally discharged.

19550130u1248s

Section 1248.  Inquests Not Public.--The coroner may, in his discretion, admit or exclude members of the public from any inquest or part thereof, and admit or exclude any person interested or suspected from such inquest or any part thereof, but this provision shall not apply to representatives of the press. No person excluded may appear by attorney, but any person required to attend may have benefit of counsel at such attendance.

19550130u1249s

Section 1249.  Chief Deputy Sheriff to Act as Sheriff in Case of Vacancy.--If any sheriff shall be legally removed from his office or shall die or resign before expiration of the term for which he was commissioned, the chief deputy sheriff shall execute the office of sheriff and perform all things thereunto appertaining, and receive and retain for his own use the compensation provided by law for sheriffs, until another sheriff is commissioned and notice thereof is given to such chief deputy sheriff.

(1249 amended May 3, 1968, P.L.115, No.59)

19550130u1250s

Section 1250.  Vacancies; No Fees upon Commissions.--If any person elected to the office of coroner shall neglect or refuse, for the space of two months next after such election, to assume the duties of said office and to comply with the requirements of the acts of Assembly in such cases, the office shall be vacant, and it shall be the duty of the Governor, upon the notification of the recorder of deeds, to appoint and commission some suitable person to fill such vacancy during the remainder of the term. No fees shall hereafter be charged on commissions issued to the coroner.

19550130u1251s

Section 1251.  Official Records of Coroner.--Every coroner, within thirty (30) days after the end of each year, shall deposit all of his official records and papers for the preceding year in the office of the prothonotary for the inspection of all persons interested therein.

19550130u1252s

Section 1252.  Solicitor to Coroner.--The coroner may appoint one person learned in the law, as his solicitor. Said solicitor shall advise the coroner upon all legal matters that may be submitted to him and shall conduct any litigation in connection with the coroner's office when requested so to do by the coroner.

(1252 added Dec. 6, 1972, P.L.1421, No.309)

19550130u1253s

Section 1253.  Anatomical Gifts.--The coroner may order the removal of parts of a decedent's body for donation purposes in accordance with 20 Pa.C.S. Ch. 86 (relating to anatomical gifts).

(1253 added Nov. 29, 1990, P.L.602, No.152)

19550130u1260h

(c)  Provisions Relating to Sheriffs and Coroners

 

19550130u1260s

Section 1260.  Not to Exercise Office Until Commission Granted and Recorded; Penalty.--No person elected or appointed to the office of sheriff or coroner shall execute any of the duties of such office before a commission shall have been duly granted to him by the Governor and left for record, under a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, at the discretion of the court of quarter sessions. Such person shall nevertheless be liable to any person injured by any acts done by him under color of such office.

19550130u1261s

Section 1261.  Recognizance of Sheriffs and Coroners.--(1261 repealed Oct. 2, 1959, P.L.1005, No.417)

19550130u1262s

Section 1262.  Sale of Real Estate Bound by Lien.--(1262 repealed Oct. 2, 1959, P.L.1005, No.417)

19550130u1263s

Section 1263.  Limitation of Action; Satisfaction of Recognizance.--(1263 repealed Oct. 2, 1959, P.L.1005, No.417 and Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1301h

 

ARTICLE XIII

PROTHONOTARY, CLERKS OF COURTS, CLERK OF

ORPHANS' COURT, REGISTER OF WILLS,

RECORDER OF DEEDS

 

19550130u1301s

Section 1301.  Election of Prothonotaries, Clerks of Courts, Clerks of Orphans' Court, Register of Wills, Recorder of Deeds.--At the municipal election preceding the expiration of the term of office of any prothonotary, clerk of the court of quarter sessions, clerk of the court of oyer and terminer, register of wills, clerk of the orphans' court or recorder of deeds of any county and quadrennially thereafter, the electors of such county shall elect a person to fill such office from the first Monday of January next succeeding such election, for a term of four years and until his successor is elected and qualified. Where, under the provisions of this act or other law, it is provided that two or more of said offices shall be held by the same person, only one person shall be elected to hold such office.

19550130u1302s

Section 1302.  How Offices to Be Held.--(a)  In counties of the third and fourth classes, one person shall hold the office of prothonotary, one person the office of clerk of courts, one person the offices of register of wills and clerk of the orphans' court, and one person the office of recorder of deeds.

(a.1)  Notwithstanding subsection (a) or any other law, a county advancing from the fifth to fourth class as a result of census figures certified after the primary election in the year of a municipal election may maintain the configuration of offices in effect in the county as long as the county, in consultation with the president judge of the court of common pleas of the county, deems appropriate. At such time as a county decides that reconfiguration of the offices in the county in accordance with subsection (a) or any other general law applicable to the holding of offices and to the classification of the county is appropriate, the county shall wait until the year in which the offices are next up for election to effect that change.

(a.2)  Notwithstanding subsection (a) or (a.1) or any other law, the county commissioners of a county advancing from the fifth to fourth class may adopt a resolution providing that one person shall continue to hold the offices of prothonotary and clerk of courts, unless local law applying to such counties shall otherwise provide.

(a.3)  Notwithstanding subsection (a) or (a.1) or any other law, the county commissioners of a county advancing from the fifth to fourth class may adopt a resolution providing that one person shall hold the offices of register of wills, recorder of deeds and clerk of the orphans' court, unless local law applying to such counties shall otherwise provide.

(b)  In counties of the fifth class, one person shall hold the offices of prothonotary and clerk of courts, one person the offices of register of wills and clerk of the orphans' court, and one person the office of recorder of deeds, unless local law applying to such counties shall otherwise provide.

(b.1)  Notwithstanding subsection (b) or any other law, the county commissioners of a county advancing from the sixth to the fifth class may adopt a resolution providing that one person shall continue to hold the offices of register of wills, recorder of deeds and clerk of the orphans' court, unless local law applying to such counties shall otherwise provide.

(c)  In counties of the sixth and seventh classes, one person shall hold the offices of prothonotary and clerk of courts, and one person the offices of register of wills, recorder of deeds and clerk of the orphans' court, unless local laws applying to such counties shall otherwise provide.

(d)  In counties of the eighth class, one person shall hold the offices of prothonotary, clerk of courts, clerk of the orphans' court, register of wills and recorder of deeds, unless local laws applying to such counties shall otherwise provide.

(e)  This section does not repeal any of the provisions of section one of the act, approved July two, one thousand eight hundred thirty-nine (Pamphlet Laws 559), entitled "An act to provide for the election of prothonotaries, clerks, recorders and registers," nor any of the provisions of any other local law.

(f)  Any county in which the offices provided for herein are not now held as hereinbefore provided, and which desires to provide for the holding of two or more of said county offices by the same person, may, at any time hereafter, accept the provisions of this section in whole or in part, and provide for the holding of its county offices, or any of them, in the manner provided in this section for the class of counties to which it belongs. The recombining of the offices that have been separated shall take effect in the year in which the offices are next up for election, at which time offices in the county shall be held in accordance with the subsection authorizing the combining of the offices or any other general law applicable to the holding of offices and to the classification of the county.

(g)  The proceedings to accept the provisions of this section and to join its offices or any of them, as herein provided, shall be in all respects as provided in section one thousand three hundred three of this act for the acceptance of the provisions of that section. Upon the expiration of the term of any county officer affected by such proceeding, his office shall be joined to the other whose term still continues, and no successor shall be elected, or, if the terms of all officers affected expire at the same time, then upon such expiration such offices shall be joined and occupied by one person elected at the preceding municipal election for such purpose.

(1302 amended July 9, 2013, P.L.268, No.51)

19550130u1303s

Section 1303.  Counties of Forty Thousand Inhabitants Created Separate Judicial Districts.--(a)  In each county containing forty thousand inhabitants, which has been created as a separate and independent judicial district as provided by the Constitution, upon acceptance of the provisions of this section, there shall be elected one person to fill the office of prothonotary, one person to fill the office of the clerk of the courts of quarter sessions and oyer and terminer, one person to fill the office of register of wills and clerk of the orphans' court, and one person to fill the office of recorder of deeds, at the expiration of the terms of the persons then filling and exercising such offices in such counties.

(b)  In any such county in which the offices provided for in this section are now held as above provided, such offices shall continue to be so held, and persons shall continue to be elected to fill the same without any actual acceptance of this section.

(c)  The acceptance of the provisions of this section shall be exercised by a decree of the court of common pleas of the county accepting the provisions thereof, upon petition of the county commissioners of such county. The petition and decree shall be recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds of the county, and in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

19550130u1304s

Section 1304.  Incompatible Offices.--(1304 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1305s

Section 1305.  Appointment of First Deputies.--The recorder of deeds shall appoint one first deputy to act in the case of the death or resignation of his principal, or when the office shall become vacant from other causes. The register of wills shall appoint a deputy or deputies as provided by law.

(1305 repealed in part Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1306s

Section 1306.  Power of Prothonotaries, Clerks, Deputies and Assistants to Administer Oaths and Affirmations.--(1306 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1307s

Section 1307.  Second Deputy Prothonotary.--(1307 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1307.1s

Section 1307.1.  Funds on Deposit; Interest.--(1307.1 repealed Nov. 21, 1973, P.L.337, No.113 and Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1308s

Section 1308.  Solicitor to Prothonotary in Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Class Counties.--(1308 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1309s

Section 1309.  Prothonotary to File and Keep Advance Copies of Law.--(1309 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1310s

Section 1310.  Assistant Clerks of Orphans' Court in Counties Having a Separate Orphans' Court.--(1310 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1311s

Section 1311.  Solicitor to Register in Counties of the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Classes.--In all counties of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes, the register of wills is authorized to appoint one person, learned in the law, as his solicitor. Said solicitor shall advise upon all legal matters that may be submitted to him, and shall conduct any litigation when requested so to do by the register of wills.

(1311 amended Jun. 7, 1961, P.L.245, No.141)

19550130u1312s

Section 1312.  Second Deputy Recorder.--The recorder of deeds may appoint a second deputy recorder of deeds, who shall possess and discharge all the rights, powers and duties of the principal deputy recorder of deeds during his necessary or temporary absence.

19550130u1313s

Section 1313.  Clerks of Recorder to Administer Oaths.--The recorder of deeds may appoint one or more clerks employed in his office to administer oaths and affirmations to all persons, pertaining to the business of the recorder's office, with the same force and effect as if administered by the recorder or deputy recorder.

19550130u1314s

Section 1314.  Solicitor to Recorder of Deeds in Counties of the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Classes.--In all counties of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes, the recorder of deeds may appoint one person as his solicitor. Said solicitor shall advise the recorder of deeds upon all legal matters that may be submitted to him, and conduct all litigation connected with the recorder of deeds' office when requested so to do by the recorder of deeds.

(1314 amended Jun. 7, 1961, P.L.245, No.141)

19550130u1315s

Section 1315.  Solicitors to Clerk of Courts of Quarter Sessions and Oyer and Terminer in Counties of the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Classes.--(1315 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1316s

Section 1316.  Solicitors to Clerks of Orphans' Courts in Counties of the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Classes.--(1316 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1401h

 

ARTICLE XIV

DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ASSISTANTS

AND DETECTIVES

 

(a)  District Attorney

 

19550130u1401s

Section 1401.  District Attorney; Qualifications; Eligibility; Compensation.--(a)  The district attorney shall be a resident of the county, at least twenty-five years of age, and a citizen of the United States, shall have been admitted to practice as an attorney before the Supreme Court of this Commonwealth for at least one year prior to taking the oath of office and shall have resided in the county for which he is elected or appointed for one year next preceding his election or appointment.

(b)  ((b) deleted by amendment)

(c)  ((c) deleted by amendment)

(d)  ((d) deleted by amendment)

(e)  ((e) deleted by amendment)

(f)  No district attorney shall be eligible for a seat in the Legislature or to any other office under the laws and Constitution of the Commonwealth, excepting an office or commission in the militia of the Commonwealth, during his continuance in office.

(g)  In counties of the eighth class, the district attorney shall be full time where any of the following apply:

(1)  The commissioners of the county have by ordinance fixed the services of the district attorney at full time. An ordinance under this clause may not be made between the first day for the circulation of nominating petitions for the office of district attorney and January 1 of the subsequent year.

(2)  The president judge of the county court of common pleas orders that the office of district attorney shall be full time. Upon motion of the district attorney, the president judge shall conduct a hearing and shall issue an order whether the office of district attorney shall be full time within 180 days of the filing of the motion. The order may be appealed by the district attorney or the county commissioners in accordance with the rules of appellate procedure. An order under this clause shall take effect in 60 days. An order under this clause directing that the office of district attorney be full time shall be made if the president judge finds that two or more of the following factors are present in the county:

(i)  the average caseload of felony, misdemeanor and juvenile cases for the past five years has exceeded two hundred per year;

(ii)  the average caseload for homicide cases for the past five years has equaled or exceeded one per year;

(iii)  the county has any State correctional facility, juvenile detention facility, youth development center, youth forestry camp, other licensed residential facility serving children and youth, or mental health or mental retardation facility or institution, with a population exceeding two hundred fifty, or if the county has more than one such facility or institution, the aggregate population of such facilities and institutions exceeds two hundred fifty;

(iv)  a major controlled substances transportation route passes through the county;

(v)  the average number of convictions under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) or the former 75 Pa.C.S. § 3731 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) subject to the alcoholic ignition interlock statutory provision requirements exceeds thirty per year; or

(vi)  the county constitutes a single and separate judicial district.

(h)  In counties of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh class:

(1)  Each part-time district attorney holding office on the effective date of this subsection whose term expires January 7, 2008, shall become full time on January 2, 2006, if, after exercising due diligence in conducting an assessment of the best interests of public safety and the administration of criminal justice in the county, the part-time district attorney provides written notice to the chairman of the county commissioners, the Secretary of Revenue and the State Treasurer, no sooner than December 1, 2005, and no later than December 30, 2005, of the part-time district attorney's choice to serve as a full-time district attorney. Where a part-time district attorney holding office on the effective date of this act does not provide such notice, the office of district attorney shall remain part time for the remainder of the current term of office.

(2)  A person who has been elected to the office of district attorney in a county where the district attorney is part time and whose term commences on January 2, 2006, shall, upon taking the oath of office, be a full-time district attorney if, after exercising due diligence in conducting an assessment of the best interests of public safety and the administration of criminal justice in the county, the district attorney-elect has provided written notice to the chairman of the county commissioners, the Secretary of Revenue and the State Treasurer no sooner than December 1, 2005, and no later than December 30, 2005, of the district attorney-elect's choice to serve as a full-time district attorney. Where the district attorney-elect does not provide such notice, the office of district attorney shall remain part time for the entire term of office commencing January 2, 2006.

(3)  A person seeking election or re-election as district attorney in a county where the office of district attorney is a part-time position after January 2, 2006, shall, upon election and taking the oath of office, become a full-time district attorney if, prior to the deadline for filing nomination petitions or papers, the person has provided written notice to the chairman of the county commissioners, the Secretary of Revenue and the State Treasurer of the person's choice to serve as a full-time district attorney. Where the person does not provide such notice, the office of district attorney shall remain part time for the entire term of office.

(i)  Once the office of district attorney becomes full time, it shall not thereafter be changed.

(j)  A full-time district attorney shall be compensated at one thousand dollars ($1,000) lower than the compensation paid to a judge of the court of common pleas in the respective judicial district.

(k)  In a county where the office of district attorney is full time, the district attorney shall devote full time to the office. The district attorney while in office, shall not derive any other income as a result of honorariums, profit shares or divisions of income from any firm with which the district attorney was associated prior to election. This limitation shall not be construed, however, to preclude payment of fees earned for legal work done prior to, but not concluded until after the earlier of his being made full time or being sworn in as a full-time district attorney. In addition the district attorney shall not engage in any private practice and must be completely disassociated with any firm with which the district attorney was affiliated prior to the earlier of being made full time or being sworn in as a full-time district attorney. The district attorney-elect may not accept any civil or criminal cases after being elected to the office.

(l)  A part-time district attorney may have an outside practice and shall be compensated, notwithstanding the provisions of any other statutes, as follows: In counties of the third or fourth class, the salary shall be sixty per cent of the annual salary payable to the judge of the court of common pleas of the judicial district of the county; in a county of the fifth or sixth class, the salary shall be fifty per cent of the annual salary payable to the judge of the court of common pleas of the judicial district of the county; and in a county of the seventh or eighth class, the salary shall be forty per cent of the annual salary payable to the judge of the court of common pleas of the judicial district of the county.

(m)  Except as provided in subsection (g), any office of district attorney that is part time on January 2, 2012, shall become full time as of that date.

(n)  In the event of a vacancy in the office of district attorney, the person appointed to serve the remainder of the unexpired term shall be bound by the election made in subsection (h) for the remainder of said term.

(o)  A district attorney shall be subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct and the canons of ethics as applied to judges in the courts of common pleas of this Commonwealth insofar as such canons apply to salaries, full-time duties and conflicts of interest. Any complaint by a citizen of the county that a full-time district attorney may be in violation of this section shall be made to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. If any substantive basis is found, the board shall proceed forthwith in the manner prescribed by the rules of the Supreme Court and make such recommendation for disciplinary action as it deems advisable, provided, however, that if the Supreme Court deems the violation so grave as to warrant removal from office, the prothonotary of the Supreme Court shall transmit its findings to the Speaker of the House of Representatives for such action as the House of Representatives deems appropriate under Article VI of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

(p)  The Commonwealth shall annually reimburse each county with a full-time district attorney an amount equal to sixty-five per cent of the district attorney's salary.

(1401 amended July 14, 2005, P.L.312, No.57)

19550130u1402s

Section 1402.  Duties of District Attorney; Entry of Nolle Prosequi.--(a)  The district attorney shall sign all bills of indictment and conduct in court all criminal and other prosecutions, in the name of the Commonwealth, or, when the Commonwealth is a party, which arise in the county for which he is elected, and perform all the duties which, prior to May 3, 1850, were performed by deputy attorneys general. The duties herein conferred shall be in addition to all other duties given to the said district attorney by other statutes.

(b)  ((b) repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

(1402 amended Jul. 5, 1957, P.L.484, No.275 and suspended in part R.C.P.322)

19550130u1403s

Section 1403.  Expenses Incurred by District Attorney.--All necessary expenses incurred by the district attorney or his assistants or any officer directed by him in the investigation of crime and the apprehension and prosecution of persons charged with or suspected of the commission of crime, upon approval thereof by the district attorney and the court, shall be paid by the county from the general funds of the county. In any case where a defendant is convicted and sentenced to pay the costs of prosecution and trial, the expenses of the district attorney in connection with such prosecution shall be considered a part of the costs of the case and be paid by the defendant.

19550130u1404s

Section 1404.  Filling of Vacancies.--(a)  If any vacancy shall occur in the office of district attorney in a county of the third class, either by death, resignation, removal from office or from the county, or otherwise, the judges of the court of common pleas shall supply such vacancy by the appointment of a competent person to fill the office during the balance of the unexpired term.

(b)  If any vacancy shall occur in the office of district attorney in a county of the fourth through eighth class, the first assistant district attorney shall become district attorney and discharge the duties of the district attorney until the first Monday in January following the next municipal election occurring not less than ninety days after the occurrence of the vacancy. If the first assistant district attorney is unwilling or unable to serve, the judges of the court of common pleas shall fill the vacancy by the appointment of a competent person to fill the office until the first Monday in January following the next municipal election occurring not less than ninety days after the occurrence of the vacancy.

(1404 amended Dec. 17, 2001, P.L.919, No.107)

19550130u1405s

Section 1405.  Misconduct of District Attorney.--(a)  If any district attorney shall wilfully and corruptly demand, take or receive any other fee or reward than such as is prescribed by law for any official duties required by law to be executed by him in any criminal proceeding, or if such district attorney shall be guilty of wilful and gross negligence in the execution of the duties of his office, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor in office, and, on conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars and to undergo imprisonment not exceeding one year, and his office shall be declared vacant.

(b)  Upon complaint in writing, verified by oath or affirmation of the party aggrieved, made to the court in which any district attorney shall prosecute the pleas of the Commonwealth, charging such district attorney with wilful and gross negligence in the execution of the duties of his office, the court shall cause notice of such complaint to be given to the district attorney and of the time fixed by the court for the hearing of the same. If upon such hearing the court shall be of opinion that there is probable cause for the complaint, they shall hand over or commit the district attorney to answer the same in due course of law. If the court shall be of opinion that there is no probable cause for such complaint, they shall dismiss the same, with reasonable costs to be assessed by the court.

19550130u1406s

Section 1406.  District Attorney Charged with Crime.--If any district attorney is charged, according to law, with any crime or misdemeanor, before or bound over or committed by any court to answer for wilful and gross negligence in the execution of the duties of his office, it shall be the duty of the court to appoint some competent attorney thereof to prepare an indictment against such district attorney and to prosecute the same on behalf of the Commonwealth until final judgment. Such attorney shall be paid by the county for his services a reasonable compensation to be fixed by the court. If such district attorney shall be convicted of any crime for which he may be sentenced to imprisonment by separate or solitary confinement at labor, his office shall be declared vacant by the court.

19550130u1407s

Section 1407.  Law Books for District Attorney.--The county commissioners may purchase, for the use of the office of the district attorney, out of the funds of the county, such law books as may be selected by the district attorney, and approved by the president judge of the court.

19550130u1408s

Section 1408.  Police Radio in Third Class Counties.--The district attorney of any county of the third class may, with the consent and approval of the county commissioners, at the expense of the county, purchase and maintain a short wave police radio receiving and transmitting set and the necessary equipment therefor, to be installed and used in the office provided for the district attorney.

19550130u1409s

Section 1409.  When Private Counsel May Prosecute.--If any district attorney shall neglect or refuse to prosecute in due form of law any criminal charge regularly returned to him or to the court of the proper county, or if at any stage of the proceedings the district attorney of the proper county and the private counsel employed by the prosecutor shall differ as to the manner of conducting the trial, the prosecutor may present his petition to the court of the proper county, setting forth the character of the complaint, and verify the same by affidavit. If the court shall be of the opinion that it is a proper case for a criminal proceeding or prosecution, it may direct any private counsel employed by such prosecutor to conduct the entire proceeding, and where an indictment is necessary, to verify the same by his own signature, as fully as the same could be done by the district attorney.

19550130u1420h

(b)  Assistant, Special, Deputy and Acting District

Attorneys, Stenographers and Clerks

 

19550130u1420s

Section 1420.  Assistant, Special Assistant and Deputy Assistant District Attorneys; Number; Compensation.--(a)  The district attorney may appoint such number of assistants, special assistants or deputy assistants, learned in the law, to assist him in the discharge of his duties, as is fixed by the salary board of the county. The salary board shall fix the salary of such assistants, special assistants and deputy assistants.

(b)  The district attorney may appoint temporary assistants, temporary special assistants or temporary deputy assistants, learned in the law, to assist him in the discharge of his duties, as provided by contract or other personnel agreement with the county or the district attorney. Any attorney-at-law, including a deputy Attorney General or an attorney employed by the Commonwealth, may be appointed under this subsection.

(c)  An allegation of a violation of this section shall be timely raised prior to the participation of the prosecutor in question. The exclusive remedy for a violation of this section shall be removal by quo warranto of the prosecutor from the appointment that is in violation of this section.

(d)  Subsections (b) and (c) shall apply to all cases pending on the effective date of this subsection and all cases thereafter, including, but not limited to, those cases on post-trial or on appeal.

(1420 amended June 18, 1998, P.L.515, No.72)

19550130u1421s

Section 1421.  Designation of First Assistant; Powers and Duties.--In all cases where more than one assistant district attorney is appointed, the district attorney shall designate one of such assistants as his first assistant. Such first assistant or the assistant district attorney where only one is appointed shall, in the absence of the district attorney from the jurisdiction or during his disability to perform the duties of his office through sickness or other cause, be vested with all the duties, powers and privileges given by law to the district attorney, and generally, at such time, be empowered to do and perform all things in connection with his office which the district attorney may by law be entitled to do or perform. In case of any such incapacity of the district attorney or his first assistant, or both, any or all of such duties, powers and privileges may be done by such other assistant district attorneys, if any, as may be designated by the district attorney.

19550130u1422s

Section 1422.  Special Assistants.--(1422 deleted by amendment June 18, 1998, P.L.515, No.72)

19550130u1423s

Section 1423.  Appointment of a Deputy for One Term of Court.--(1423 deleted by amendment June 18, 1998, P.L.515, No.72)

19550130u1424s

Section 1424.  Court May Appoint a District Attorney for the Time Being.--It shall be the duty of the court of quarter sessions of any county to appoint a district attorney for the time being, in all cases where the district attorney and his assistants shall be absent from the court. Such person so appointed shall perform all the duties of the office until the regular district attorney or one of his assistants shall appear in person to perform the same, and shall be paid such compensation by the county as may be fixed by the court.

19550130u1425s

Section 1425.  Indictment and Cost Clerk in Counties of the Fourth Class.--The district attorney of any county of the fourth class, in addition to other assistants authorized in this subdivision, may appoint an assistant, learned in the law, who shall be designated as indictment and cost clerk, to assist the district attorney in the discharge of his duties.

19550130u1426s

Section 1426.  Stenographers and Clerks.--The salary board in any county may provide for the appointment by the district attorney of such clerks and stenographers in his office as may be deemed necessary for the proper dispatch of business.

19550130u1440h

(c)  County Detectives

 

19550130u1440s

Section 1440.  Appointment; Duties and Compensation of County Detectives.--(a) In counties of the third and fourth classes, the district attorney may appoint one chief county detective, one assistant county detective and such other county detectives as the salary board may authorize.

(b) In counties of the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes, the district attorney may appoint one chief county detective and such other county detectives as the salary board may authorize.

(c) County detectives shall, at all times, be subject to the orders of the district attorney, and shall investigate and make reports to him as to the conduct in office of magistrates, constables, deputy constables and other officers connected with the administration of criminal law, shall make investigations and endeavor to obtain evidence required by the district attorney in criminal cases, and shall perform such other duties as the district attorney may direct.

(d) County detectives shall be general police officers and shall have the powers conferred on constables by the laws of this Commonwealth, so far as they relate to criminal law and procedures.

(e) County detectives of every grade and rank, in addition to their annual salary, shall be allowed their expenses actually and necessarily incurred inthe performance of their duties. Such salaries and expenses shall be paid by the county as provided by law.  No county detective shall be entitled to any fee whatsoever.

19550130u1441s

Section 1441.  Appointment of Special Detective with Approval of Court.--The district attorney of any county may, with the approval of the salary board, whenever the court of quarter sessions and district attorney may deem it necessary for a particular and temporary assignment, appoint a special detective, whose duty it shall be to assist in obtaining such evidence as shall be directed by the district attorney for the Commonwealth, and perform such other duties as the court may direct. He shall be allowed expenses necessarily and actually incurred in the performance of his duties.

Such special detective officer shall be a general police officer and shall have all the powers that are conferred on constables by the existing laws of this Commonwealth, so far as they relate to crimes or criminal procedure.

19550130u1501h

 

ARTICLE XV

JURY COMMISSIONERS

 

(Art. XV repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

 

19550130u1501s

Section 1501.  Jury Commissioners Eligible for Re-election.--(1501 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1502s

Section 1502.  Bipartisan Jury Commission Required.--(1502 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1503s

Section 1503.  Oath of Elected Jury Commissioners.--(1503 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1504s

Section 1504.  Filling of Vacancy.--(1504 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1505s

Section 1505.  Clerk; Office Facilities; Expenses.--(1505 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1550h

 

ARTICLE XV.1

SALARIES OF COUNTY OFFICERS

 

(XV.1 added Jan. 25, 1966 (1965), P.L.1556, No.544)

 

Compiler's Note:  The provisions of Article XV.1 are supplied and impliedly repealed where irreconcilable by the act of Nov. 1, 1971, P.L.495, No.113 which sets the salaries for county officers in counties of the second through eighth classes. This act has been reenacted and amended by act of Oct. 7, 1976, P.L.1101, No.223, and further amended by act of Nov. 1, 1979, P.L.246, No.82; act of Sept. 26, 1981, P.L.278, No.93; act of July 7, 1983, P.L.40, No.21; and act of Dec. 18, 1984, P.L.1067, No.212. For additional provisions on the salary for full-time district attorney, see section 1401 of the County Code.

 

19550130u1550s

Section 1550.  Counties of the Third Class.--The annual salaries of the following county officers of counties of the third class shall be as follows:

The sheriff, twelve thousand four hundred eighty dollars ($12,480).

The coroner, nine thousand one hundred twenty dollars ($9,120).

The prothonotary, eleven thousand five hundred twenty dollars ($11,520).

The clerk of the courts, eleven thousand five hundred twenty dollars ($11,520).

The register of wills and ex officio clerk of the orphans' court, eight thousand seven hundred sixty dollars ($8,760).

The recorder of deeds, eleven thousand five hundred twenty dollars ($11,520).

The county treasurer, ten thousand eighty dollars ($10,080).

The county controller, twelve thousand six hundred dollars ($12,600).

The county commissioners, thirteen thousand five hundred dollars ($13,500), each.

The jury commissioners, one thousand six hundred eighty dollars ($1,680), each.

The district attorney, thirteen thousand five hundred dollars ($13,500).

(1550 amended Nov. 26, 1968, P.L.1099, No.341)

19550130u1551s

Section 1551.  Counties of the Fourth Class.--The annual salaries of the following county officers of counties of the fourth class shall be as follows:

The district attorney, twelve thousand dollars ($12,000).

The sheriff, eleven thousand four hundred dollars ($11,400).

The prothonotary, eleven thousand one hundred sixty dollars ($11,160).

The clerk of courts, eleven thousand one hundred sixty dollars ($11,160).

The clerk of the orphans' court (other than the register of wills acting as ex officio of orphans' court), eleven thousand one hundred sixty dollars ($11,160).

The register of wills and ex officio of the orphans' court, eight thousand seven hundred sixty dollars ($8,760).

The recorder of deeds, eleven thousand one hundred sixty dollars ($11,160).

The county treasurer, nine thousand eight hundred forty dollars ($9,840).

The county commissioners, twelve thousand dollars ($12,000), each.

The coroner, eight thousand four hundred dollars ($8,400).

The jury commissioners, one thousand one hundred thirty dollars ($1,130), each.

The county controller, where such office exists, or may be created, eleven thousand one hundred sixty dollars ($11,160).

(1551 added Jan. 25, 1966 (1965), P.L.1556, No.544)

19550130u1552s

Section 1552.  Counties of the Fifth Class.--The annual salaries of the following county officers of counties of the fifth class shall be as follows:

The sheriff, nine thousand six hundred dollars ($9,600).

The county comptroller, where such office exists, nine thousand six hundred dollars ($9,600).

The coroner, five thousand four hundred dollars ($5,400).

The prothonotary, nine thousand six hundred dollars ($9,600).

The clerk of quarter sessions and oyer and terminer, nine thousand six hundred dollars ($9,600).

The clerk of the orphans' court, nine thousand six hundred dollars ($9,600).

The register of wills, nine thousand six hundred dollars ($9,600).

The recorder of deeds, nine thousand six hundred dollars ($9,600).

Provided, That where any of the officers above mentioned hold two or more of the said offices, he shall receive nine thousand six hundred dollars ($9,600).

The county commissioners, ten thousand two hundred dollars ($10,200), each.

The county treasurer, nine thousand six hundred dollars ($9,600).

The jury commissioners, nine hundred dollars ($900), each.

The district attorney, ten thousand two hundred dollars ($10,200).

(1552 added Jan. 25, 1966 (1965), P.L.1556, No.544)

19550130u1553s

Section 1553.  Counties of the Sixth Class.--The annual salaries of the following county officers of counties of the sixth class shall be as follows:

The clerk of the court of quarter sessions, eight thousand four hundred dollars ($8,400).

The treasurer, eight thousand one hundred sixty dollars ($8,160).

The controller, eight thousand four hundred dollars ($8,400).

The clerk of oyer and terminer, one thousand one hundred dollars ($1,100).

The clerks of the orphans' court, (other than the register of wills acting as ex officio of orphans' court) seven thousand two hundred dollars ($7,200), each.

The prothonotary, eight thousand four hundred dollars ($8,400).

The recorder of deeds, eight thousand four hundred dollars ($8,400).

The register of wills, seven thousand two hundred dollars ($7,200).

Where any of the officers above mentioned hold two or more of said offices, he shall receive the highest salary fixed for any of the offices which he holds and the additional salary of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750).

The sheriff, eight thousand four hundred dollars ($8,400).

The county commissioners, nine thousand three hundred fifty dollars ($9,350), each.

The district attorney, nine thousand four hundred fifty dollars ($9,450).

The jury commissioners shall each receive fifteen dollars ($15) for each day necessarily employed in the discharge of their duties. The said compensation shall be paid from the county treasury in the same manner as the salary or compensation of other county officers and employes.

The county auditors shall each receive twenty dollars ($20) for each six hours of work in the discharge of their duties, together with ten cents (10¢) per mile circular from and to their homes once each and every day so employed. (Par. amended Jul, 31, 1968, P.L.938, No.286)

The fees to be received by the coroner of each county of the sixth class shall be as follows: For viewing a dead body, eighteen dollars ($18); summoning and qualifying inquest, drawing and returning all inquisitions, nine dollars fifty cents ($9.50); summoning and qualifying each witness, three dollars ($3), to be paid out of the goods, chattels, lands, or tenements of the slayer (in cases of murder or manslaughter), if any he hath, if otherwise, by the county, with mileage at the rate of ten cents for each mile circular traveled from the court house to the place of viewing the body; executing any process or writs of any kind, the same fees as are allowed to the sheriff and the same mileage.

(1553 amended Oct. 11, 1967, P.L.433, No.196)

19550130u1554s

Section 1554.  Counties of the Seventh Class.--The annual salaries of the following county officers of counties of the seventh class shall be as follows:

The sheriff, six thousand two hundred forty dollars ($6,240).

The district attorney, six thousand five hundred dollars ($6,500).

The annual salary of each county commissioner shall be six thousand dollars ($6,000).

The jury commissioners shall each receive fifteen dollars ($15) for each day necessarily employed in the discharge of their duties. The said compensation shall be paid from the county treasury in the same manner as the salary or compensation of other county officers and employes.

The county auditors shall receive twenty dollars ($20) for each six hours of work in the discharge of their duties, together with ten cents (10¢) per mile circular from and to their homes, once, each and every day so employed. (Par. amended Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.938, No.286)

The prothonotary or clerks of the several courts of common pleas, quarter sessions of the peace, oyer and terminer, and orphans' courts, the register of wills, and the recorder of deeds, shall keep, or cause to be kept, a fair and accurate account of all fees received for services performed by them or any person employed by them in their respective offices; and shall also, on the first Monday of January of each year, furnish a copy of said account, upon oath or affirmation, to the auditor appointed by the court to settle the accounts of county officers; and shall also pay to the county treasurer, for the use of the county, after deducting all necessary clerk hire and office expenses, fifty per centum on the amount of any excess over and above the sum of seven thousand two hundred dollars ($7,200), which shall be found by the said auditor, appointed by the court to settle the accounts of county officers, to have been received by any officer in any one year: Provided, That if two or more of said offices shall be held by one person, the said auditor shall add together the fees received in the offices so held, and shall charge the same percentage on the aggregate amount of fees received by such person holding more than one of said offices. A copy of the report of the said auditor, when completed, shall be presented by him to the court of common pleas of the county, and filed among the records of said court; which said report shall thereafter have all the force and effect of, and be subject to the same procedure as applies to, the report of the county auditors.

The fees to be received by the coroner of each county of the seventh class shall, in cases of murder or manslaughter, be paid by the slayer, or his estate if recovery can be had, otherwise and in all other cases by the county. The fees shall be as follows:

For viewing a dead body, eighteen dollars ($18); summoning and qualifying inquest, drawing and returning all inquisitions, nine dollars fifty cents ($9.50); summoning and qualifying each witness, three dollars ($3); to be paid out of the goods, chattels, lands, or tenements of the slayer (in cases of murder or manslaughter), if any he hath. If otherwise, by the county, with mileage at the rate of ten cents (10¢) for each mile circular traveled from the court house to the place of viewing the body; executing any process of writs of any kind, the same fees as are allowed to the sheriff and the same mileage.

(1554 amended Oct. 11, 1967, P.L.431, No.195)

19550130u1555s

Section 1555.  Counties of the Eighth Class.--The annual salaries of the following county officers of counties of the eighth class shall be as follows:

The sheriff, in counties having a population of less than twelve thousand (12,000), four thousand eighty dollars ($4,080); and in counties having a population of twelve thousand (12,000) and more, but less than twenty thousand (20,000), four thousand six hundred eighty dollars ($4,680).

The county commissioners, in counties having a population of less than twelve thousand (12,000), three thousand three hundred eighty dollars ($3,380) each, and in counties having a population of twelve thousand (12,000) and more, four thousand two hundred ninety dollars ($4,290), each.

The district attorney, four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500).

The county auditors shall each receive twenty dollars ($20) for each six hours of work in the discharge of their duties, together with ten cents (10¢) per mile circular from and to their homes, once, each and every day so employed. (Par. amended Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.938, No.286)

The jury commissioners shall each receive fifteen dollars ($15) for each day necessarily employed in the discharge of their duties. The said compensation shall be paid from the county treasury in the same manner as the salary or compensation of other county officers and employes.

The prothonotary or clerks of the several courts of common pleas, quarter sessions of the peace, oyer and terminer, and orphans' courts, the register of wills, and the recorder of deeds, shall keep, or cause to be kept, a fair and accurate account of all fees received for services performed by them or any person employed by them in their respective offices; and shall also, on the first Monday of January of each year, furnish a copy of said account, upon oath or affirmation, to the auditor appointed by the court to settle the accounts of county officers; and shall also pay to the county treasurer, for the use of the county, after deducting all necessary clerk hire and office expenses, fifty per centum on the amount of any excess over and above the sum of seven thousand two hundred dollars ($7,200), which shall be found by the said auditor, appointed by the court to settle the accounts of county officers, to have been received by any officer in any one year: Provided, That if two or more of said offices shall be held by one person, the said auditor shall add together the fees received in the offices so held, and shall charge the same percentage on the aggregate amount of fees received by such person holding more than one of said offices. A copy of the report of the said auditor, when completed, shall be presented by him to the court of common pleas of the county, and filed among the records of said court; which said report shall thereafter have all the force and effect of, and be subject to the same procedure as applies to, the report of the county auditors.

The fees to be received by the coroner of each county of the eighth class shall, in cases of murder or manslaughter, be paid by the slayer, or his estate if recovery can be had, otherwise and in all other cases by the county. The fees shall be as follows:

For viewing a dead body, eighteen dollars ($18); summoning and qualifying inquest, drawing and returning all inquisitions, nine dollars fifty cents ($9.50); summoning and qualifying each witness, three dollars ($3); to be paid out of the goods, chattels, lands, or tenements of the slayer (in cases of murder or manslaughter), if any he hath, if otherwise, by the county, with mileage at the rate of ten cents (10¢) for each mile circular traveled from the court house to the place of viewing the body; executing any process or writs of any kind, the same fees as are allowed to the sheriff and the same mileage.

(1555 added Jan. 25, 1966 (1965), P.L.1556, No.544)

19550130u1556s

Section 1556.  Insurance and Other Employe Benefits.--In addition to any other authorized compensation, county commissioners and other county officers and their dependents shall be eligible for inclusion in group life, health, hospitalization, medical service and accident insurance plans or other employe benefits, or payments made in lieu of such benefits, paid in whole or in part by the county, provided such plans, benefits or payments are offered generally to employes of the county.

(1556 added Dec. 22, 2000, P.L.1019, No.142)

19550130u1601h

 

ARTICLE XVI

FEES OF SALARIED COUNTY OFFICERS; SALARY

BOARDS; PAYMENT OF SOLICITORS APPOINTED

BY COUNTY OFFICERS

(Hdg. amended Aug. 18, 1967, P.L.244, No.95)

 

(a)  Fees of Salaried County Officers

 

19550130u1601s

Section 1601.  Fees of Salaried County Officers to Belong to County.--All fees limited and appointed by law to be received by any county officer, either elected or appointed, or which they shall legally be authorized, required or entitled to charge or receive, shall belong to the county in the following circumstances: (1) fees of every such officer in counties containing over one hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants and, (2) in counties containing one hundred and fifty thousand or less inhabitants, fees of every officer for whom a salary is fixed by law. The provisions of this subdivision shall apply to all fees belonging to the county and to all officers hereinbefore designated. Each of the said officers shall exact, collect and receive all such fees to and for the use of his respective county, except such taxes and fees as are levied by the Commonwealth, which shall be to and for the use of the Commonwealth. None of said officers shall receive for his own use or for any use or purpose whatever, except for the use of the proper county or for the Commonwealth, as the case may be, any fees for any official services whatsoever, except where the statute expressly designates the officer as agent of the Commonwealth and authorizes him to retain a part of such moneys for his own use.

19550130u1602s

Section 1602.  System of Accounts to be Kept; Fees to be Paid to County Treasurer Monthly.--(a)  Each of said officers shall keep a system of accounts, the form of which shall be prescribed by the controller, or where such officer does not exist then by the county auditors, in which or on which entry shall be made of all the moneys received for fees and of all moneys earned and chargeable upon the county, specifying the day and date, the title of the case, if any, for what service, and from whom received.

(b)  At the times designated by resolution of the county commissioners but not later than the first Monday of each month, each of said officers shall pay to treasurer of the proper county all fees so received for each designated period. Duplicate receipts therefor shall be taken, one of which he shall deposit with the county controller, or the chief clerk where the office of controller does not exist. On the first Monday of each month, each of said officers shall deposit with the county controller, or where the office of controller does not exist, with the county auditor a transcript, in detail, of his system of accounts for the preceding month. He shall make oath or affirmation before the county controller or the county auditors where the office of controller does not exist that the transcript contains a true and correct list of all the fees received, earned or chargeable upon the county for services rendered in his office, either by himself, deputies or clerks, during the preceding month that said fees were severally charged and collected at regular rates, and that he has not received and is not to receive from any person or persons whatsoever, for any official services or duty, any other fees than those so entered on said transcript.

(c)  It shall be the duty of the county controller, or the county auditors where the office of county controller does not exist, to receive such returns, to audit and verify the returns for the preceding month and to charge the county treasurer with the money for fees so paid in.

(d)  Where fees are paid to one office which are for services rendered or to be rendered by another, the officer receiving the same shall specify the same on his account book and on his transcript as of the office to which they properly belong.

(1602 amended Jun. 27, 1974, P.L.401, No.138)

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Section 1603.  Penalty for Receiving Gratuities or Percentages.--If any of the officers included in this subdivision shall receive or stipulate to receive from any deputy or clerk or from any person or persons awarded any contract for advertising or any other contract any sum or sums of money as percentage on the salaries of said deputy or clerk or on the amounts or profits of said contract, or any sum or sums of money whatsoever as compensation for making any of the said appointments or contracts, or shall neglect to render the accounts or to pay over the money received for fees as required by this subdivision, or shall wilfully neglect to make any proper entry in the book or books required to be kept, or shall wilfully neglect to charge for any official services the fees allowed by law, or shall take to his own use any such fees, or fail to comply with any of the provisions of this subdivision, or neglect to discharge any of the duties herein imposed, the same shall be deemed a misdemeanor in office, and, in addition to the other penalties for such offenses, he shall, upon conviction thereof, refund the said sum or sums of money thus unlawfully received, and shall be deemed incapable of holding the said office.

19550130u1604s

Section 1604.  False Swearing to County Accounts, Bills or Transcripts.--Any officer included in this subdivision or any other person who shall wilfully swear or affirm falsely as to the accuracy of any account, transcript or bill required in this subdivision, or in making any affidavit in reference thereto, shall be deemed guilty of perjury, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be liable to the punishment prescribed by law for perjury; and any person who shall procure any other person to swear or affirm falsely in verifying any such account, transcript or bill, or in making any affidavit in reference thereto, shall be deemed guilty of subornation of perjury, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be liable to the punishment prescribed by law for that offense.

19550130u1605s

Section 1605.  Officers Subject to This Subdivision to be Paid Salaries.--All county officers to which this subdivision applies, whether elected by the people or appointed according to law, and their several deputies and clerks, shall be paid for their services by fixed and specific salaries, which shall be a charge upon the treasury of the county to which each shall respectively belong, to the extent, except as provided in section one thousand six hundred eight, of the fees collected and paid in by each officer respectively, or earned, where fees are chargeable upon the county treasury, and said salaries shall be paid weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly or monthly during the month in which the services were rendered, at the discretion of the county commissioners of the county. No voucher check shall be drawn for the payment of any said officer, his deputies or clerks who shall not have filed the receipt and transcript for that month provided for in this subdivision.

(1605 amended Dec. 5, 1969, P.L.329, No.139)

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Section 1606.  Salaries Payable from Fees.--(1606 repealed Jun. 27, 1974, P.L.401, No.138)

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Section 1607.  Monthly Returns to be Made of Taxes and Fees Due the Commonwealth.--(a)  At the same time that monthly returns are made, as required by section one thousand six hundred two of this act, of the fees received by said officers to and for the use of their respective counties for the preceding month, each of said officers shall make a separate return, to the Department of Revenue, of all taxes or fees collected or earned for the Commonwealth by him, if any. The amounts so returned by any of said officers, as received by him for the Commonwealth, shall be separately paid by him into the State Treasury through the Department of Revenue, quarterly, on the first Mondays of April, July, October and January, for which he shall take duplicate receipts.

(b)  All commissions on the collection of any such taxes and fees for the Commonwealth shall be deemed and taken as part of the regular fees of the officer collecting the same and shall be accounted for accordingly.

(c)  The provisions of this section shall apply only to the reporting and payment over of any such taxes or fees and to the treatment of commissions thereon as are not otherwise provided for by law.

19550130u1608s

Section 1608.  Payment of Certain Officers.--The county solicitor, county jailer, county commissioners, county controller, county surveyor or engineer, county detectives, county treasurer, interpreter of courts, district attorney and his assistants, and in counties of the sixth, seventh and eighth classes all county officers for whom a salary is fixed by law and the deputies, clerks and employes of their respective offices, shall severally be paid weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly, at the discretion of the county commissioners of the county. They shall be paid the full amount allowed them by law, but all fees and emoluments whatsoever that may accrue to any of them by virtue of his office shall be paid by him to the county treasurer directed by law, and all other officers shall be paid the amounts assigned them by law in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision.

(1608 amended Nov. 26, 1968, P.L.1099, No.341 and Dec. 5, 1969, P.L.329, No.139)

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Section 1609.  Salaries in Lieu of Fees.--Except to the extent this section may be inconsistent with the provisions of any other express provision of this act, the salaries fixed and provided by law for county officers shall be in lieu of all or any moneys, fees, perquisites, or mileage expenses, and other allowances received or allowed to any such officer, and all such moneys, fees, perquisites, or mileage expenses, and other allowances, not governed by the aforesaid exceptions, shall belong to the county and shall be paid into the county treasury, except where required to be paid to the Commonwealth in the manner provided by this subdivision for fees.

19550130u1610s

Section 1610.  Rights of Action and Remedies for Collection of Fees Extended to Counties.--All rights of action and all other remedies heretofore granted or extended to county officers to whom this subdivision applies for the collection of their respective fees are hereby extended, and shall inure to the benefit of the several counties affected by this subdivision for the collection of all fees and costs that may accrue to said counties under the provisions of this subdivision.

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(b)  Salary Boards

 

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Section 1620.  Salaries and Compensation.--The salaries and compensation of county officers shall be as now or hereafter fixed by law. The salaries and compensation of all appointed officers and employes who are paid from the county treasury shall be fixed by the salary board created by this act for such purposes: Provided, however, That with respect to representation proceedings before the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board or collective bargaining negotiations involving any or all employes paid from the county treasury, the board of county commissioners shall have the sole power and responsibility to represent judges of the court of common pleas, the county and all elected or appointed county officers having any employment powers over the affected employes. The exercise of such responsibilities by the county commissioners shall in no way affect the hiring, discharging and supervising rights and obligations with respect to such employes as may be vested in the judges or other county officers.

(1620 amended Jun. 29, 1976, P.L.460, No.115)

19550130u1621s

Section 1621.  Fees.--All county officers shall continue to charge and collect the fees, mileage and emoluments of office for their own use or for the use of the county, as provided by law, and where required by law, such fees, mileage and emoluments shall be paid to the county treasurer as and when required, and if no time of so paying be fixed as to any such fees, mileage or emoluments, then on or before the tenth day of each month.

19550130u1622s

Section 1622.  Salary Boards Created.--There is hereby created in each county a salary board, which shall consist of the three individual members of the board of county commissioners and the county controller in counties where there is a controller, or the county treasurer in counties where there is no controller. The chairman of the board of county commissioners shall be chairman of the salary board. The board shall meet and organize on the first Monday of January of each year.

19550130u1623s

Section 1623.  Number and Compensation of Officers, Deputies, Assistants, Clerks and Employes.--The board, subject to limitations imposed by law, shall fix the compensation of all appointed county officers, and the number and compensation of all deputies, assistants, clerks and other persons whose compensation is paid out of the county treasury (except employes of county officers who are paid by fees and not by salary), and of all court criers, tipstaves and other court employes, and of all officers, clerks, stenographers and employes appointed by the judges of any court and who are paid from the county treasury. Thereupon the number and compensation of all such officers, deputies, assistants, clerks and persons, whether fixed by statute or by any other method, are hereby repealed. In the event that any salary board shall fail to fix the number or compensation of any such officers, deputies, assistants, clerks or other employes as required by this section, the number and compensation shall continue, as fixed by or pursuant to law, on the effective date of this act, with like effect as though the same had been so fixed by the board, but the salary board shall have power to fix any such number or compensation at a later time and with like effect.

19550130u1624s

Section 1624.  Revisions of Salary Schedules.--At each annual meeting, the board shall revise the salary schedule so far as it shall deem such action necessary. From time to time between annual meetings, whenever required by any judge, county officer or executive head of any separate board, commission or division, the number or compensation of whose deputies, assistants, clerks and employes is sought to be fixed, the board shall meet and consider and shall fix and determine the same. All salaries fixed under the provisions of this act shall be paid out of the county treasury in the manner provided by law.

19550130u1625s

Section 1625.  Procedure and Action of Board.--(a)  Except as herein otherwise provided, whenever the board shall consider the number or salaries of the deputies or other employes of any county officer or agency, such officer or the executive head of such agency shall sit as a member of the board, as long as any matter affecting his office or agency is under consideration and no longer.

(b)  Whenever the board shall consider the number or salaries of the court criers or tipstaves or other court employes, the president judge of the court shall sit as a member of the board, as long as any matter affecting the court criers, tipstaves or employes of his court is under consideration and no longer.

(c)  Whenever the board shall consider the number or salaries of the officers or employes appointed by any judge of any court, such judge shall sit as a member of the board, as long as any matter affecting any of his appointees is under consideration and no longer.

(d)  The decision of a majority shall govern. Each board shall keep a correct minute book of its proceedings in all cases heard and determined by it. Such minute book shall be a public record.

19550130u1630h

(c)  Payment of Solicitors Appointed by County Officers

((c) added Aug. 18, 1967, P.L.244, No.95)

 

19550130u1630s

Section 1630.  Compensation of Solicitors Appointed by County Officers.--The county commissioners may appropriate money for the payment of any solicitor appointed pursuant to this act by a county treasurer, sheriff, prothonotary, register of wills, recorder of deeds, clerk of courts, coroner, a clerk of orphans' court or the county controller or the county auditors.

(1630 amended June 28, 2002, P.L.470, No.77)

19550130u1701h

 

ARTICLE XVII

FISCAL AFFAIRS

 

(a)  Fiscal Policy and Systems

 

19550130u1701s

Section 1701.  Functions of County Commissioners.--The county commissioners shall be the responsible managers and administrators of the fiscal affairs of their respective counties in accordance with the provisions of this act and other applicable law.

19550130u1701v

 

Compiler's Note:  The act of April 13, 1972 (P.L.184, No.62), referred to as the Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law, referred to in subsecs. (a.1) and (b.1), was repealed by the act of December 19, 1996 (P.L.1158, No.177). The subject matter is now contained in 53 Pa.C.S. Pt. III Subpt. E (relating to home rule and optional plan government).

19550130u1701.1s

Section 1701.1.  Billing and Collection of Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Class County Taxes.--(a)  The county commissioners of each county of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth class may, by resolution, provide for the billing and collecting by the county treasurer of all county and county institution district taxes levied within a third class city by the authorities empowered to levy such taxes.

(a.1)  The county commissioners of each county of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth class may, by resolution, provide for the billing and collection of all county taxes in municipalities existing or organized under the act of April 13, 1972 (P.L.184, No.62), known as the "Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law," that have eliminated the elective office of tax collector, by the authorities empowered to levy such taxes.

(b)  In counties of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth class, the county commissioners may provide, by resolution, for the billing and collection of all county and county institution district taxes levied in third class cities. The county commissioners shall have the power and authority by resolution, to vest in the county treasurer the duties and responsibilities of billing and collecting county and county institution district taxes in third class cities. The resolution shall be adopted by the county no later than the first day for the circulation of nomination petitions for the office of tax collector within the county and shall take effect upon the first day of the next succeeding term of office of tax collector following adoption of the resolution.

(b.1)  In counties of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth class in which the county commissioners provide, by resolution, for the billing and collection of all county taxes levied in municipalities existing and organized under the "Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law," that have eliminated the elective office of tax collector, the county commissioners shall have the power and authority, by resolution, to vest in the county treasurer the duties and responsibilities of billing and collecting county taxes.

(b.2)  Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, if, as a result of a vacancy in the office of elected tax collector in a municipality within a county of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth class, an employe or paid official of the municipality is appointed or directed by the governing body of the municipality to assume the duties of tax collector, the county commissioners may, by resolution, provide, until a successor tax collector is elected in accordance with law, for the following:

(1)  the county treasurer to have the duties and responsibilities of billing and collecting all county and county institution district taxes levied within the municipality;

(2)  payment to the municipality, rather than the employe or paid official appointed or directed by the governing body of the municipality to assume the duties of tax collector, the compensation that otherwise would be attributable to the billing and collecting of county and county institution district taxes levied within the municipality; or

(3)  an agreement with the tax collector in an adjoining or conveniently located municipality to assume the duties of the tax collector and receive the compensation that otherwise would be attributable to the billing and collecting of county and county institution district taxes levied within the municipality.

(c)  The county commissioners may appoint such other employes as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(d)  The compensation of personnel and other expenses of billing and collecting county and institution district taxes pursuant to this section shall be paid out of the general fund in the county treasury. The compensation and number of such employes other than the county treasurer shall be governed by the provisions of this act relating to the county salary board. If the county treasurer is designated as the collector of the county and county institution district taxes he shall not receive added compensation for performing such functions.

(e)  The treasurer shall be governed by the provisions of the act of May 25, 1945 (P.L.1050) known as the "Local Tax Collection Law" and its amendments.

(1701.1 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1701.1v

 

Compiler's Note:  The act of April 13, 1972 (P.L.184, No.62), referred to as the Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law, referred to in subsecs. (a.1) and (b.1), was repealed by the act of December 19, 1996 (P.L.1158, No.177). The subject matter is now contained in 53 Pa.C.S. Pt. III Subpt. E (relating to home rule and optional plan government).

19550130u1702s

Section 1702.  Functions of the Controller.--(a)  Subject to the power and duty of the county commissioners to manage and administer the fiscal affairs of the county, the controller shall supervise the fiscal affairs of the county including the accounts and official acts relating thereto of all officers or other persons who shall collect, receive, hold or disburse the public assets of the county. The discretionary powers of the controller shall not be applicable to the management of the fiscal policies of the county commissioners, or to matters not involving the accounts and transactions of officers or other persons of the county . The controller may only refuse to authorize any fiscal transaction which is, by law, subject to his supervision or control where it appears that such transaction is not authorized by law, or has not been undertaken according to law, or has not received approval according to law, or as to which he desires upon reasonable grounds to investigate for or has already discovered any fraud, flagrant abuse of public office or any criminal act or neglect of any officer or other person of the county relating to their public accounts and transactions. He may at any time require from any such officers or other persons, in writing, an account of all assets which may have come into their control. Immediately, on the discovery of any default or delinquency, he shall report the same to the commissioners and to the district attorney of the county for such prosecution as may be warranted, and shall take immediate measures to secure the public assets.

(b)  Pursuant to subsection (a), the county commissioners may, for the purpose of meeting Federal or State requirements, contract with or employ an independent certified public accountant or public accountant for the purpose of preparing or conducting a report or audit of the fiscal affairs of the county, independent of and/or in addition to, that conducted by the county controller or auditors. Such contracts shall be discussed with the controller prior to execution, and the controller shall be afforded an opportunity to comment.

(1702 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1703s

Section 1703.  Accounts of Officers.--The controller shall furnish the commissioners of the county, whenever required by them, a detailed account of any officer or other person having in his possession or under his control funds belonging to the county, and shall, during regular office hours, give information respecting any of said accounts to any taxpayer of the county demanding the same.

He shall have power and authority to require each and every county officer to make a quarterly statement with respect to moneys in his possession or control as a county officer, showing the amount of cash on hand and the amount deposited in banks, banking institutions and trust companies, together with the names of such institutions. He shall have power to examine every such account of a county officer in any bank, banking institution or trust company, to verify the accuracy of the statement of such county officer. It shall be the duty of every such bank, banking institution or trust company, its officers and agents, to furnish full information to the controller in relation to the account of such county officer. No bank, banking institution or trust company, its officers or agents, shall be subject to prosecution under other laws of this Commonwealth for disclosing any such information with respect to any account of a county officer.

19550130u1704s

Section 1704.  Custody of Documents.--The controller shall have the custody of all title deeds to real estate owned by the county, and of all contracts entered into by or on behalf of the county, and of all books, documents and papers relating to its financial affairs, and of all bonds and other obligations issued by said county, when paid. Such bonds and other obligations, when so paid, shall be distinctly cancelled by the controller and carefully and regularly filed, a register of which cancellation shall be kept by him in a book to be provided for that purpose.

(1704 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1705s

Section 1705.  Books of Fiscal Affairs.--The controller shall keep a full and regular set of books which support financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles of all the fiscal operations of the county, embracing as many accounts, under appropriate titles, as may be necessary to meet Federal and State reporting requirements and to show distinctly and separately all the property of the county, its revenue and expenditures, and all debts and accounts due by the county officers or others, and the amount raised from each source of revenue, and the expenditures in detail, and classified by reference to the objects thereof. He shall prescribe and administer the form and manner of keeping the official books and papers in connection with the fiscal affairs of the county. Where the controller prescribes a change in the form and manner of keeping the official books and papers, any costs necessary for implementation shall be subject to the approval of the county commissioners. In counties without a controller, the requirements of this section shall be fulfilled by the office of the county commissioners.

(1705 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1706s

Section 1706.  Investment of Funds.--(a)  The county commissioners (or any individual other than the commissioners who serves in an elective county office, as to such moneys not otherwise required by law to be invested that his office is required to collect, administer or disburse) shall invest such moneys consistent with sound business practice, subject, however, to the exercise of that degree of judgment, skill and care under the circumstances then prevailing which persons of prudence, discretion and intelligence, who are familiar with such matters, exercise in the management of their own affairs not in regard to speculation, but in regard to the permanent disposition of the funds, considering the probable income to be derived therefrom as well as the probable safety of their capital.

(b)  The commissioners shall provide for an investment program, including temporary investments, subject to restrictions contained in this act and in any other applicable statute and any rules and regulations adopted by the commissioners. Other elective officials authorized to make investments under subsection (a) shall make investments in conformity with the commissioners investment program.

(c)  Authorized types of investments for such moneys shall be:

(1)  United States Treasury bills.

(2)  Short-term obligations of the United States Government or its agencies or instrumentalities.

(3)  Deposits in savings accounts or time deposits, other than certificates of deposit, or share accounts of institutions having their principal place of business in the Commonwealth and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or the Pennsylvania Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Pennsylvania Savings Association Insurance Corporation to the extent that such accounts are so insured, and, for any amounts above the insured maximum, provided that approved collateral as provided by law therefore shall be pledged by the depository.

(4)  Obligations of the United States of America or any of its agencies or instrumentalities backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any of its agencies or instrumentalities backed by the full faith and credit of the Commonwealth, or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any of its agencies or instrumentalities backed by the full faith and credit of the political subdivision.

(5)  Shares of an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, whose shares are registered under the Securities Act of 1933, provided that the only investments of that company are in the authorized investments for county funds listed in clauses (1) through (4).

(6)  Certificates of deposit purchased from institutions having their principal place of business in the Commonwealth and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or the Pennsylvania Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Pennsylvania Savings Association Insurance Corporation to the extent that such accounts are so insured, however, for any amounts above the insured maximum, such certificates of deposit shall be collateralized by a pledge or assignment of assets of the institution, and such collateral may include loans (including interest in pools of loans) secured by first mortgage liens on real property. Certificates of deposit purchased from commercial banks shall be limited to an amount equal to twenty per centum of a bank's total capital and surplus. Certificates of deposit purchased from savings and loan associations or savings banks shall be limited to an amount equal to twenty per centum of an institutions assets minus liabilities.

(7)  Certificates of deposit purchased from institutions having their principal place of business outside the Commonwealth and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund to the extent that such accounts are so insured, and, for any amounts above the insured maximum, provided that approved collateral as provided by law therefore shall be pledged by the depository. Certificates of deposit purchased from commercial banks shall be limited to an amount equal to twenty per centum of a bank's total capital and surplus. Certificates of deposit purchased from savings and loan associations or savings banks shall be limited to an amount equal to twenty per centum of an institution's assets minus liabilities.

(8)  Any investment authorized by 20 Pa.C.S. Ch. 73 (relating to fiduciaries investments) shall be an authorized investment for any pension or retirement fund.

(9)  "Commercial paper" and "prime commercial paper" as provided for in subsection (d).

(d)  As used herein "commercial paper" shall mean unsecured promissory notes issued at a discount from par by any industrial, common carrier, public utility or finance company and "prime commercial paper" shall mean notes issued by corporations whose credit has been approved by the National Credit Office, Incorporated, New York, or its successor. The treasurer shall have obtained the following prior to any commitment to purchase commercial paper:

(1)  A certification or other evidence that such commercial paper is rated prime by the National Credit Office, Incorporated.

(2)  A certification or other evidence that the paper proposed to be delivered is not subordinate to any other debt of the issuer.

(3)  A certificate or other evidence that there is no litigation pending or threatened affecting said paper.

(4)  A certificate or other evidence that the issuer is not in default as to the payment of principal and interest upon any of its outstanding obligations.

(5)  A certificate or other evidence that the issuer was incorporated within the United States, is transacting business within the United States, and has assets of one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) or more, or is a wholly owned subsidiary of a Pennsylvania corporation having assets of one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) or more.

(6)  The treasurer shall not, at any time, have invested in prime commercial paper more than an aggregate of such total sum as the board shall have prescribed.

(e)  In making investments of county funds, the commissioners (or other elected officials when authorized as provided in subsection (a)) shall have authority:

(1)  To permit assets pledged as collateral under subsection (c)(3), to be pooled in accordance with the act of August 6, 1971 (P.L.281, No.72), entitled "An act standardizing the procedures for pledges of assets to secure deposits of public funds with banking institutions pursuant to other laws; establishing a standard rule for the types, amounts and valuations of assets eligible to be used as collateral for deposits of public funds; permitting assets to be pledged against deposits on a pooled basis; and authorizing the appointment of custodians to act as pledgees of assets," relating to pledges of assets to secure deposits of public funds.

(2)  To combine moneys from more than one fund under county control for the purchase of a single investment, provided that each of the funds combined for the purpose shall be accounted for separately in all respects and that the earnings from the investment are separately and individually computed and recorded and credited to the accounts from which the investment was purchased.

(3)  To join with one or more other political subdivisions and municipal authorities in accordance with 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation) in the purchase of a single investment, provided that the requirements of clause (2) on separate accounting of individual funds and separate computation, recording and crediting of the earnings therefrom are adhered to.

(4)  To join with the Commonwealth, political subdivision or redevelopment authority in the purchase of real estate for the purposes of community and economic development.

(5)  To grant funds to the Commonwealth, political subdivision or redevelopment authority for the purposes of supporting community and economic development projects.

((e) amended Nov. 29, 2004, P.L.1275, No.155)

(1706 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1131, No.258)

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(b)  Accounts, Audits and Reports by Controller

or Auditors

 

19550130u1720s

Section 1720.  Controller's Settlement of Accounts; Report to Common Pleas; Publications; Financial Report to Department of Community and Economic Development.--The controller shall, at the end of each fiscal year, complete the audit, settlement and adjustment of the accounts of all county officers. He shall, before the first day of July in every year, make a report, verified by oath or affirmation, to the Court of Common Pleas of said county, of all receipts and expenditures of the county for the preceding year, in detail, and classified by reference to the object thereof, together with a full statement of the financial conditions of the county. A concise summary of this report shall thereupon be published one time in such newspapers published in said county as the controller may direct, but the aggregate cost thereof shall not exceed fifteen hundred dollars ($1500) in any one year in any county, to be paid for out of the county treasury. Such report may also be published in printed pamphlets at the cost of the county, the number and cost of such pamphlets to be determined by the controller and the county commissioners. The controller shall also, before the first day of July, make an annual report to the Department of Community and Economic Development of the financial condition of the county, on forms furnished by the Secretary of Community and Economic Development, and subject to the penalties provided in section one thousand seven hundred twenty-one of this act for auditors refusing or neglecting to make similar reports. Within the summary of the auditor's or controller's report, there shall be a notice to the public that the entire text of the report shall be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the office of the auditor or controller.

(1720 amended Nov. 9, 2006, P.L.1350, No.142)

19550130u1721s

Section 1721.  Audit of Accounts by Auditors; Report to Common Pleas; Publications; Financial Report to Department of Community and Economic Development.--(a)  The auditors shall audit, settle and adjust the accounts of all county officers of the county, and make an annual report thereof, on or before the first day of the following July, to the court of common pleas, unless upon due cause shown the court shall grant an extension of time therefor. Said report shall be in detail, showing distinctly and separately all receipts and expenditures of the several offices, and all debts and accounts due, and the amount raised from each source of revenue, and the expenditures in detail and classified by reference to the object thereof, together with a full statement of the financial conditions of the county, and a statement of the balance due from or to such county officers.

(b)  The auditor's report shall be prepared and within ten days after being filed in the court of common pleas, a concise summary thereof shall be published, once, in at least two newspapers published in said county; or if not more than one newspaper is published in the county, then in such newspaper; or if there be no newspaper published in the county, then in one newspaper of general circulation in said county. The expense of the publication of said summary shall be paid by the county. Within the summary of the auditor's or controller's report, there shall be a notice to the public that the entire text of the report shall be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the office of the auditor or controller.

(c)  The county auditors shall also make an annual report of the financial condition of the county to the Department of Community and Economic Development, which report shall be signed by a majority of the auditors, and duly verified by the oath or affirmation of one of the auditors. The report shall be presented on a form furnished by the Secretary of Community and Economic Development, and shall be filed on or before the first day of the following July.

(d)  Any auditors refusing or wilfully neglecting to file the report required by this section shall, upon conviction thereof, in a summary proceeding brought at the instance of the Department of Community and Economic Development, be sentenced to pay a fine of five dollars ($5) for each day's delay beyond said first day of July, and costs. All fines recovered shall be for the use of the Commonwealth.

(1721 amended July 2, 2007, P.L.71, No.22)

19550130u1721v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 301(a)(16) of Act 58 of 1996, which created the Department of Community and Economic Development and abolished the Department of Community Affairs, provided that all other powers and duties delegated to the Department of Community Affairs not otherwise expressly transferred elsewhere by Act 58 and currently performed by the Department of Community Affairs under section 1720 are transferred to the Department of Community and Economic Development. The Secretary of Community Affairs, referred to in this section, was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and the functions were transferred to the Secretary of Community and Economic Development.

19550130u1722s

Section 1722.  Audit of the Accounts of Parole and Probation Officers and of Appropriations to National Guard Units.--It shall be the duty of the controller or county auditors to audit, settle and adjust the accounts of every parole and probation officer, appointed by the court pursuant to law, who shall receive from any person or persons moneys paid under any order, sentence or judgment of any court, and to report the results of such audits to the court which shall have appointed such officer. The controller or county auditors shall likewise audit, settle and adjust the accounts of any moneys appropriated by the county to units of the National Guard.

19550130u1722.1s

Section 1722.1.  Audit of Accounts of Minor Judiciary.--The controller or county auditors shall annually audit the accounts of every alderman, magistrate or district justice within the county and report the results of such audits to the county commissioners, the Auditor General and to the governing body of each political subdivision which is entitled or has a right to receive any moneys or funds collected by any such alderman, magistrate or district justice.

(1722.1 amended Apr. 8, 1982, P.L.255, No.76)

19550130u1722.1v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 28 of Act 207 of 2004 provided that any and all references in any other law to a "district justice" or "justice of the peace" shall be deemed to be references to a magisterial district judge.

19550130u1723s

Section 1723.  Accounts and Audits of Moneys Collected for Taxing Units Within the County; Payments.--All taxes, penalties, fines and costs collected by the county treasurer and belonging to any city, borough, township, incorporated town, school district or institution district shall be entered and carried in the books of the county in the same manner as county moneys, shall be audited in like manner, and when paid to the taxing district entitled thereto, as provided by law, such payments shall be made on voucher checks in the same manner as payments are made of county moneys.

19550130u1724s

Section 1724.  Audit of Accounts of Commonwealth Moneys.--It shall also be the duty of the controller or auditors to audit, settle and adjust the accounts of the treasurer of the county with the State Treasury, and of each of such other officers in the county receiving money for the use of the Commonwealth, as may be referred to them by the Auditor General or the Department of Revenue, and to make a separate report thereof to the court of common pleas, together with a statement of the balances due from or to such treasurer or other officer. A certified copy of such report shall be transmitted to the Auditor General or Department of Revenue, as the case may be, within ten days after the same is prepared.

19550130u1724.1s

Section 1724.1.  Audit of Miscellaneous Accounts.--For the purposes of this act relating to the auditing of accounts and the purchasing of insurance, money held by any county official in escrow shall be deemed the same as county funds or public money.

(1724.1 added May 24, 1965, P.L.62, No.49)

19550130u1725s

Section 1725.  Power of Subpoena and Attachment.--The controller or auditors shall have power to issue subpoenas to obtain the attendance of the officers whose accounts they are required to adjust, their executors and administrators, and of any person whom it may be necessary to examine as witnesses, and to compel their attendance by attachment, in like manner and to the same extent as any court of common pleas of this State may or can do in cases pending before them, and also to compel in like manner the production of all books, vouchers and papers relative to such accounts. Such subpoena and attachment shall be served and executed by the sheriff or coroner of the county, as the case may require.

19550130u1726s

Section 1726.  Power to Administer Oaths.--The controller or auditors shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations to all persons brought or appearing before them, whether accountants, witnesses or otherwise, and all persons swearing or affirming falsely on such examination shall be guilty of perjury.

19550130u1727s

Section 1727.  Refusal to Submit to Examination.--If any person appearing before the controller or auditors for examination shall refuse to take oath or affirmation, or after having been sworn or affirmed shall refuse to make answer to such questions as shall be put to him by the controller or auditors touching the public accounts or the official conduct of any public officers, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(1727 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1728s

Section 1728.  Witness Fees.--Witnesses attending before the controller or auditors shall receive the same allowance as is received by witnesses attending before the courts of this Commonwealth. Such allowance shall be paid out of the county treasury, and where final judgment is given against any officer whose accounts are settled by the controller or auditor, shall be included in the costs assessed against such officer.

19550130u1729s

Section 1729.  Settlement of Accounts on Extraneous Proof.--If any person in possession of books, vouchers or papers relative to public accounts before the controller or auditors shall refuse to produce the same, or if any officer whose accounts are to be settled and adjusted by the controller or auditors shall refuse to attend or submit to examination, the auditors or controller shall proceed, by the examination of witnesses and other evidence, to ascertain and settle, as near as may be, the amount of public money received by such officer and its application to public purposes or otherwise.

19550130u1730s

Section 1730.  Filing Reports.--(a)  The reports of the controller or auditors shall be filed among the records of the court of common pleas of the county.

(b)  The amount of any balance or shortage, or of any expenditure of a kind, or made in a manner, prohibited or not authorized by statute, which causes a financial loss to the county shall be a surcharge against any officer against whom such balance or shortage shall appear, or who by vote, act or neglect, has permitted or approved such expenditure, but no elected or appointed official of a county shall be surcharged for any act, error or omission in excess of the actual financial loss sustained by the county, and any surcharge shall take into consideration as its basis the results of such act, error or omission and the results had the procedure been strictly according to law. The provisions hereof limiting the amount of any surcharge shall not apply to cases involving fraud or collusion on the part of officers, nor to any penalty enuring to the benefit or payable to the Commonwealth.

(1730 amended Dec. 17, 1986, P.L.1683, No.196)

19550130u1731s

Section 1731.  Appeals from Reports.--An appeal may be taken from such reports to the court of common pleas, either by the Commonwealth, the county or the officer. Such appeal may also be taken by ten or more taxpayers in behalf of the county, in the manner and subject to the restrictions provided by article twenty-eight of this act.

Such appeal shall be entered by the Commonwealth within four months, and by the county and the officer within sixty days after the filing of the report. Upon appeal to the court of common pleas, the controller or auditors shall be required to establish the validity of the surcharge and shall establish the loss sustained to the county. If the surcharge is upheld on appeal to the court of common pleas, the officer so surcharged shall immediately pay the costs and money due to the county.

(1731 amended Dec. 17, 1986, P.L.1683, No.196)

19550130u1732s

Section 1732.  Form of Issue on Appeals.--The courts of common pleas shall direct the form in which the issues shall be entered in all appeals from the reports of the county controller or auditors. Such issues shall be tried by a jury, or may be submitted to reference and arbitration in the manner and subject to the proceedings provided by law.

19550130u1733s

Section 1733.  Allowance of Counsel Fees.--When an appeal is taken from the county auditors' reports or the controller's reports and such appeal results favorably to the appellants in such a manner that money is recovered for any county, the court hearing such appeal shall make an order to pay a counsel fee which it deems just and reasonable to the counsel representing such appeal out of the funds so recovered.

19550130u1734s

Section 1734.  Payment of Costs on Appeal.--(1734 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1735s

Section 1735.  Appeals to the Superior or Supreme Court.--(1735 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1736s

Section 1736.  Execution.--(1736 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1737s

Section 1737.  Fines and Forfeited Recognizances.--(1737 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1738s

Section 1738.  Repayment of Money Collected on Forfeited Recognizances.--(1738 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1739s

Section 1739.  Exoneration of Clerk of Courts or County Commissioners.--(1739 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1750h

(c)  Disbursals of County Moneys

 

19550130u1750s

Section 1750.  Claims Against County.--The controller or the county commissioners in counties having no controller shall scrutinize, audit and decide on all bills, claims and demands whatsoever against the county, except such as are otherwise provided for in this subdivision. All persons having such claims shall first present the same to the controller or to the county commissioners and, if required, make oath or affirmation before him or them to the correctness thereof. The controller or the commissioners, as the case may be, may, if he or they deem it necessary, require evidence, by oath or affirmation, of the claimant and otherwise that the claim is legally due and that the supplies or services for which payment is claimed have been furnished or performed under legal authority. He or they may inquire or ascertain whether any officer or agent of the county is interested in the contract under which any claim may arise, or has received or is to receive any commission, consideration or gratuity relating thereto, or whether there has been any evasion of the provisions of this act by making two or more contracts for small amounts which should have been in one. If he or they shall find that there has been any evasion, or that any such officer or agent is so interested, he or they shall refuse to approve the claim.

(1750 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1751s

Section 1751.  Procedure for Approval.--The controller shall date, upon receipt, all bills, claims and demands presented to him, which he approves and only for such as he approves, and shall forward the bills, claims or demands along with checks therefor to the county commissioners for their approval or, if already approved by the commissioners, for their signatures as provided in this section. If the county commissioners approve payment of a bill, claim or demand, at least two commissioners shall sign the check as properly drawn upon the county treasury. In such cases facsimiles of their signatures may be used. The bill, claim or demand shall be returned to the controller for filing in his office and the check shall be forwarded to the county treasurer. The county treasurer shall sign the check as his draft upon the county treasury, but he shall not sign any check not already signed, as herein provided, by the commissioners and the controller. Every check issued shall include reference to its corresponding bill, claim or demand as well as the number or numbers which may be put upon it by the county treasurer. If the county commissioners refuse to approve any bill, claim or demand, they shall return the same together with the check involved to the controller for filing in his office. In counties not having a controller, the county commissioners shall approve each transaction and the check shall be drawn by their chief clerk who shall keep files of the bills, claims or demands involved. At least two commissioners shall sign the checks either personally or by facsimile, and they shall be forwarded, together with a check register or similar description of the corresponding bill, claim or demand providing a clear description of the nature and purpose of the expenditure, to the county treasurer for his signature. In all cases the cancelled checks or official bank record thereof, shall be filed in the office of the county treasurer, but he shall transmit, at such times as the controller shall establish, a list of all checks paid from the county treasury and not previously transmitted, along with appropriate identification. The county treasurer and the controller in those counties having a controller are authorized to use a facsimile signature on any check which they are required to sign. Nothing in this section shall preclude the receipt or transfer of funds to or from the county, or payment of a bill, claim or demand, by electronic fund transfer, provided that adequate and recognized fiscal and procedural controls, together with proper system security, are in place.

(1751 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1752s

Section 1752.  Claims Not Approved by Controller.--If the controller does not approve a claim, bill or demand presented to him, he shall within thirty days forward it to the county commissioners together with his notice that he has disapproved the claim, bill or demand or is unable to approve the same and his reasons therefor. The county commissioners shall consider the claim, bill or demand and, if they consider that it should be paid by the county, they shall so notify the controller. If the controller thereafter continues to refuse his approval no payment shall be made thereon by the county except pursuant to an order of court upon a proper issue thereto directing the controller to approve payment.

(1752 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1753s

Section 1753. Reports to Commissioners.--The controller shall report to the commissioners monthly or oftener, if required by them, the amount of outstanding checks registered and the amount of money in the treasury or the amount of any particular unencumbered appropriation items involved.

(1753 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1754s

Section 1754.  Fees of Witnesses and Jurors.--Fees of jurors and witnesses shall be ascertained by the courts of the county entered upon the records thereof and duly certified by their respective clerks to the commissioners being first sworn to or affirmed before the controller or the chief clerk of the commissioners as the case may be. The commissioners, then, may draw checks therefor without approval of the controller. The certificates shall be filed with the controller or the commissioners where there is no controller after the checks are issued.

(1754 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1760h

(d)  County Treasury and County Depositories

 

19550130u1760s

Section 1760.  Receipts and Accounts of Money Due County.--The county treasurer shall receive and receipt for all moneys due or accruing to the county. He shall keep proper accounts of all moneys received and disbursed. His books shall be, at all times during office hours, open to the inspection of the controller and the commissioners, or any of them in counties having no controller. He shall issue receipts, at least in triplicate, for all moneys received for the county, and shall transmit the duplicate or triplicate thereof daily to the controller, or to the county commissioners in counties having no controller. Said receipts shall be serially numbered, shall indicate the amount of money received, from whom, on what account and the date. He shall likewise keep daily records of all disbursals from the county treasury, and shall forward daily records thereof to the controller, or the commissioners as the case may be. The controller, or the chief clerk of the commissioners where there is no controller, shall have the right to a certified daily or monthly deposit slip from the county depository or depositories, without prejudice to the said depositories, of all moneys deposited in the name of the county by the treasurer. In counties having no controller, the treasurer shall render, at least quarterly and oftener, if required, a statement of all moneys received and disbursed since his last statement, showing the balance remaining in his accounts and the names of the collectors having arrearages in taxes with the amounts thereof. He shall state his accounts at the end of each fiscal year, which statement shall be examined by the commissioners and delivered by them to the auditors for settlement.

(1760 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1761s

Section 1761.  Moneys Paid for the Redemption of Unseated Land Sold for Taxes.--The treasurer shall pay over to his successor in office all moneys paid to him for the redemption of unseated land sold for taxes, which have not been called for by the purchasers at treasurer's sale or their legal representatives during the continuance in office of such treasurer. The county controller or auditor shall charge the moneys so received to said treasurer, in the same manner that other money received by him is charged, and the same shall be paid to said purchasers, or their legal representatives when called for, by orders drawn by the commissioners of the county upon the treasurer as in other cases.

19550130u1762s

Section 1762.  Depositories.--(a)  The county commissioners together with the county treasurer shall, from time to time, designate, by resolution, a depository or depositories for all county funds to be deposited. Such depository or depositories shall be banks, banking institutions or trust companies, located in the Commonwealth.

(b)  Depositories so designated shall, upon receipt of notice of their selection as a depository of county funds, furnish a bond to secure payment of deposits and any interest to the county, secured by a surety company, or by the depositing in escrow of securities to be approved by the county commissioners. The parties may, by agreement, provide for substitution of securities so held in escrow, the securities in every case to be approved by the commissioners. Such bonds shall be in a sum to be fixed by resolution of the county commissioners. The depository shall not be required to furnish a bond or deposit securities in escrow to secure payment of deposits and interest insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

(c)  The county treasurer shall, upon the designation of such depository or depositories, immediately, transfer thereto all county funds to be deposited, and shall, thereafter, keep such deposits solely in such depository or depositories in the name of the county. Withdrawals from such depository shall be only drawn by the treasurer, upon properly authorized checks or by other commercially accepted methods of electronic funds transfer which have been specifically approved by the board of commissioners.

(d)  Neither county commissioners nor treasurer complying with the provisions of this section, nor their surety or sureties, shall be chargeable with losses of county funds caused by the failure or negligence of such depository or depositories.

(1762 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1131, No.258)

19550130u1763s

Section 1763.  Meeting; Number of Depositories.--(1763 repealed Feb. 10, 1956, P.L.1039, No.329)

19550130u1764s

Section 1764.  Designation and Qualification of Depositories.--(1764 repealed Feb. 10, 1956, P.L.1039, No.329)

19550130u1770h

(e)  County Taxation, Borrowing and Transfer of Funds

 

19550130u1770s

Section 1770.  Tax Levies.--No tax shall be levied on personal property taxable for county purposes where the rate of taxation thereon is fixed by law other than at the rate so fixed. The county commissioners shall fix, by resolution, the rate of taxation for each year. No tax for general county purposes in counties of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes, exclusive of the requirements for the payment of rentals to any municipal authority, shall in any one year exceed the rate of twenty-five mills on every dollar of the adjusted valuation, unless the county commissioners by majority action shall, upon due cause shown by resolution, petition the court of common pleas, in which case the court may order a rate of not more than five mills additional to be levied: Provided, however, That the rate of taxation for payment of interest and principal on any indebtedness incurred pursuant to the act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.781, No.185), known as the "Local Government Unit Debt Act," or any prior or subsequent act governing the incurrence of indebtedness of the county shall be unlimited. Tax for payment of rentals to any municipal authority shall not exceed the rate of ten mills on every dollar of the adjusted valuation and shall be in addition to the twenty-five mill limitation for general county purposes. In fixing the rate of taxation, the county commissioners, if the rate is fixed in mills, shall also include in the resolution a statement expressing the rate of taxation in dollars and cents on each one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of taxable property.

The rate of taxation fixed for any occupation tax levied by a county of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth class shall not in any one year exceed twenty mills. The county commissioners may, by resolution, abolish the levy and collection of occupation taxes for county purposes.

The county commissioners of counties of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes may levy and collect an annual per capita tax on persons for county purposes.

Any county of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth class which shall become a county of the third class may collect for a period of four years after such status has been certified a per capita tax from any person not in any one year to exceed a total of five dollars ($5) for county purposes.

No tax shall be levied and collected for county purposes on offices and posts of profits, or on professions, trades and occupations at the same time during which a per capita tax on persons is levied and collected for county purposes.

Any per capita taxes levied upon and collected from any person shall not in any one year exceed a total of five dollars ($5) for county and institution district purposes.

Any county may, by ordinance or resolution, exempt any person whose total income from all sources is less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per annum from any per capita tax levied under this act.

(1770 amended Nov. 23, 1994, P.L.640, No.98)

19550130u1770.1s

Section 1770.1.  Additions and Revisions to Duplicates.--Whenever in any county there is any construction of a building or buildings not otherwise exempt as a dwelling after January first of any year, and such building is not included in the tax duplicate of the county, the authority responsible for assessments in the county shall, upon the request of the board of county commissioners, cause to be inspected and reassessed, subject to the right of appeal and adjustment provided by the act of Assembly under which assessments are made, all taxable property in the county to which major improvements have been made after January first, and to give notice of such reassessments within ten days to the authority responsible for assessments, the county commissioners and the property owner. Such property shall then be added to the duplicate and shall be taxable for county purposes at the reassessed valuation for that proportionate part of the fiscal year of the county remaining after the property was improved. Any improvement made during the month shall be computed as having been made on the first of the month. A certified copy of the additions or revisions to the duplicate shall be furnished by the board of county commissioners to the proper tax collector for the county and, within ten days thereafter, the tax collector shall notify the owner of the property of the taxes due the county.

Whenever an assessment is made for a portion of a year as above provided, the same shall be added to the duplicate of the following or succeeding year unless the value of the improvements has already been included in said duplicate.

(1770.1 amended Jul. 22, 1970, P.L.547, No.187)

19550130u1770.2s

Section 1770.2.  Authorization of Excise Tax.--(1770.2 repealed Apr. 20, 2016, P.L.134, No.18)

19550130u1770.2v

 

Compiler's Note:  The act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111, No.5), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law," referred to in this section, was repealed by the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.621, No.50), known as the Tourist Promotion Act.

19550130u1770.3s

Section 1770.3.  Appointment of Auxiliary Board of Assessment Appeals.--(1770.3 repealed Oct. 27, 2010, P.L.895, No.93)

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 7(2) of Act 93 of 2010 provided that all activities initiated under section 1770.3 shall continue and shall remain in full force and effect until revoked, vacated or modified under the Consolidated County Assessment Law (53 Pa.C.S. Ch.88).

19550130u1770.3v

 

Compiler's Note:  The June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law, referred to in subsec. (b), was repealed by the act of Feb. 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.

19550130u1770.4s

Section 1770.4.  Authorization of Hotel Tax.--(a)  The county commissioners of any county of the third class having a second class A city located therein may impose a hotel tax not to exceed seven per centum of the consideration received by each operator of a hotel within the county from each transaction of renting a room or rooms to transients. The tax shall be collected by the operator from the patron of the room or rooms and paid over to the county as herein provided. ((a) amended July 12, 2012, P.L.1186, No.143)

(b)  The county commissioners may by ordinance impose requirements for keeping of records, the filing of tax returns and the time and manner of collection and payment of tax. The county commissioners may also impose by ordinance penalties and interest for failure to comply with recordkeeping, filing, collection and payment requirements.

(c)  The treasurer of each county that imposes the tax authorized under this section shall collect the tax and deposit the revenues received from the tax in a special fund established for that purpose. The disposition of the revenues from the special fund shall be as follows: a minimum of forty per centum of all revenues received per annum shall be distributed to the TPA, which shall use them for the appropriate and reasonable operational, marketing and promotional expenses of the TPA. Other tax revenues received and amounting to not more than sixty per centum of total annual revenues shall be distributed to the county, which shall use them for reasonable expenses associated with collection and enforcement of the tax; for county-owned tourist and recreational facilities, sports facilities or visitor centers; for other tourism-related activities as determined by the county commissioners; or for other expenditures, debts or liabilities related to tourism or recreational facilities incurred by municipal authorities as determined by the county commissioners. ((c) amended July 12, 2012, P.L.1186, No.143)

(d)  ((d) deleted by amendment July 12, 2012, P.L.1186, No.143)

(e)  The tax year for a tax imposed under this section shall run concurrently with the calendar year.

(e.1)  An audited report on the income and expenditures incurred by a tourist promotion agency receiving any revenues from the tax authorized under this section shall be submitted annually by the tourist promotion agency to the county commissioners. ((e.1) added July 5, 2005, P.L.38, No.12)

(f)  As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Consideration."  Receipts, fees, charges, rentals, leases, cash, credits, property of any kind or nature, or other payment received by operators in exchange for or in consideration of the use or occupancy by a transient of a room or rooms in a hotel for any temporary period.

"Hotel."  A hotel, motel, inn, guest house or other structure which holds itself out by any means, including advertising, license, registration with an innkeepers' group, convention listing association, travel publication or similar association or with a government agency, as being available to provide overnight lodging or use of facility space for consideration to persons seeking temporary accommodation; any place which advertises to the public at large or any segment thereof that it will provide beds, sanitary facilities or other space for a temporary period to members of the public at large; or any place recognized as a hostelry. The term does not include any portion of a facility that is devoted to persons who have an established permanent residence or a college or university student residence hall.

"Occupancy."  The use or possession or the right to the use or possession by any person other than a permanent resident of any room in a hotel for any purpose or the right to the use or possession of the furnishings or to the services accompanying the use and possession of the room.

"Operator."  An individual, partnership, nonprofit or profit-making association or corporation or other person or group of persons who maintain, operate, manage, own, have custody of or otherwise possess the right to rent or lease overnight accommodations in a hotel to the public for consideration.

"Patron."  A person who pays the consideration for the occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel.

"Permanent resident."  A person who has occupied or has the right to occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel as a patron or otherwise for a period exceeding thirty consecutive days. (Def. amended Feb. 18, 1998, P.L.156, No.23)

"Room."  A space in a hotel set aside for use and occupancy by patrons, or otherwise, for consideration, having at least one bed or other sleeping accommodation in a room or group of rooms.

"Tourist Promotion Agency (TPA)."  An organization, agency or corporation designated to be such by the board of commissioners of the county in which the tax is imposed. The TPA shall be duly established, designated and recognized as the county's TPA in accordance with and pursuant to the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.621, No.50), known as the "Tourism Promotion Act." (Def. amended July 12, 2012, P.L.1186, No.143)

"Transaction."  The activity involving the obtaining by a transient or patron of the use or occupancy of a hotel room from which consideration is payable to the operator under an express or an implied contract.

"Transient."  An individual who obtains accommodation in a hotel by means of registering at the facility for the temporary occupancy of a room for the personal use of the individual by paying a fee to the operator.

(1770.4 added June 18, 1997, P.L.179, No.18)

 

19550130u1770.5s

Section 1770.5.  Authorization of Five Per Centum Hotel Tax.--(a)  The county commissioners of any county of the third class having a population under the 1990 Federal Decennial Census in excess of 237,000 residents, but less than 240,000 residents, may impose a hotel tax not to exceed five per centum of the consideration received by each operator of a hotel within the county from each transaction of renting a room or rooms to transients. The tax shall be collected by the operator from the patron of the room or rooms and paid over to the county as herein provided.

(b)  The county commissioners may by ordinance impose requirements for keeping of records, the filing of tax returns and the time and manner of collection and payment of tax. The county commissioners may also impose by ordinance penalties and interest for failure to comply with recordkeeping, filing, collection and payment requirements.

(c)  The county commissioners of each county shall designate the entity or agency responsible to collect and to enforce the collection of the tax on their behalf. All revenues received from the tax shall be deposited into a special fund, which is to be established by the county's treasurer. The disposition of the revenues from the special fund attributable to the levy of the first two per centum of the tax shall be as follows:

(1)  twenty per centum of all revenues received per annum shall be distributed by the treasurer to a city of the third class in the county of the third class imposing the tax for the appropriate and reasonable marketing and promotional expenses of promoting tourism in the city of a third class and the costs associated with the renovation, rehabilitation, extension, furnishing, equipping, substantial repair or construction of a tourism-related facility located within the city of the third class, including for payment of the debt service on bonds issued for such projects;

(2)  ten per centum of all revenues received per annum shall be distributed by the treasurer to the county commissioners who may accept the funds which may be used for tourism and regional promotion purposes to be determined by the county commissioners, or, if the county commissioners elect not to accept the funds, the funds shall be distributed by the treasurer to the TPA for the appropriate and reasonable marketing and promotional expenses of the TPA in promoting tourism in the county of the third class imposing the tax, excluding promotion of a city of the third class receiving revenues under clause (1); and

(3)  seventy per centum of all revenue received per annum shall be distributed by the treasurer to qualified authorities located within the county of the third class imposing the tax for payment of the debt service on bonds issued for the construction of a county regional sports facility having a seating capacity of two and one-half thousand to fourteen thousand seats, which is owned, in whole or in part, or leased by the applicable authority, and which is located within the county of the third class imposing the tax. The following are qualified authorities for purposes of this clause:

(i)  an authority incorporated pursuant to the former act of May 2, 1945 (P.L.382, No.164), known as the "Municipality Authorities Act of 1945";

(ii)  an industrial or commercial development authority incorporated pursuant to the act of August 23, 1967 (P.L.251, No.102), known as the "Economic Development Financing Law"; and

(iii)  a redevelopment authority incorporated pursuant to the act of May 24, 1945 (P.L.991, No.385), known as the "Urban Redevelopment Law."

((3) amended Apr. 20, 2016, P.L.134, No.18)

(c.1)  The disposition of the revenues from the special fund attributable to the levy of the third per centum of the tax, if levied, shall be distributed at the discretion of the county commissioners and used solely for tourism and regional promotion purposes.

(c.2)  The disposition of the revenues from the special fund attributable to the levy of the remaining two per centum of the tax shall be distributed by the treasurer as follows:

(1)  fifty per centum shall be distributed to the TPA for the appropriate and reasonable marketing and promotional expenses for promoting tourism in the county imposing the tax; and

(2)  fifty per centum shall be distributed as follows:

(i)  Seventy-five per centum to an authority incorporated pursuant to the former "Municipality Authorities Act of 1945" located within the county of the third class currently imposing a tax for payment of the debt service on bonds issued for the construction of a county regional sports facility having a seating capacity of two and one-half thousand to fourteen thousand seats, which is owned, in whole or in part, or leased by the applicable authority, and which is located within the county of the third class imposing the tax. Such authority shall use the tax distribution identified in this section for the improvement, support, rehabilitation, revitalization, construction, fit-out and reconstruction of one or more tourism or tourism infrastructure-related facilities, including, but not limited to, the payment of debt service on bonds related thereto.

(ii)  Twenty-five per centum shall be distributed to the TPA for the appropriate and reasonable marketing and promotional expenses of promoting tourism in a city of the third class located within the county of the third class imposing the tax, and the same shall be used in accordance with a plan approved by the TPA.

((c.2) amended Apr. 20, 2016, P.L.134, No.18)

(d)  The treasurer of each county electing to impose the tax authorized under this section shall collect the tax from the entity or agency designated by the county commissioners to collect and to enforce the collection of the tax and shall deposit the revenues received from the tax in a special fund established for that purpose.

(e)  The tax year for a tax imposed under this section shall run concurrently with the calendar year.

(e.1)  An audited report on the income and expenditures incurred by a tourist promotion agency receiving any revenues from the tax authorized under this section shall be submitted annually by the tourist promotion agency to the county commissioners.

(f)  As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Consideration."  Receipts, fees, charges, rentals, leases, cash, credits, property of any kind or nature or other payment received by operators in exchange for or in consideration of the use or occupancy by a transient of a room or rooms in a hotel for any temporary period.

"Debt service on bonds."  Any cost related to the issuance, refinancing, refunding or payment or any other costs associated with the issuance and maintenance of bonds or notes by an authority or a city of the third class.

"Hotel."  A hotel, motel, inn, guest house or other structure which holds itself out by any means, including advertising, license, registration with an innkeepers' group, convention listing association, travel publication or similar association or with a government agency, as being available to provide overnight lodging or use of facility space for consideration to persons seeking temporary accommodation; any place which advertises to the public at large or any segment thereof that it will provide beds, sanitary facilities or other space for a temporary period to members of the public at large; or any place recognized as a hostelry. The term does not include any portion of a facility that is devoted to persons who have an established permanent residence or a college or university student residence hall.

"Occupancy."  The use or possession or the right to the use or possession by any person other than a permanent resident of any room in a hotel for any purpose or the right to the use or possession of the furnishings or to the services accompanying the use and possession of the room.

"Operator."  An individual, partnership, nonprofit or profit-making association or corporation, or other person or group of persons who maintains, operates, manages, owns, has custody of or otherwise possesses the right to rent or lease overnight accommodations in a hotel to the public for consideration.

"Patron."  A person who pays the consideration for the occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel.

"Permanent resident."  A person who has occupied or has the right to occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel as a patron or otherwise for a period exceeding thirty consecutive days.

"Room."  A space in a hotel set aside for use and occupancy by patrons, or otherwise, for consideration, having at least one bed or other sleeping accommodation in a room or group of rooms.

"Tourist Promotion Agency (TPA)."  An organization, agency or corporation designated to be such by the board of commissioners of the county in which the tax is imposed. The TPA shall be duly established, designated and recognized as the county's TPA in accordance with and pursuant to the act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111, No.50), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law."

"Transaction."  The activity involving the obtaining by a transient or patron of the use or occupancy of a hotel room from which consideration is payable to the operator under an express or an implied contract.

"Transient."  An individual who obtains accommodation in a hotel by means of registering at the facility for the temporary occupancy of a room for the personal use of the individual by paying a fee to the operator.

(1770.5 amended Dec. 18, 2007, P.L.465, No.72)

19550130u1770.5v

 

Compiler's Note:  The act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111, No.5), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law," referred to in this section, was repealed by the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.621, No.50), known as the Tourist Promotion Act.

19550130u1770.6s

Section 1770.6.  Authorization of Hotel Tax.--(1770.6 repealed Apr. 20, 2016, P.L.134, No.18)

19550130u1770.7s

Section 1770.7.  Authorization of Five Per Centum Hotel Tax.--(a)  The county commissioners of any county of the fifth class having a population under the 2010 Federal Decennial Census in excess of 101,000 residents, but less than 102,000 residents, may impose a hotel tax not to exceed five per centum of the consideration received by each operator of a hotel within the county from each transaction of renting a room or rooms to transients. The tax shall be collected by the operator from the patron of the room or rooms and paid over to the county as herein provided.

(b)  The provisions of subsection (b.1) notwithstanding, county commissioners may by ordinance impose requirements for keeping of records, the filing of tax returns and the time and manner of collection and payment of tax. The county commissioners may also impose by ordinance penalties and interest for failure to comply with recordkeeping, filing, collection and payment requirements.

(b.1)  Each operator of a hotel within a county that imposes the tax authorized under this section shall submit to an audit of hotel tax revenue. The audit shall be conducted by the county commissioners and shall consist, at a minimum, of determining the total amount of consideration received by the operator from transactions of renting a room or rooms to transients during the period being audited and the total amount of hotel tax revenue collected. The county commissioners or their duly authorized agents shall conduct at least one audit annually and shall bear the costs of the audit.

(c)  The treasurer of each county that imposes the tax authorized under this section shall collect the tax and deposit the revenues received from the tax in a special fund established for that purpose. Subject to the deduction of the administrative fee authorized by subsection (e.2), the disposition of the revenues from the TPA hotel tax fund shall be as follows:

(1)  Seventy-five per centum of all revenues received per annum shall be used by the county's recognized TPA for the promotion, advertising and marketing of tourism and special events and for administrative costs.

(2)  Twenty-five per centum of all revenues received per annum shall be distributed as follows:

(i)  Fifty per centum shall be used by the county commissioners for the purposes of economic development and historic preservation.

(ii)  Fifty per centum shall be used by the county commissioners for grants to municipalities that:

(A)  have a municipal police department employing at least two full-time police officers assigned to law enforcement duties who work a minimum of two hundred days per year; or

(B)  are a member of a regional police department that provides full-time police services to the municipality pursuant to an agreement or contract.

(iii)  Municipalities receiving grants under subclause (ii) must meet or have met the eligibility requirements under subclause (ii)(A) or (B) for a minimum of two years prior to receiving the grant.

(d)  ((d) deleted by amendment)

(d.1)  Grants under subsection (c)(2)(ii) shall be distributed to municipalities in proportion to the number of hotel rooms within the municipality as a percentage of the total number of hotel rooms in municipalities with police departments under subsection (c)(2)(ii) as compiled by the recognized TPA and certified by the county commissioners. Grants shall be used for police and law enforcement purposes. Any portion of a grant not used for police and law enforcement purposes shall be returned to the county for the purposes of subsection (c)(2)(i).

(e)  The tax year for a tax imposed under this section shall run concurrently with the calendar year.

(e.1)  An audited report on the income and expenditures incurred by a tourist promotion agency receiving any revenues from the tax authorized under this section shall be submitted annually by the tourist promotion agency to the county commissioners.

(e.2)  The county may deduct and retain an administrative fee from the taxes collected under this section. The administrative fee established by the county may not exceed in any tax year the lesser of:

(1)  four and one-half per centum of all taxes collected under this section; or

(2)  ninety-five thousand dollars ($95,000), which amount shall be adjusted biannually, beginning two years after the effective date of this subsection, by the percentage growth in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

(e.3)  Revenue collected from the fee imposed under subsection (e.2) shall be used for the following purposes:

(1)  Defraying the costs associated with the collection and administration of the tax.

(2)  Defraying the costs of the review required under subsection (b.1).

(f)  As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Consideration."  Receipts, fees, charges, rentals, leases, cash, credits, property of any kind or nature, or other payment received by operators in exchange for or in consideration of the use or occupancy by a transient of a room or rooms in a hotel for any temporary period.

"Hotel."  A hotel, motel, inn, guest house or other structure which holds itself out by any means, including advertising, license, registration with an innkeepers' group, convention listing association, travel publication or similar association or with a government agency, as being available to provide overnight lodging or use of facility space for consideration to persons seeking temporary accommodation; any place which advertises to the public at large or any segment thereof that it will provide beds, sanitary facilities or other space for a temporary period to members of the public at large; or any place recognized as a hostelry. The term does not include any portion of a facility that is devoted to persons who have an established permanent residence or a college or university student residence hall.

"Occupancy."  The use or possession or the right to the use or possession by any person other than a permanent resident of any room in a hotel for any purpose or the right to the use or possession of the furnishings or to the services accompanying the use and possession of the room.

"Operator."  An individual, partnership, nonprofit or profit-making association or corporation or other person or group of persons who maintain, operate, manage, own, have custody of or otherwise possess the right to rent or lease overnight accommodations in a hotel to the public for consideration.

"Patron."  A person who pays the consideration for the occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel.

"Permanent resident."  A person who has occupied or has the right to occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel as a patron or otherwise for a period exceeding thirty consecutive days.

"Room."  A space in a hotel set aside for use and occupancy by patrons, or otherwise, for consideration, having at least one bed or other sleeping accommodation in a room or group of rooms.

"Tourist Promotion Agency (TPA)."  An organization, agency or corporation designated to be such by the board of commissioners as of January 1, 2000, of the county in which the tax is imposed. The TPA shall be duly established, designated and recognized as the county's TPA in accordance with and pursuant to the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.621, No.50), known as the "Tourism Promotion Act."

"Transaction."  The activity involving the obtaining by a transient or patron of the use or occupancy of a hotel room from which consideration is payable to the operator under an express or an implied contract.

"Transient."  An individual who obtains accommodation in a hotel by means of registering at the facility for the temporary occupancy of a room for the personal use of the individual by paying a fee to the operator.

(1770.7 amended July 12, 2012, P.L.1182, No.142)

19550130u1770.8s

Section 1770.8.  Hotel Room Rental Tax in Certain Third Class Counties.--(a)  A county may, by ordinance, impose a tax which shall be known as the hotel room rental tax on the consideration received by each operator of a hotel within the county from each transaction of renting a room or rooms to accommodate temporary residents. The tax shall be collected by the operator from the patron of the room and paid over to the county where the hotel is located as provided under this section.

(b)  The tax imposed under subsection (a) shall be equal to four per centum of the consideration received from each transaction of renting a room or rooms to accommodate temporary, not permanent, residents.

(c)  The tax shall be collected by the operator from the patron and paid over to the county where the hotel is located. The county executive of each county is hereby authorized to establish rules and regulations governing the collection of the tax, which collection shall not occur more often than monthly and not less than quarterly.

(d)  Money received under subsection (c) and interest accrued shall be distributed by the fiscal officer of each county as follows:

(1)  Each county shall within ten days of receipt transmit sixty-eight and three-quarters per centum of the money collected in that county to the regional tourist promotion agency which serves more than one county and which is designated by the governing body of the county to be eligible for grants from the Department of Community and Economic Development pursuant to the act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111, No.50), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law."

(2)  Each county shall retain eighteen and three-quarters per centum of the money collected in that county for the further development of tourism facilities and for community development initiatives within that county that enhance regional tourism.

(3)  Each county shall retain twelve and one-half per centum of the money collected in that county for the further development of facilities and for marketing purposes within that county to enhance regional tourism.

(e)  The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Consideration."  Receipts, fees, charges, rentals, leases, cash, credits, property of any kind or nature or other payment received by operators in exchange for or in consideration of the use or occupancy by a transient of a room or rooms in a hotel for a temporary period.

"County."  Any county which is, on June 22, 2000, a county of the third class having a population under the 1990 Federal Decennial Census in excess of 290,000 residents but less than 295,000 residents or a county of the third class having a population under the 1990 Federal Decennial Census in excess of 245,000 residents but less than 250,000 residents.

"Hotel."  A hotel, motel, inn, guesthouse or other structure which holds itself out by any means, including advertising, license, registration with an innkeepers' group, convention listing association, travel publication or similar association or with a government agency, as being available to provide overnight lodging for consideration to persons seeking temporary accommodation; any place which advertises to the public at large or any segment thereof that it will provide beds, sanitary facilities or other space for a temporary period to members of the public at large; or any place recognized as a hostelry. The term does not include any portion of a facility that is devoted to persons who have an established permanent residence or a college or university student residence hall or any private campground or any cabins, public campgrounds or other facilities located on State land.

"Joint planning commissions."  A commission established by ordinance or membership of two or more municipalities to encourage planning for future development and to coordinate planning with neighboring municipalities, counties and other government agencies in accordance with Article XI of the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.805, No.247), known as the "Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code."

"Operator."  Any individual, partnership, nonprofit or profit-making association or corporation or other person or group of persons who maintain, operate, manage, own, have custody of or otherwise possess the right to rent or lease overnight accommodations in a building to the public for consideration.

"Patron."  Any person who pays the consideration for the occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel.

"Permanent resident."  Any person who has occupied or has the right to occupy a room or rooms in a hotel as a patron or otherwise for a period exceeding thirty consecutive days.

"Room."  A space in a building set aside for use and occupancy by patrons, or otherwise, for consideration, having at least one bed or other sleeping accommodations provided.

"Temporary resident."  Any person who has occupied or has the right to occupy a room or rooms in a hotel as a patron or otherwise for a period of time not exceeding thirty consecutive days.

"Transaction."  The activity involving the obtaining by a transient or patron of the use or occupancy of a hotel room from which consideration emanates to the operator under an expressed or implied contract.

"Transient."  Any person who obtains an accommodation in any hotel for himself by means of registering at the facility for the temporary occupancy of a room for the personal use of that individual by paying to the operator of the facility a fee in consideration therefor.

(1770.8 added July 5, 2005, P.L.38, No.12)

19550130u1770.8v

 

Compiler's Note:  The act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111, No.5), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law," referred to in this section, was repealed by the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.621, No.50), known as the Tourist Promotion Act.

19550130u1770.9s

Section 1770.9.  Assessment of Signs and Sign Structures.--(1770.9 repealed Oct. 27, 2010, P.L.895, No.93)

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 7(2) of Act 93 of 2010 provided that all activities initiated under section 1770.9 shall continue and shall remain in full force and effect until revoked, vacated or modified under the Consolidated County Assessment Law (53 Pa.C.S. Ch.88).

19550130u1770.9v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 1770.9 was added to the County Code by Act 142 of 2006. Section 6 of Act 142 provides that the section is to apply retroactively to real property assessments for taxes levied and collected for fiscal periods of political subdivisions beginning on or after January 1, 2005, and section 4 prohibits the amendment from being interpreted either as authorizing, ratifying, or affirming any assessment of signs or sign structures as real property, or as creating an implication that The General County Assessment Law, the act of May 22, 1933 (P.L.853, No.155), should not be applied uniformly.

19550130u1770.10s

Section 1770.10.  Hotel Room Rental Tax in Third through Eighth Class Counties.--(a)  A county may, by ordinance, impose a tax which shall be known as the hotel room rental tax on the consideration received by each operator of a hotel within the county from each transaction of renting a room or rooms to accommodate transients. The tax shall be collected by the operator from the patron of the room and paid over to the county where the hotel is located as provided under this section.

(b)  The rate of tax imposed under this section shall not exceed five per centum.

(c)  The treasurer of each county electing to impose the tax authorized under this section shall collect the tax and deposit the revenues received from the tax in a special fund established for that purpose. Subsequent to the deduction for administrative costs established in subsection (i), the county shall distribute to the recognized tourist promotion agency all revenues received from the tax not later than sixty days after receipt of the tax revenues.

(d)  The revenues from the special fund shall be used by the recognized tourist promotion agency for any of the following purposes:

(1)  Marketing the area served by the agency as a leisure travel destination.

(2)  Marketing the area served by the agency as a business, convention or meeting travel destination.

(3)  Using all appropriate marketing tools to accomplish these purposes, including, but not limited to, advertising, publicity, publications, direct marketing, sales, technology and participation in industry trade shows that attract tourists or travelers to the area served by the agency.

(4)  Programs, expenditures or grants that are directly and substantially related to tourism or a business, convention or meeting travel destination within the county, augment and do not compete with private sector tourism or travel efforts and improve and expand the county as a destination market as deemed necessary by the recognized tourist promotion agency. The following shall apply to grants awarded under this paragraph:

(i)  Grants require a cash or in-kind local match of at least 25%.

(ii)  Grants may not be used for signage that promotes a specific private entity on the situs of that entity, except where the signage also carries the logo of a recognized tourist promotion agency.

(5)  Any other tourism or travel marketing or promotion program, expenditure or project that does not compete with private sector tourism or travel efforts as deemed necessary by the recognized tourist promotion agency.

(e)  Each taxable year for any tax imposed under this section shall run concurrently with the county's fiscal year.

(f)  An audited report or financial statement, as determined by the county in consultation with the recognized tourist promotion agency, on the income and expenditures incurred by a recognized tourist promotion agency receiving any revenues from the tax authorized under this section shall be submitted annually by the recognized tourist promotion agency to the county commissioners.

(g)  (1)  If a recognized tourist promotion agency fails to submit an annual audit report or financial statement required under subsection (f) within ninety days of the end of the recognized tourist promotion agency's fiscal year, the corresponding county may withhold tax revenues collected and deposited in a special fund under this section until the required annual audit report or financial statement is submitted to the county.

(2)  In the event the county does not take action under paragraph (1) within one hundred twenty days of the end of the recognized tourist promotion agency's fiscal year, the Secretary of Community and Economic Development may require the county to withhold tax revenues collected and deposited in a special fund under this section until the required annual audit report or financial statement is submitted to the county and the Department of Community and Economic Development.

(h)  Any board member, director, officer or employe of a recognized tourist promotion agency shall disclose to the recognized tourist promotion agency the nature of any conflict of interest or financial interest and recuse himself or herself from any action taken on behalf of the recognized tourist promotion agency which may result in a private pecuniary benefit to the individual, a member of the individual's immediate family or a business with which the individual or a member of the individual's immediate family is associated.

(i)  For the purposes of defraying the costs associated with the collection of the tax imposed under this section and otherwise performing its obligations under this section, the county may deduct and retain an administrative fee from the taxes collected under this section. The administrative fee shall be established by the county but shall not exceed four per centum of the taxes collected in any taxable year.

(j)  A penalty of one and one-half per centum per month shall be imposed upon the operator of a hotel for failure to timely collect and remit the tax authorized by this section. In addition to other remedies available for collection of debts, the county may file a lien upon the hotel in the name of the county and for the use of the county as provided by law.

(k)  The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Bed and breakfast" or "homestead."  A public accommodation consisting of a private residence, which contains ten or fewer bedrooms, used for providing overnight accommodations to the public and in which breakfast is the only meal served and is included in the charge for the room.

"Cabin."  A permanent structure with beds and running water that is located on a campground on State land or private property and is available to provide overnight lodging for consideration to persons seeking temporary accommodations. The term does not include a yurt or walled tent.

"Conflict of interest."  Use by a board member, director, officer or employe of a recognized tourist promotion agency of the authority of his or her office or employment or any confidential information received through his or her capacity in relation to a recognized tourist promotion agency for the private pecuniary benefit of himself or herself, a member of his or her immediate family or a business with which he or she or a member of his or her immediate family is associated. The term does not include an action having a de minimis economic impact or which affects to the same degree a class consisting of the general public or a subclass consisting of an industry, occupation or other group which includes a board member, director, officer or employe, a member of his or her immediate family or business with which he or she or a member of his or her immediate family is associated.

"Consideration."  Receipts, fees, charges, rentals, leases, cash, credits, property of any kind or nature or other payment received by operators in exchange for or in consideration of the use or occupancy by a transient of a room or rooms in a hotel for a temporary period.

"County."  Any county of the third through eighth class that was authorized to levy a hotel occupancy or room rental tax under the former section 1770.2 or 1770.6.

"Hotel."  A hotel, motel, inn, guesthouse, rooming house, bed and breakfast, homestead or other structure which holds itself out by any means, including advertising, license, registration with an innkeepers' group, convention listing association, travel publication or similar association or with a government agency, as being available to provide overnight lodging for consideration to persons seeking temporary accommodation; any place which advertises to the public at large or any segment thereof that it will provide beds, sanitary facilities or other space for a temporary period to members of the public at large; any place recognized as a hostelry or any cabin. The term does not include any of the following:

(1)  A charitable institution.

(2)  A portion of a facility that is devoted to persons who have an established permanent residence.

(3)  A college or university student residence hall currently occupied by students enrolled in a degree program.

(4)  An educational or religious institution camp for children, including a camp registered under the act of November 10, 1959 (P.L.1400, No.497), entitled "An act providing for the annual registration of organized camps for children, youth and adults; defining the duties of the Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and prescribing penalties."

(5)  A hospital.

(6)  A nursing home.

(7)  Part of a campground that is not a cabin.

"Immediate family."  A spouse, parent, brother, sister or child.

"Marketing."  An action by a recognized tourism promotion agency that includes, but is not limited to, promoting and encouraging visitors to visit a specific county, counties or geographic region.

"Occupancy."  The use or possession or the right to the use or possession by any person other than a permanent resident of any room in a hotel for any purpose or the right to the use or possession of the furnishings or to the services accompanying the use and possession of the room.

"Operator."  Any individual, partnership, nonprofit or profit-making association or corporation or other person or group of persons who maintain, operate, manage, own, have custody of or otherwise possess the right to rent or lease overnight accommodations in a building to the public for consideration.

"Patron."  Any person who pays the consideration for the occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel.

"Permanent resident."  A person who has occupied or has the right to occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel as a patron or otherwise for a period exceeding thirty consecutive days.

"Recognized tourist promotion agency."  The nonprofit corporation, organization, association or agency which is engaged in planning and promoting programs designed to stimulate and increase the volume of tourist, visitor and vacation business within a county and certified by the county as of the effective date of this subsection or under section 1770.11.

"Room."  A space in a building set aside for use and occupancy by patrons or otherwise, for consideration, having at least one bed or other sleeping accommodations provided.

"Transaction."  The activity involving the obtaining by a transient or patron of the use or occupancy of a hotel room from which consideration emanates to the operator under an expressed or implied contract.

"Transient."  An individual who obtains accommodation in a hotel by means of registering at the facility for the temporary occupancy of a room for the personal use of the individual by paying a fee to the operator.

(1770.10 added Apr. 20, 2016, P.L.134, No.18)

19550130u1770.10v

 

Compiler's Note:  See section 4 of Act 18 of 2016 in the appendix to this act for special provisions relating to construction of law.

19550130u1770.11s

Section 1770.11.  Certification of Recognized Tourist Promotion Agencies.--(a)  A county may certify a nonprofit corporation, organization, association or agency to serve as the county's recognized tourist promotion agency. The county may not have more than one recognized tourist promotion agency.

(b)  (1)  A county must certify a recognized tourist promotion agency under subsection (a) by proper resolution of the governing body of the county, concurred in by resolution of the governing bodies of cities, boroughs, towns or townships within the county which have an aggregate of more than fifty per centum of the total population of the county as determined by the most recently completed Federal decennial census.

(2)  A recognized tourist promotion agency shall operate until that agency has dissolved as an entity, withdrawn its certification or has been decertified by the county under subsection (c).

(c)  (1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a county may decertify a recognized tourist promotion agency by proper resolution of the governing body of a county, concurred in by resolution of the governing bodies of cities, boroughs, towns or townships within the county which have an aggregate of more than sixty-five per centum of the total population of the county as determined by the most recently completed Federal decennial census.

(2)  The county shall hold at least one public hearing on decertification no less than seven days before a meeting to adopt a resolution under this subsection.

(3)  This subsection shall apply to recognized tourist promotion agencies, regardless of the date on which they were recognized under the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.621, No.50), known as the Tourism Promotion Act, or certified by the county under this section.

(1770.11 added Apr. 20, 2016, P.L.134, No.18)

19550130u1770.12s

Section 1770.12.  Hotel Room Rental in Second Class and Second Class A Counties.--

(a)  (1)  The county commissioners in each county of the second class are authorized to impose an excise tax at five per centum on the consideration received by each operator of a hotel within the county from each transaction of renting a room or rooms to accommodate transients.

(2)  The county commissioners in each county of the second class A are authorized to impose an excise tax not to exceed five per centum on the consideration received by each operator of a hotel within the county from each transaction of renting a room or rooms to accommodate transients.

(3)  The tax shall be collected by the operator from the patron of the room and paid over to the county as provided in this section.

(b)  The treasurer of each county of the second class electing to impose the tax authorized under this section is directed to collect the tax and to deposit the revenue received from the tax in a special fund. The revenues shall be distributed by the county commissioners as follows:

(1)  Except as set forth in clause (4), two-fifths of the revenue received by the county from the excise tax shall be distributed to a tourist promotion agency pursuant to section 2199.14 of the act of July 28, 1953 (P.L.723, No.230), known as the "Second Class County Code."

(2)  Except as set forth in clause (4), one-third of the tax collected by hotels within a municipality where a convention center or exhibition hall is located, less the cost of collecting the tax, shall, at the request of that municipality, be returned to that municipality for deposit in that municipality's special fund established solely for purposes of paying for promotional programs implemented by a nonprofit organization which are designed to stimulate and increase the volume of conventions and visitors within the municipality or as provided in clause (5), subject to the following requirements:

(i)  An audited report on the income and expenditures incurred by the municipality receiving funds from the excise tax on hotel room rentals shall be made annually to county.

(ii)  The members of the board of directors or other governing body of the nonprofit organization utilized by the municipality to provide the promotional programs shall be appointed by the governing body of the municipality.

(2.1)  Except as set forth in clause (4), a five per centum fee shall be paid to the county for collecting the tax.

(3)  Except as set forth in clause (4), all remaining revenue from the tax received by the county, after paying the amounts set forth in clauses (1), (2) and (2.1), shall be used for operational and maintenance expenditures of the convention center or exhibition hall as provided in subsection (d) and for regional tourist promotion activities.

(4)  Subject to clause (4.1), if bonds are issued by the public authority to provide permanent financing or refinancing of the expansion of and capital improvements to the convention center or exhibition hall, the revenue received from the tax and deposited in the special fund shall not be distributed as set forth in clauses (1) through (3) but shall be distributed by the county commissioners in the order of priority as follows:

(i)  First, to the payment of all amounts set forth in clause (2).

(ii)  Second:

(A)  to the trustee for the bonds in accordance with the provisions of the indenture pursuant to which the bonds are issued, to be used for the payment of debt service on the bonds; and

(B)  to the payment of all amounts set forth in clause (2.1):

(I)  in full; or

(II)  if the revenues are insufficient to make the payment in full, pro rata.

(iii)  Third, to the payment of all amounts set forth in clause (1).

(iv)  Fourth, as set forth in clause (3).

(4.1)  Clause (4) shall not apply to bonds issued subsequent to the permanent financing for purposes of completion or subsequent expansions or capital improvements.

(5)  If a convention center or exhibition hall discontinues operation in a municipality in which a convention center or exhibition hall is located, the municipality shall continue to collect and receive the tax, which shall be deposited by the municipality and used for the purposes as provided in clause (2).

(c)  The treasurer of each county of the second class A electing to impose the tax authorized under this section is directed to collect the tax and to deposit the revenue in a special fund established solely for purposes of travel and tourism promotion and advertising related to travel and tourism promotion. The treasurer is authorized to establish rules and regulations concerning the collection of the tax.

(d) (1)  In counties of the second class, expenditures from the fund established under subsection (b) shall be used for all purposes which a public authority may determine to be reasonably necessary to the support, operation and maintenance of a convention center or exhibition hall, including the following:

(i)  Advertising and publicizing tourist attractions in the area served by the recognized tourist promotion agency.

(ii)  Promoting and otherwise encouraging the use of the facilities in the area served by the recognized tourist promotion agency by the public as a whole.

(iii)  Promoting and attracting conventions, exhibitions and other functions to utilize facilities in the area served by the recognized tourist promotion agency.

(iv)  Precompletion advertising and publicizing of any convention center or exhibition hall.

(v)  Promoting and attracting conventions, exhibitions and other functions to utilize the convention center or exhibition hall.

(vi)  Promoting and otherwise encouraging the use of the premises by the public as a whole or any segment of the public.

(vii)  Operating, furnishing and otherwise maintaining and equipping the premises and realty appurtenant to the premises.

(viii)  Furnishing and equipping the building and grounds.

(2)  It is the intention of this subsection that the receipts from any tax imposed under this section after payment of the distributions under subsection (b)(1), (2), (2.1), (3) and (4) be used in the county to offset the entire operating deficit, if any, of any convention center or exhibition hall including equally, shares of any cooperating political subdivision or agency of government incurred pursuant to any agreement. The operating deficit shall be determined by the public authority which is the designated operating agency of the convention center or exhibition hall.

(e) (1)  In counties of the second class A, expenditures from the fund established under subsection (c) shall be annually appropriated by the county commissioners for tourist promotion activities, to be executed by the recognized tourist promotion agency for the following:

(i)  Marketing the area served by the recognized tourist promotion agency as a leisure travel destination.

(ii)  Marketing the area served by the recognized tourist promotion agency as a convention, business or meeting travel destination.

(iii)  Marketing the area served by the recognized tourist promotion agency to the public as a whole for use of its tourist and convention facilities.

(iv)  Using all appropriate marketing tools to accomplish these purposes, including advertising, publicity, publications, direct marketing, sales, technology and participation in industry trade shows that attract tourists or travelers to the area served by the recognized tourist promotion agency.

(v)  Programs, expenditures or grants that directly and substantially relate to tourism or a business, convention or meeting travel destination within a county of the second class A, that augment and do not compete with private sector tourism or travel efforts and that improve and expand a county of the second class A as a destination market as deemed necessary by the recognized tourist promotion agency. The following shall apply to grants awarded under this subclause:

(A)  Grants shall have a cash or in-kind local match of at least twenty-five per centum.

(B)  Grants may not be used for signage that promotes a specific private entity on the situs of the entity, except where the signage carries the logo of a recognized tourist promotion agency.

(vi)  Any other tourism or travel marketing or promotion program, expenditure or project that does not compete with private sector tourism or travel efforts as deemed necessary by the recognized tourist promotion agency.

(2)  For the purposes of defraying the costs associated with the collection of the tax imposed under this section and otherwise performing their obligations under this section, the county commissioners of a county of the second class A may deduct and retain an administrative fee from the taxes collected under this section. The administrative fee shall be established by the county of the second class A and shall not exceed four per centum of the taxes collected in any taxable year.

(3)  As determined by a county of the second class A in consultation with the recognized tourist promotion agency, an audited report or financial statement of the income and expenditures incurred by a recognized tourist promotion agency receiving revenue from the tax authorized under this section shall be submitted annually by the recognized tourist promotion agency to the county commissioners.

(4)  A penalty of one and one-half per centum per month shall be imposed upon the operator of a hotel in a county of the second class A for failure to timely collect and remit the tax authorized by this section. In addition to other remedies available for collection of debts, a county of the second class A may file a lien upon the hotel in the name of the county and for the use of the county as provided by law.

(f) (1)  The provisions of this section relating to counties of the second class shall remain in force from year to year. The following apply:

(i)  Revenue in excess of amounts needed to pay the distributions under subsection (b.1)(1), (2), (2.1), (3) and (4) and to offset operating deficits under subsections (b.1)(3) and (d) shall be determined by the public authority and may be accumulated.

(ii)  At the discretion of the cooperating political subdivisions and the public authority, any revenue may be used to:

(A)  provide part or all of an annual payment to be paid by a county or a political subdivision under an agreement with a public authority created under the act of July 29, 1953 (P.L.1034, No.270), known as the Public Auditorium Authorities Law, which has been designated as the operating agency for a convention center or exhibition hall; or

(B)  effect necessary expansion or further capital improvements.

(2)  The provisions of this section relating to counties of the second class A shall remain in force and effect for three years from February 14, 1986, and may be continued thereafter by ordinance or resolution of the county commissioners of the respective counties.

(g)  Each taxable year for a tax imposed under this section shall run concurrently with the calendar year.

(h)  The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Cabin."  A permanent structure with beds and running water that is located on a campground on State land or private property and is available to provide overnight lodging for consideration to persons seeking temporary accommodations. The term does not include a yurt or walled tent.

"Consideration."  Receipts, fees, charges, rentals, leases, cash, credits, property or other payment received by operators in exchange for or in consideration of the use or occupancy by a transient of a room in a hotel for a temporary period.

"Convention center or exhibition hall."  A building or series of buildings:

(1)  at least one of which contains a minimum of 75,000 gross square feet of exhibition space for shows and conventions;

(2)  which are not used for the retail sale of merchandise or part of any shopping center, mall or other retail center; and

(3)  a major function of which is to house meetings, exhibitions, shows, conventions, assemblies, convocations and similar gatherings. The term includes land appurtenant to the building or buildings.

"Cooperating political subdivision or agency of government." A city or public authority located in a county:

(1)  within the boundaries of which a convention center or exhibition hall is planned or constructed; and

(2)  which shares with the county duties, obligations or privileges with respect to that convention center.

"Hotel."  A hotel, motel, inn, guesthouse, rooming house, bed and breakfast, homestead or other structure which holds itself out by any means, including advertising, license, registration with an innkeepers' group, convention listing association, travel publication or similar association or with a government agency, as being available to provide overnight lodging for consideration to persons seeking temporary accommodation; any place which advertises to the public at large or any segment thereof that it will provide beds, sanitary facilities or other space for a temporary period to members of the public at large; any place recognized as a hostelry or any cabin. The term does not include any of the following:

(1)  A charitable institution.

(2)  A portion of a facility that is devoted to persons who have an established permanent residence.

(3)  A college or university student residence hall currently occupied by students enrolled in a degree program.

(4)  An educational or religious institution camp for children, including a camp registered under the act of November 10, 1959 (P.L.1400, No.497), entitled "An act providing for the annual registration of organized camps for children, youth and adults; defining the duties of the Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and prescribing penalties."

(5)  A hospital.

(6)  A nursing home.

(7)  Part of a campground that is not a cabin.

"Municipality."  Notwithstanding 53 Pa.C.S. § 8401 (relating to definitions), a township or borough or a home rule municipality which was formerly a township or borough.

"Occupancy."  The use or possession or the right to the use or possession by any person other than a permanent resident of a room in a hotel for any purpose or the right to the use or possession of the furnishings or to the services accompanying the use and possession of the room.

"Operating deficit."  The excess of expenses over receipts from the operation and management of a convention center or exhibition hall.

"Operator."  Any individual, partnership, nonprofit or profit-making association or corporation or other person or group of persons that maintain, operate, manage, own, have custody of or otherwise possess the right to rent or lease overnight accommodations in a hotel to the public for consideration.

"Patron."  A person that pays the consideration for the occupancy of a room in a hotel.

"Permanent resident."  An individual who has occupied or has the right to occupancy of a room in a hotel as a patron or otherwise for a period exceeding thirty consecutive days.

"Recognized tourist promotion agency."  The nonprofit corporation, organization, association or agency which is engaged in planning and promoting programs designed to stimulate and increase the volume of tourist, visitor and vacation business within a county and certified by the county pursuant to the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.621, No.50), known as the Tourism Promotion Act.

"Regional tourist promotion activities."  Services, activities, facilities and events, which result in a significant number of nonresidents visiting a county of the second class for recreational, cultural or educational purposes.

"Room."  A space in a hotel set aside for use and occupancy by patrons, or otherwise, for consideration, having at least one bed or other sleeping accommodation.

"Substantial completion."  Construction which is sufficiently completed in accordance with contract documents and certified by the convention center authority's architect or engineer, as modified by change orders so that:

(1)  the main convention area can be used, occupied or operated for its intended use; and

(2)  at least ninety per centum of the work on the main convention or exhibition area is complete.

"Temporary."  A period of time not exceeding thirty consecutive days.

"Transaction."  The activity involving the obtaining by a transient or patron of the use or occupancy of a hotel room from which consideration emanates to the operator under an express or an implied contract.

"Transient."  An individual who obtains accommodation in any hotel for himself by means of registering at the facility for the temporary occupancy of any room for the personal use of that individual by paying to the operator of the facility a fee in consideration for the accommodation.

(1770.12 added Apr. 20, 2016, P.L.134, No.18)

19550130u1770.12v

 

Compiler's Note:  See section 6 of Act 18 of 2016 in the appendix to this act for special provisions relating to continuation of prior law.

19550130u1771s

Section 1771.  Temporary Loans.--Whenever the funds of a county have been exhausted, the county commissioners may borrow, on the credit of the county, money in anticipation of taxes to be collected for the current fiscal year, and issue a certificate of indebtedness payable on a certain date, not exceeding one year from the date of issue.

19550130u1772s

Section 1772.  Transfer of Certain Moneys into General Fund of County.--The commissioners may transfer and cover into the general fund of the county any money placed to the credit of any city, borough or township, where the same has been paid into the county treasury upon any duplicate for taxes and has remained during a period of ten years uncalled for by the authorities of the city, borough or township to whose credit it may have been placed, and the right to said money is not at the time of such transfer a matter of litigation or dispute.

19550130u1780h

(f)  Budgets

 

19550130u1780s

Section 1780.  Fiscal Year and Passage of Budgets.--The fiscal year of each county shall begin on the first day of January.

19550130u1781s

Section 1781.  Preparation of Proposed Annual Budget.--(a) The commissioners, at least ninety days prior to adopting the budget, shall begin the preparation of the proposed budget for the succeeding fiscal year.

(b) At the request of the commissioners, but in no case less than sixty days prior to adoption of the budget by the commissioners, the controller shall transmit to the commissioners a comparative statement of revenues for the current and the immediately preceding fiscal year, and a comparative statement of expenditures, including interest due and to fall due on all lawful interest bearing debts of the county for the same years. In counties where the controller is a participant in the development of the budget, the controller shall also include balances projected for the close of the current fiscal year.

(c)  The controller's statement shall also indicate the amounts of all appropriation requests, submitted to the controller or to the commissioners and supplied by them to the controller, from the several county offices and agencies, including estimates of expenditures contemplated by the commissioners as forwarded by them to the controller.

(d)  Said statements shall be in such form and detail as the commissioners direct. With this information as a guide, the commissioners shall, within a reasonable time, begin the preparation of a proposed budget for the succeeding fiscal year.

(e)  In counties not having a controller, the commissioners shall prepare the statements hereinbefore required.

(1781 amended June 29, 2002, P.L677, No.103)

19550130u1782s

Section 1782.  Adoption of Budget; Publication of Proposed Budget and Notice of Final Action Date.--(a)  The proposed budget shall be prepared and adopted not later than December thirty-first, and notice thereof shall be published, and the proposed budget shall be made available for public inspection for at least twenty days prior to the date set for adopting the budget. The date set for final action on the budget shall likewise be made a matter of public notice for at least ten days prior thereto.

(b)  Should it appear upon any revision of the proposed budget, after it has been published, that the estimated expenditures in the adopted budget would be increased more than ten per centum in the aggregate or more than twenty-five per centum in any function over the proposed budget as made available for public inspection, such revised budget shall not be adopted with any such increases therein, unless it be again made available for public inspection, and for protest of such increases, for a period of at least ten days after notice to that effect is published as hereinbefore provided.

(1782 amended Dec. 14, 1967, P.L.831, No.357)

19550130u1782.1s

Section 1782.1.  Amending Budget; Notice.--During the month of January next following any municipal election the commissioners of any county may amend the budget and the levy and tax rate to conform with its amended budget. A period of ten days' public inspection at the office of the chief clerk of the proposed amended budget, after notice by the chief clerk to that effect is published once in a newspaper as provided in section 110 of this act, shall intervene between the proposed amended budget and the adoption thereof. Any amended budget must be adopted by county commissioners on or before the fifteenth day of February.

No such proposed amended budget shall be revised upward in excess of ten per centum in the aggregate thereof or as to an individual function in excess of twenty-five per centum of the amount of such individual function in the proposed amended budget.

(1782.1 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1782.2s

Section 1782.2.  Delivery of Tax Duplicates.--(a)  The county commissioners shall within thirty days after the adoption of the budget make out and deliver the duplicates of taxes assessed to the respective tax collectors together with their warrant for the collection of the same.

(b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), the county commissioners shall have the option to make out and deliver the duplicates of taxes assessed to the respective tax collectors together with their warrant for collection of the same no later than the final date for a school district to make out and deliver the duplicates for school real estate taxes under section 682 of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the "Public School Code of 1949." The option authorized by this subsection may be exercised only if the county commissioners find that exercise of the option will result in cost savings compared to proceeding under the deadline imposed by subsection (a) and they adopt a resolution that refers to the finding.

(1782.2 amended Dec. 22, 2000, P.L.1019, No.142)

19550130u1782.3s

Section 1782.3.  Amending Budget, Levy and Tax Rate; Revising Tax Duplicates; Filing.--At any time prior to the time tax duplicates are sent by the county in any year, the commissioners of any county may amend the budget and the levy and tax rate and revise the tax duplicate to conform with its amended budget when such county shall receive unanticipated revenues which may be expended during such county's fiscal year where such unanticipated revenues may enable the commissioners of such county to reduce the levy and tax rate to conform with its amended budget.

(1782.3 amended Dec. 17, 2001, P.L.919, No.107)

19550130u1783s

Section 1783.  Annual Budget Appropriations and Tax Rate.--The budget shall reflect as nearly as possible the estimated revenues and expenditures for the year for which it is prepared. The commissioners shall, upon adopting the budget, adopt the appropriation measures required to put it into effect, and shall fix such rate of taxation upon the valuation of the property taxable for county purposes as will, together with all other estimated revenues of the county, excluding operating, capital and other reserve funds, raise a sufficient sum to meet the said expenditures.

(1783 amended June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1784s

Section 1784.  Supplemental Appropriations; Transfers of Funds; Appropriation Limits.--The commissioners may at any time, by resolution, make supplemental appropriations for any lawful purpose from any funds on hand or estimated to be received within the fiscal year and not otherwise appropriated, including the proceeds of any borrowing now or hereafter authorized by law. The commissioners may authorize the transfer of any unencumbered balance of any appropriation item or any portion thereof. During the last fifteen days of any fiscal year, they may authorize the transfer of any unencumbered balance, or any portion thereof, from any county fund to any fund of the institution district, and to reappropriate such moneys to the institution district. No work shall be hired to be done, no materials purchased, no contracts made, and no order issued for the payment of any moneys by the county commissioners, which will cause the sums appropriated to be exceeded.

19550130u1784.1s

Section 1784.1.  Take Money and Property by Gift, Etc.--The county commissioners may take by gift, grant, devise or bequest any money or property, real, personal or mixed, for the benefit of the county.

(1784.1 added June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1784.2s

Section 1784.2.  Capital Reserve Fund for Anticipated Capital Expenditures.--(a)  The county commissioners shall have the power to create and maintain a separate capital reserve fund for anticipated legal capital expenditures. The money in the fund shall be used from time to time for the construction, purchase or replacement of or addition to county buildings, equipment, machinery, motor vehicles or other capital assets of the county and for no other purpose.

(b)  The county commissioners may annually appropriate moneys from the general county funds, not to exceed ten per centum of the county operating budget, to be paid into the capital reserve fund or place in the fund any moneys received from the sale, lease or other disposition of any county property or from any other source unless received or acquired for a particular purpose. The fund shall be controlled, invested, reinvested and administered and the moneys therein and income from such moneys expended for any of the purposes for which the fund is created, in such manner as may be determined by the county commissioners. The money in the fund, when invested, shall be invested in a manner consistent with the provisions of section 1706 relating to the investment of county funds generally. This subsection shall not be construed to limit the powers of the county to the use of moneys in the capital reserve fund in making lawful capital expenditures.

(1784.2 added June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1784.3s

Section 1784.3.  Operating Reserve Fund.--(a)  The county commissioners shall have the power to create and maintain a separate operating reserve fund in order to minimize future revenue shortfalls and deficits, provide greater continuity and predictability in the funding of vital government services, minimize the need to increase taxes to balance the budget in times of fiscal distress, provide the capacity to undertake long-range financial planning and develop fiscal resources to meet long-term needs.

(b)  The county commissioners may annually make appropriations from the general county fund to the operating reserve fund, but no appropriation shall be made to the operating reserve fund if the effect of the appropriation would cause the fund to exceed ten per centum of the estimated revenues of the county's general fund in the current fiscal year.

(c)  The commissioners may at any time, by resolution, make appropriations from the operating reserve fund for the following purposes only:

(1)  to meet emergencies involving the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the county;

(2)  to counterbalance potential budget deficits resulting from shortfalls in anticipated revenues or program receipts from whatever source; or

(3)  to provide for anticipated operating expenditures related either to the planned growth of existing projects or programs or to the establishment of new projects or programs if for each project or program appropriations have been made and allocated to a separate restricted account established within the operating reserve fund.

(d)  The operating reserve fund shall be invested, reinvested and administered in a manner consistent with the provisions of section 1706.

(1784.3 added June 29, 2002, P.L.677, No.103)

19550130u1785s

Section 1785.  Committee to Prepare Uniform Forms.--(a)  The report forms specified in the foregoing sections of this article shall be prepared by a committee consisting of three representatives from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, three representatives from the Pennsylvania State Association of County Controllers, three representatives from the Pennsylvania State Association of County Auditors, one certified public accountant, one member of the Senate and one member of the House of Representatives of the General Assembly, who shall be members of the Local Government Commission, designated by the chairman of said commission, and the Secretary of Community and Economic Development or his agent who shall be a person trained in the field of municipal finance.

(b)  Except for the certified public accountant, who shall be appointed by the Governor, such representatives shall be appointed by the president of each said organization. In the case of representatives of the county commissioners, one shall be appointed from a county of either the third or fourth class, one from a county of either the fifth or sixth class, and one from a county of either the seventh or eighth class. The president of each said organization shall supply to the Department of Community and Economic Development the names and addresses of such representatives immediately upon their appointment. Said representatives shall serve without compensation, but they shall be reimbursed by the Commonwealth for all necessary expenses incurred in attending meetings of the committee.

(c)  The committee shall meet at the call of the Secretary of Community and Economic Development or his agent, who shall serve as chairman of the committee. The Secretary of Community and Economic Development may call meetings of the committee, and shall do so at the request of the secretary of either of said associations, but in every case there shall be at least two weeks' notice to each member of the committee of any such meeting.

(d)  In preparing the uniform forms for annual reports, the committee shall give careful consideration to the differing legal requirements and needs of the counties of the several classes, producing, if necessary, separate forms for certain classes of counties or groups of classes.

(e)  It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Community and Economic Development or his agent to see to it that the forms required by this section are prepared in cooperation with said committee. Should said committee for any reason fail to furnish such cooperation, the Secretary of Community and Economic Development or his agent shall complete the preparation of the forms. After their preparation, he shall issue said forms and distribute them annually, as needed, to the commissioners, controller or auditors of each county.

(f)  It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Community and Economic Development to include within the report forms specified in this article the changes necessitated by the provisions of this act in regard to property, powers, duties and obligations of institution districts transferred to counties and the committee established by this section shall not be responsible therefor.

(g)  It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Community and Economic Development to convene the committee to assist counties in developing appropriate accounting and fiscal practices in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles.

(1785 amended June 29, 2002, P.L677, No.103)

19550130u1790h

(g)  Sinking Fund Commission

 

19550130u1790s

Section 1790.  Membership.--In each county there shall be a sinking fund commission, composed of the commissioners, the controller, or auditors in counties not having a controller, and treasurer.

19550130u1791s

Section 1791.  Management of Sinking Funds.--The sinking fund commission shall annually apply all interest received on sinking fund deposits, and all interest received on bonds held in the sinking fund, and all other income, if any, from the sinking fund, for the purpose of reducing the amount of money required to be paid by the county for sinking fund purposes for the ensuing year, unless such income is necessary for the purpose of having adequate funds on hand to pay the bonds of such county as they mature and become payable. The income so applied, and the amount required to be paid by the county for sinking fund purposes, shall annually equal the full amount required to be paid for sinking fund purposes to the several sinking funds.

The commission shall have the power, whenever it deems it necessary and for the best interest of the several sinking funds, to sell any bonds held by it other than those of the county itself.

19550130u1792s

Section 1792.  Bonds of County Held by Commission.--All bonds of the county held by the sinking fund commission shall be stamped in a conspicuous manner to show that they have been purchased for this purpose. They shall never be reissued or sold. The sinking fund commission shall not require the county to pay interest on any of its bonds held by the commission, unless the commission deems the payment thereof necessary for the purpose of having adequate funds on hand to pay the bonds of said county as they mature and become payable. All bonds of the county held by the commission shall be cancelled immediately upon their maturity.

19550130u1793s

Section 1793.  Paying Off and Cancelling of County Bonds; Priority; Sale of County Bonds in Certain Cases.--In order to facilitate the extinguishment of the county debt, the county bonds purchased by the commission from time to time shall be paid off and cancelled according to the priority of their maturity. The commission may, at its discretion, withhold the purchase of such maturing county bonds, until after those purchased from a later issue of county bonds shall be paid off and cancelled. In such an event, if it appears that there will not be sufficient funds in the hands of the commission to meet the payment of such earlier maturing bonds, the same shall then be sold by said commission at not less than par.

19550130u1794s

Section 1794.  Investment in New County Bonds.--(1794 repealed Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1131, No.258)

19550130u1795s

Section 1795.  Investment of Sinking Fund Moneys.--The commission shall have power to make investment of county sinking funds as authorized by the act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.781, No.185), known as the "Local Government Unit Debt Act", and liquidate any such investment, in whole or in part, by disposing of securities or withdrawing funds on deposit. Any action taken to make or to liquidate any investment shall be made by the commission.

(1795 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1131, No.258)

19550130u1801h

 

ARTICLE XVIII

CONTRACTS

 

19550130u1801s

Section 1801.  Commissioners Sole Contractors for County.--(a)  The county commissioners shall contract for and purchase all services referred to in section five hundred eight and personal property for county officers and agencies. All contracts and purchases not in excess of the base amount of eighteen thousand five hundred dollars ($18,500), subject to adjustment under subsection (b.1), shall be by note or memorandum, in writing, signed by the county commissioners, or their designee. A copy of all such notes and memorandums and all written contracts shall be filed in the office of the controller, if any, and, if not, then with the chief clerk of the commissioners.

(b)  Written or telephonic price quotations from at least three qualified and responsible contractors shall be requested for all contracts in excess of the base amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), subject to adjustment under subsection (b.1), but are less than the amount requiring advertisement and competitive bidding or, in lieu of price quotations, a memorandum shall be kept on file showing that fewer than three qualified contractors exist in the market area within which it is practicable to obtain quotations. A written record of telephonic price quotations shall be made and shall contain at least the date of the quotation, the name of the contractor and the contractor's representative, the construction, reconstruction, repair, maintenance or work which was the subject of the quotation and the price. Written price quotations, written records of telephonic price quotations and memoranda shall be retained for a period of three years.

(b.1)  Adjustments to the base amounts specified under subsections (a) and (b) shall be made as follows:

(1)  The Department of Labor and Industry shall determine the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items (CPI-U) for the United States City Average as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the twelve-month period ending September 30, 2012, and for each successive twelve-month period thereafter.

(2)  If the department determines that there is no positive percentage change, then no adjustment to the base amounts shall occur for the relevant time period provided for in this subsection.

(3)  (i)  If the department determines that there is a positive percentage change in the first year that the determination is made under paragraph (1), the positive percentage change shall be multiplied by each base amount, and the products shall be added to the base amounts, respectively, and the sums shall be preliminary adjusted amounts.

(ii)  The preliminary adjusted amounts shall be rounded to the nearest one hundred dollars ($100) to determine the final adjusted base amounts for purposes of subsections (a) and (b).

(4)  In each successive year in which there is a positive percentage change in the CPI-U for the United States City Average, the positive percentage change shall be multiplied by the most recent preliminary adjusted amounts, and the products shall be added to the preliminary adjusted amount of the prior year to calculate the preliminary adjusted amounts for the current year. The sums thereof shall be rounded to the nearest one hundred dollars ($100) to determine the new final adjusted base amounts for purposes of subsections (a) and (b).

(5)  The determinations and adjustments required under this subsection shall be made in the period between October 1 and November 15 of the year following the effective date of this subsection and annually between October 1 and November 15 of each year thereafter.

(6)  The final adjusted base amounts and new final adjusted base amounts obtained under paragraphs (3) and (4) shall become effective January 1 for the calendar year following the year in which the determination required under paragraph (1) is made.

(7)  The department shall publish notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin prior to January 1 of each calendar year of the annual percentage change determined under paragraph (1) and the unadjusted or final adjusted base amounts determined under paragraphs (3) and (4) at which competitive bidding is required under subsection (a) and written or telephonic price quotations are required under subsection (b), respectively, for the calendar year beginning the first day of January after publication of the notice. The notice shall include a written and illustrative explanation of the calculations performed by the department in establishing the unadjusted or final adjusted base amounts under this subsection for the ensuing calendar year.

(8)  The annual increase in the preliminary adjusted base amounts obtained under paragraphs (3) and (4) shall not exceed three per centum.

(c)  The commissioners shall, where possible, anticipate the needs of the various officers, agencies and operations of the county and endeavor to purchase in wholesale quantities, where practicable and where savings could be achieved thereby. The commissioners may make contracts and purchases for all purposes expressly or impliedly authorized by law.

(1801 amended Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.349, No.86)

19550130u1801v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 3 of Act 86 of 2011, which amended section 1801, provided that Act 86 shall apply to contracts and purchases advertised on or after January 1 of the year following the effective date of section 3.

19550130u1802s

Section 1802.  Contract Procedures; Terms and Bonds; Advertising for Bids.--(a)  All contracts for services and personal property where the base amount thereof exceeds the sum of eighteen thousand five hundred dollars ($18,500), subject to adjustment under section 1801(b.1), shall be written and shall, except as otherwise hereinafter specified, be made by advertising for bids. ((a) amended Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.349, No.86)

(b)  Contracts or purchases in excess of the base amount of eighteen thousand five hundred dollars ($18,500), subject to adjustment under section 1801(b.1), except those hereinafter mentioned and except as provided by the act of October 27, 1979 (P.L.241, No.78), entitled "An act authorizing political subdivisions, municipality authorities and transportation authorities to enter into contracts for the purchase of goods and the sale of real and personal property where no bids are received," shall not be made except with and from the lowest responsible and responsive bidder submitting a bid in conformity with the specifications approved by the board of commissioners for the contract or purchase, after due notice in one newspaper of general circulation, published or circulating in the county, at least two times at intervals of not less than three days where daily newspapers of general circulation are employed for such publication, or in case weekly newspapers are employed then the notice shall be published once a week for two successive weeks. The first advertisement shall be published not less than ten days prior to the date fixed for the opening of bids. The requirements of this subsection need not be followed in cases of emergency, but in such cases the actual emergency shall be declared and stated by resolution of the commissioners. ((b) amended Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.349, No.86)

(c)  All bids shall be received by the controller, or if there be no controller, then by the chief clerk of the county commissioners, in sealed envelopes. Bids shall be opened publicly at a time and place specified in the advertisement for bids, in the presence of the controller, or chief clerk as the case may be, by the commissioners or their designee. The controller, or the chief clerk as the case may be, shall keep a record of all such bids and awards, and the controller shall certify no checks for contracts not made agreeably thereto.

(d)  The amount or price of the contract shall, in all cases whether of straight sale price, conditional sale, lease, lease purchase or otherwise, be the entire amount which the county pays to the successful bidder, or his assigns, less the value of personal property transferred from the county to the bidder, or his assigns, at any time during the duration of the contract, in order to obtain the services or property, or both, and shall not be construed to mean only the amount which is paid to acquire title, or to receive any other particular benefit or benefits of the whole bargain. The value of personal property transferred to the bidder or his assigns upon execution of the contract shall be specified in the bid. The method of determining the value of personal property transferred to the bidder or his assigns at a time during the duration of the contract shall be specified in the bid and shall be determined using generally accepted valuation methods.

(e)  The acceptance of bids by advertising required herein shall be made by the commissioners and shall only be made by public announcement at the meeting at which bids are opened, or at a subsequent meeting, the time and place of which shall be publicly announced when bids are so opened. If for any reason the award is not made at either of the above meetings, the same business may be transacted at any subsequent meeting, the time and place of which shall have been announced at the previous meeting held for such award. The contract shall be awarded, or all bids shall be rejected, within thirty days of the opening of the bids, except for bids subject to 62 Pa.C.S. (relating to procurement). Thirty-day extensions of the date for the award may be made by the mutual written consent of the commissioners and any bidder who wishes to remain under consideration for award. The commissioners shall excuse from consideration any bidder not wishing to agree to a request for extension of the date for the award and shall release such bidder from any bid bond or similar bid security furnished under subsection (f). All contracts shall be filed with the controller, or with the chief clerk as the case may be, immediately after their execution.

(f)  The commissioners may require that any bids advertised be accompanied by cash, by a certified check, cashier's check, bank good faith check or other irrevocable letter of credit in a reasonable amount drawn upon a bank authorized to do business in this Commonwealth or by a bond with corporate surety in a reasonable amount. Whenever it is required that a bid be accompanied by cash, certified check, cashier's check, bank good faith check or other irrevocable letter of credit or bond, no bid shall be considered unless so accompanied. In the event any bidder shall, upon award of the contract to him, fail to comply with the requirements hereinafter stated as to security guaranteeing the performance of the contract, the security furnished under this subsection shall be forfeited to the county as liquidated damages.

(g)  The successful bidder, when a formal bid is required herein, may be required to furnish a bond or irrevocable letter of credit or other security in an amount sufficient to the commissioners guaranteeing performance of the contract within thirty days after the contract has been awarded, unless the commissioners shall prescribe a shorter period. The successful bidder for a contract which involves the construction, erection, installation, completion, alteration, repair of or addition to any public work or improvement of any kind shall furnish security as provided in section 2318 of this act. Performance security for services and contracts for labor and materials delivered on a periodic basis, including, but not limited to, food service contracts, home health services and janitorial services and supplies, may be computed on the expected average value for one or more months at the discretion of the commissioners. Upon failure to furnish such security within the time fixed, the previous awards shall be void. Deliveries, performances and guarantees may be required in all cases of expenditures, including the exceptions herein.

(h)  The contracts or purchases made by the commissioners which shall not require advertising, bidding or price quotations, as hereinbefore provided, are as follows:

(1)  Those for maintenance, repairs or replacements for water, electric light, or other public works of the county where they do not constitute new additions, extensions or enlargements of existing facilities and equipment. Security may be required by the commissioners as in other cases for work done.

(2)  Those made for improvements, repairs and maintenance of any kind, made or provided by the county through its own employes. This shall not apply to construction materials used in a street improvement.

(3)  Those where particular types, models or pieces of new equipment, articles, apparatus, appliances, vehicles or parts thereof, are desired by the commissioners, which are patented and manufactured or copyrighted products.

(4)  Those involving any policies of insurance or surety company bonds, those made for public utility service and electricity, natural gas or telecommunication services, provided that, in the case of utilities not under tariff with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, contracts made without advertising and bidding shall be made only after receiving written or telephonic price quotations in accordance with the procedures specified in section 1801(b) of this article.

(5)  Those involving services of members of the medical or legal profession, registered architects, engineers, certified public accountants or other personal services involving professional expertise.

(6)  Those involving contracts entered into by nonprofit cooperative hospital service associations for hospitals and nursing homes which are part of the institutional district or which are owned by the county, operated by the county or affiliated with the county by the purchasing of, or participating in contracts for, materials, supplies and equipment.

(7)  Those made with any public body, including, but not limited to, the sale, lease or loan of any supplies or materials to the county by a public body, provided that the price thereof shall not be in excess of that fixed by the public body. The requirements of 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation) shall not apply when a county purchases cooperatively with another public body which has entered into a contract for supplies or materials. As used in this paragraph, "public body" shall mean any of the following:

(i)  the Federal Government;

(ii)  the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;

(iii)  any other state;

(iv)  a political subdivision, local or municipal authority or other similar local entity of the Commonwealth or any other state; or

(v)  an agency of the Federal Government, the Commonwealth or any other state.

(8)  Those exclusively involving construction management services.

(9)  Those involving computer software.

(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of this article to the contrary, the county commissioners shall have authority to enter into contracts for equipment and services related to technology and information systems on the basis of best value procurement. Contracts under best value procurement shall be made only after the county has solicited proposals based on performance and outcome specifications developed by the county and describing at minimum the objectives to be met by the system, the tasks to be performed by the system, the users of the system, system security issues, the time frame for system implementation, potential operating technologies, compatibility with existing systems, training and maintenance and shall indicate the process by which the contract shall be awarded. Best value procurement shall not require a sealed bid process and shall permit the commissioners to negotiate the terms of the agreement with any responsive and responsible vendor.

(j)  Every contract subject to this article shall comply, as applicable, with the provisions of the act of March 3, 1978 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the "Steel Products Procurement Act," the act of October 28, 1983 (P.L.176, No.45), known as the "Antibid-Rigging Act," the act of December 20, 1967 (P.L.869, No.385), known as the "Public Works Contractors' Bond Law of 1967," the act of August 15, 1961 (P.L.987, No.442), known as the "Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act," the act of November 26, 1978 (P.L.1309, No.317), known as the "Public Works Contract Regulation Law," the act of February 17, 1994 (P.L.73, No.7), known as the "Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act," the act of January 23, 1974 (P.L.9, No.4), referred to as the Public Contract Bid Withdrawal Law, and the act of April 4, 1984 (P.L.193, No.40), known as the "Motor Vehicle Procurement Act."

(1802 amended Dec. 22, 2000, P.L.1019, No.142)

19550130u1802v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 3 of Act 86 of 2011, which amended subsecs. (a) and (b), provided that Act 86 shall apply to contracts and purchases advertised on or after January 1 of the year following the effective date of section 3.

19550130u1803s

Section 1803.  Evasion of Advertising Requirements.--(a)  No commissioner or commissioners shall evade the provisions of section one thousand eight hundred two of this act, as to advertising for bids or purchasing or contracting for services and personal properties piece-meal, for the purpose of obtaining prices under the base amount of eighteen thousand five hundred dollars ($18,500), subject to adjustment under section 1801(b.1), upon transactions which should in the exercise of reasonable discretion and prudence be conducted as one transaction amounting to more than the base amount of eighteen thousand five hundred dollars ($18,500), subject to adjustment under section 1801(b.1). This provision is intended to make unlawful the practice of evading advertising requirements by making a series of purchases or contracts each for less than the advertising requirement price, or by making several simultaneous purchases or contracts each below said price, when in either case the transaction involved should have been made as one transaction for one price. Any county commissioners who so vote in violation of this provision and who know that the transaction upon which they so vote is or ought to be a part of a larger transaction and that it is being divided in order to evade the requirements as to advertising for bids shall be, jointly and severally, subject to surcharge for any loss sustained. Wherever it shall appear that a commissioner may have voted in violation of this section, but the purchase or contract on which he so voted was not approved by the board of county commissioners, this section shall be inapplicable.

(b)  Any county commissioner who votes to unlawfully evade the provisions of section one thousand eight hundred two of this act and who knows that the transaction upon which he so votes is or ought to be a part of a larger transaction and that it is being divided in order to evade the requirements as to advertising for bids commits a misdemeanor of the third degree for each contract entered into as a direct result of that vote. This penalty shall be in addition to any surcharge which may be assessed pursuant to subsection (a).

(1803 amended Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.349, No.86)

19550130u1803v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 3 of Act 86 of 2011, which amended section 1803, provided that Act 86 shall apply to contracts and purchases advertised on or after January 1 of the year following the effective date of section 3.

19550130u1804s

Section 1804.  Contracts for One Hundred Dollars ($100) to Seven Hundred Fifty Dollars ($750); Written Bids; Destruction of Files.--(1804 repealed Aug. 25, 1967, P.L.279, No.114)

19550130u1805s

Section 1805.  Sales of Personal Property and Surplus Farm Products.--(a)  No personal property of the county and no surplus farm products of counties of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth classes shall be disposed of by sale or otherwise, except upon resolution of the commissioners. When the commissioners approve a sale of such property or in counties of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth classes of farm products, they shall estimate the sale value of the entire lot to be disposed of, and, if the estimate be less than one thousand dollars ($1,000), they shall require notice of the proposed sale to be posted, for at least ten days, in a prominent place in the court house, describing and itemizing the property to be sold, and directing that bids may be made thereon at the office of the chief clerk of the commissioners. Thereafter, the commissioners may sell such property in whole or in part for the best price or prices obtainable.

(b)  If the commissioners estimate the sale value of the personal property or of such surplus farm products to be sold at one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more, the entire lot shall be advertised for sale, once, in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county, and sale of the property so advertised shall be made to the highest and best bidder. The bids shall not be opened until at least ten days after the said advertisement. The commissioners may sell any such property at auction, but the provisions as to notice contained in this section shall be likewise observed as to the holding of auction sales. The provisions of this section shall not be mandatory where county property is to be traded-in or exchanged for new personal property. The provisions of this section shall not apply to sale of personal property with real property as a single unit pursuant to section 2306.1. ((b) amended Dec. 15, 2011, P.L.442, No.108)

(c)  (Unconstitutional).

((c) added Dec. 15, 2011, P.L.442, No.108)

(d)  (Unconstitutional). ((d) added Dec. 15, 2011, P.L.442, No.108

(1805 amended Dec. 22, 2000, P.L.1019, No.142)

19550130u1805v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 1805(b), in part, (c) and (d) was declared unconstitutional on March 14, 2013, by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania State Association of Jury Commissioners v. Commonwealth, 64 A.3d 611 (Pa. 2013).

19550130u1806s

Section 1806.  County Officers Not to Be Interested in Contracts.--Restrictions on the involvement of elected and appointed county officers in any county contract shall be as prescribed in 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 (relating to ethics standards and financial disclosure).

(1806 amended Dec. 22, 2000, P.L.1019, No.142)

19550130u1807s

Section 1807.  Application of Contract Provisions.--The provisions of this article shall apply to all the contractual powers of the county commissioners contained in this act, or other laws insofar as they are not inconsistent therewith, and the mention of powers of contract outside this article shall not be construed as being in disregard of the applicable provisions of this article in relation thereto.

19550130u1901h

 

ARTICLE XIX

SPECIAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF COUNTIES

 

(a)  Appropriations for Military Purposes

 

19550130u1901s

Section 1901.  Appropriation of Money or Land for National Guard Armories.--(a)  The board of commissioners may, either independently or in connection with any other county, or with any city, town, borough, or township, provide and appropriate moneys, or convey land to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to assist the Armory Board of the State of Pennsylvania in the erection, wherever deemed most advantageous by the Armory Board, of armories for the use of the National Guard of Pennsylvania. The board of commissioners may acquire land for such purpose, either by purchase, at tax sale, by gift, by the right of eminent domain, or otherwise.

(b)  The board of commissioners may also furnish water, light, or fuel, either or all free of cost to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for use in any armory of the National Guard and may do all things necessary to accomplish such purpose.

19550130u1902s

Section 1902.  Appropriation for Maintenance of National Guard.--(a)  The board of commissioners may appropriate, annually, from any moneys in the county treasury, not otherwise appropriated, a sum not exceeding seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750) for the support and maintenance, discipline and training, of any dismounted company or similar unit of the National Guard, and a sum not to exceed fifteen hundred dollars ($1500) for the support and maintenance, discipline and training, of any mounted or motorized troop or similar unit of the National Guard. Where such units are organized as a battalion, regiment or similar organization, the total amount due may be paid to the commanding officer of the battalion, regiment or similar organization.

(b)  Any moneys so appropriated shall be paid by voucher check of the commissioners, drawn to the order of the commanding officer of such company, battalion, regiment or similar organization, only when it shall be certified to the commissioners by the Adjutant General of the State that such unit or units have satisfactorily passed the annual inspection provided by law. The moneys so appropriated shall be used and expended solely and exclusively for the support and maintenance, discipline and training, of the said company, battalion, regiment or similar organization, and the commanding officer shall account, by proper vouchers to the said county each year, for the expenditure of the money so appropriated, and no appropriation shall be made for any subsequent year, until the expenditure of the previous year is duly and satisfactorily accounted for.

(c)  The accounts of such expenditures shall be subject to the inspection of the Department of Military Affairs, and shall be audited by the auditors, or the controller as the case may be, in the manner provided by law for the audit of accounts of county moneys.

19550130u1903s

Section 1903.  Appropriation to Rifle-Clubs in Time of War.--(a)  At any time a state of war exists, the board of commissioners may appropriate money to civilian rifle clubs, duly chartered by the National Rifle Association of the United States of America, for the maintenance and rental of rifle-ranges, the employment of competent instructors and necessary employes, and for the equipment and uniforms for the members of such clubs, who volunteer for special military duty in their respective counties, or answer any call of the Governor of the Commonwealth.

(b)  No moneys shall be appropriated to any such club, unless practice on such rifle-range by the members of the club shall be with the United States Military rifle or arms approved by the State Adjutant General.

19550130u1908h

(b)  Burial of Deceased Service Persons

and Surviving Spouses

(Hdg. amended Oct. 4, 1978, P.L.964, No.190)

 

19550130u1908s

Section 1908.  Definitions.--(a)  The term deceased service person, as used in this subsection, shall mean and include:

(1)  Any deceased person who, at the time of his or her death, was serving (whether or not in a combat zone) in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or any women's organization officially connected therewith, during any war or armed conflict in which the United States has been, is now or shall hereafter be engaged, or who, at the time of his or her death, was serving in a zone where a campaign or state or condition of war or armed conflict then existed, in which the United States was, is or shall be a participant. The existence of a campaign or state or condition of war or armed conflict, and the participation of the United States therein, as well as the fact that the deceased person served in a zone where such campaign or state or condition of war or armed conflict existed, shall, in each case, be established by the records of the Department of Defense of the Federal Government; or

(2)  Any deceased person, who had so served at any time during his or her life, and whose separation from such service was honorable, whether by discharge or otherwise, or who at the time of his or her death was continuing in such service after the cessation of the war, armed conflict, campaign or state or condition of war during or in which he or she served; or

(3)  Any deceased person who was in active service in the militia of the State of Pennsylvania under and in pursuance of any proclamation issued by the Governor during the Civil War, who was not duly mustered into the service of the United States, but was honorably discharged or relieved from such service.

(b)  The term "legal residence" as used in this subsection, shall be construed as synonymous with "domicile" and is hereby defined as actual residence, coupled with intention that it shall be permanent, or a residence presently fixed with no definite intention of changing it, or of returning to a former residence at some future period. Legal residence is to be determined by abode of person and his or her intention to abandon his or her former domicile and establish a new one. The legal residence of a deceased service person shall be prima facia in the county where he or she made his or her abode at the time of his or her death.

(1908 amended Jan. 31, 1956, 1955 P.L.976, No.303)

19550130u1909s

Section 1909.  Funeral Expenses of Deceased Service Persons.--(a)  Any county is hereby authorized and directed to contribute the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75) and may contribute an additional sum of twenty-five dollars ($25) towards the funeral expenses of each deceased service person in the cases enumerated below, where in each case application therefor is made within one year after the date of his or her death. In the case of any deceased service person who died while in the service, application need not be made within one year after the date of his or her death, but may be made at any time thereafter. ((a) amended Nov. 5, 1971, P.L.510, No.120)

(b)  Payments shall be made under the following circumstances:

(1)  Where the deceased service person at the time of his or her death had his or her legal residence in the county, whether or not he or she died in the county, and whether or not he or she was buried in the county. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the General Assembly that every deceased service person having a legal residence in this Commonwealth at the time of his or her death shall be entitled to the benefits of this section, regardless of where he or she may have died or where he or she may be buried, and that the liability therefor shall be on the county, where the deceased service person shall have had his or her legal residence at the time of his or her death.

(2)  Where the deceased service person died and was buried in the county, but at the time of his of her death did not have legal residence within this Commonwealth, if the county commissioners of the county where he or she died are notified in writing by any organization of veterans that the body is unclaimed by relatives or friends, and upon investigation shall find such condition to exist.

(3)  Where a deceased service person has died while a member of the Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Erie, Pennsylvania, and such home incurs all funeral expenses and buries the soldier in a cemetery in the City of Erie, Pennsylvania, or the home furnishes clothing, casket and shipping case, and ships the body to the county from which he was admitted to the home, the county from which he was admitted shall reimburse and pay to the Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home the amount of seventy-five dollars ($75) or so much thereof as was actually expended by the home.

19550130u1910s

Section 1910.  Burial of Spouses of Deceased Service Persons.--Upon due application and proof, the county is hereby authorized and directed to contribute the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75) and may contribute an additional sum of twenty-five dollars ($25) from the county funds towards the funeral expenses of any spouse of any deceased service person, who at the time of his or her death had a legal residence in the county, whether or not he or she died in the county and whether or not he or she was buried in the county. The county shall not contribute any moneys toward the funeral expenses of any spouse of a deceased service person who had remarried after the death of such deceased service person, nor unless application for the payment of such moneys shall be made within one year after the date of the death of such spouse.

(1910 amended Dec. 21, 1973, P.L.423, No.147)

19550130u1911s

Section 1911.  Payment.--(a)  It shall be the duty of the county to cause a voucher check to be drawn upon the treasury of their county in the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75), or one hundred dollars ($100) if the additional sum of twenty-five dollars ($25) is authorized, for each body buried in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision, to be paid out of the funds of the county, and such checks shall be made payable to the applicant or applicants if the application shows that the funeral expenses have been paid, otherwise to the undertaker performing the services with notice to the applicant.

(b)  Application for such contribution shall be made by the personal representative of such deceased service person or deceased service person's spouse, if there be such personal representative, and if no such personal representative has qualified then by any next of kin, individual, or veterans' organization, who or which assumes responsibility for the cost of burial of the body. The application shall be sustained by affidavit as to the facts.

(c)  The application shall be on forms prescribed by the Department of Military Affairs and shall set forth whether or not the funeral expenses have been paid. The application shall have attached thereto a certified copy of the death certificate and a certification by the undertaker, who had charge of the burial of the body, and to the effect that the undertaker did render such service. ((c) amended Oct. 4, 1978, P.L.1012, No.218)

(1911 amended Dec. 21, 1973, P.L.423, No.147)

19550130u1912s

Section 1912.  Notification of County Commissioners.--The coroners and all other public officers, agents and servants and all officers, agents and servants of any county, city, township, borough, district or other municipality, or of any prison, morgue, hospital, home or other public institution, having the control or custody of the body of the deceased service person whose body is entitled to be buried under the provisions of this subdivision, shall, immediately upon the death or arrival of the body of such deceased service person, notify the county commissioners of the county wherein such death occurred, or wherein such deceased service person shall have had his legal residence.

19550130u1913s

Section 1913.  Markers for Graves; Headstones.--(a)  The county commissioners of each county shall, from time to time as they consider expedient, procure appropriate markers for the graves of deceased service persons and the graves of all other deceased persons who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine during World War II or any organization officially connected therewith and whose separation from such service was honorable, whether by discharge or otherwise. Such markers shall be of cast bronze, aluminum or a suitable substitute material. ((a) amended June 11, 2008, P.L.171, No.22)

(b)  The county commissioners shall procure bronze, aluminum or suitable substitute material markers from some manufacturer or manufacturers, engaged in the manufacturing of the same, and in the contract for the furnishing thereof, the manufacturer furnishing the bronze markers shall warrant that the same are made of the following metals, and in the following proportions: copper, eighty-five per centum; tin, five per centum; zinc, five per centum; and lead, five per centum. ((b) amended June 11, 2008, P.L.171, No.22)

(c)  The manufacturer shall be liable to the county to an amount equal to the sum paid to him by the county for the markers, if the above proportions of metals are not contained in the markers.

(d)  Nothing, except actual fraud on the part of the county commissioners, shall render them liable for any amount if it is established that the markers are not composed of the metals in the proportions above recited.

(e)  No officer, trustee, association, corporation or person in control of any cemetery, or a public burying ground, shall have the right to question the composition of such bronze markers, or to require that any of them be chemically analyzed before being placed in the cemetery, or under any circumstances to refuse to permit the erection thereof in the cemetery, or public burying ground, or to charge for making the foundations for the same more than is charged for making similar foundations of the same proportion. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense.

(f)  The county commissioners of each county are hereby authorized and directed to place a marker upon the grave of each deceased service person and the graves of all other deceased persons who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine during World War II or any organization officially connected therewith and whose separation from such service was honorable, whether by discharge or otherwise, who, at the time of his or her death, had his or her legal residence in the county, whether or not he or she died in the county, and whether or not he or she was buried in the county, and upon the grave of each deceased service person buried in the county, who at the time of his or her death did not have a legal residence within this Commonwealth. When such deceased service person shall have been a veteran of any war or campaign for which the Government of the United States issued discharge buttons, the markers designated for their graves shall include a facsimile of said discharge button. When such markers are upright flag holders they shall consist of cast bronze or any other weather resistant material. When such deceased service person shall have been a veteran of the Korean Conflict, the markers designated for their graves shall include a circular emblem with the words "Korea, U.S., 1950-1953" in the border thereof, and shall incorporate the insignia of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, in the form approved by the State Veterans' Commission. ((f) amended June 11, 2008, P.L.171, No.22)

(g)  It shall be the duty of the county commissioners of each county, upon or at any time subsequent to the death of any deceased service person and the graves of all other deceased persons who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine during World War II or any organization officially connected therewith and whose separation from such service was honorable, whether by discharge or otherwise, who, at the time of his or her death, had his or her legal residence in the county, on application as hereinafter provided, to cause a headstone or bronze memorial tablet to be placed at the head of or on the grave of each such deceased service person. ((g) amended June 11, 2008, P.L.171, No.22)

(h)  Each headstone shall contain his or her name and the rank and organization to which he or she belonged or in which he or she served, in letters raised or cut in at least three-sixteenth of an inch deep. The headstone shall be of either marble or granite, and shall be placed or set in a concrete base at least three feet deep, or if a headstone has been provided for such grave by the United States Government, the county commissioners shall provide the concrete base therefor, or if lettering only on an existing memorial is desired by the family, the county commissioners shall provide such lettering.

(i)  In the event the body of any deceased service person either cannot or will not be returned to the United States of America, it shall be the duty of the county commissioners to cause a headstone to be placed in the family plot of such deceased service person. Said headstone shall have inscribed thereon, (1) the name, rank and organization of such deceased service person, (2) the name of the country, location or manner in which such person lost his or her life, and (3) the cemetery or location in which the body, if buried, was finally laid to rest. Application therefor shall in each case be made on forms prescribed by the Department of Military Affairs and may be made by any relative of the deceased service person, or by a friend if there is no objection by the nearest relative. Each application must be approved by an organization of veterans of any war in which the United States has been, is now or shall hereafter be engaged.

(j)  The expense in each case shall be borne by the county in which the deceased service person had his or her legal residence at the time of his or her death, whether or not he or she died in the county, and whether or not he or she was buried in the county. The expense shall not exceed the sum of one hundred dollars ($100) for each headstone or concrete base or lettering or bronze memorial tablet and the county commissioners of each county, acting under this section, shall cause to be drawn a voucher check on the treasury of the county for the payment of said expense in favor of the party or parties furnishing such headstone or concrete base or lettering or bronze memorial tablet. ((j) amended Jan. 26, 1968, P.L.51, No.11)

(k)  In cases of dispute concerning the legal residence of a deceased service person, the county in which a deceased service person is buried shall perform the duties hereinbefore set forth. No such payment or payments shall be made, unless the application therefor shall be approved before the commencement of the project by the county commissioners.

(l)  Any person who shall wilfully, maliciously, or carelessly destroy, mutilate, remove or deface any grave marker, headstone or flag holder, placed or erected under the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of the grade of offense in relation to the dollar amount of the theft or damage done in accordance with 18 Pa.C.S. § 3903 (relating to grading of theft offenses). ((l) amended Oct. 21, 1983, P.L.168, No.41)

19550130u1914s

Section 1914.  Burial Plots.--The county commissioners of the several counties are hereby authorized to purchase plots of ground, in any cemetery or burial ground in their respective counties, for the interment of deceased service persons whose bodies are entitled to be buried under the provisions of this subdivision, and to cause to be drawn a voucher check upon their county treasury for the payment of the same. The purchase price of said plots of ground shall not be charged against or allotted as part of the cost of burial of such deceased service persons who may be buried in any of said plots under the provisions of this subdivision.

19550130u1915s

Section 1915.  Care of Graves and Markers.--The county commissioners of each county shall, at all times, see that the graves and tombstones of all deceased service persons who are buried in such county, receive proper and fitting care, and may employ all necessary assistants to carry out the provisions of this section. The expense of the care of such graves and tombstones shall be borne by the county where said graves are located, except where suitable care is otherwise provided. Money so appropriated may be expended directly by the county commissioners, or paid over to the person, firm, association or corporation owning or controlling any cemetery or burial place in the county where any such grave is situated. The sum so paid over in any year shall not exceed for each grave the charge for the annual care and maintenance of like graves in the same cemetery, or, if no such fixed charge is established in that cemetery, it shall not exceed the sum charged in other cemeteries in the same county for like service.

19550130u1916s

Section 1916.  Proof of Service, Et Cetera.--(a)  In each case, where application is made for a contribution toward the funeral expenses of a deceased service person, or the surviving spouse of a deceased service person, or for a headstone or concrete base or lettering or bronze memorial tablet, the county commissioners shall, before expending any money therefor, require proof of the following facts:

(1)  The service of the deceased service person which entitles him or his surviving spouse to the benefits of this subdivision. Such proof shall be by the production of an honorable discharge or other official record showing service during any war in which the United States is or was engaged, or by the records of the Department of Defense of the Federal Government, or by copies thereof filed in the Department of Military Affairs showing the existence of a campaign or state or condition of war, the participation of the United States therein, and the service of the deceased service person in a zone where such campaign or state or condition of war existed.

(2)  The death of the deceased service person.

(3)  In the case of the burial of the surviving spouse of a deceased service person, the death of such surviving spouse, and the fact that the spouse was married to the deceased service person at the time of his death, and that the spouse has not since remarried. The proof required by clauses one and two of this subsection shall also be required in such cases.

(4)  Except in cases where persons not having a legal residence within this Commonwealth are entitled to any of the benefits of this subdivision, the legal residence within the county of the deceased service person, or of the surviving spouse of a deceased service person, as the case may be.

((a) amended Oct. 4, 1978, P.L.964, No.190)

(b)  Death shall in all cases be proved by death certificate where the same is procurable, otherwise by affidavit of one or more persons personally acquainted with the deceased, and the fact of his or her death, or by proof of the record of death kept by the attending physician, or by proof of the record of burial kept by the undertaker by whom he or she was buried, or by the church burial association or cemetery company maintaining the graveyard, burial ground or cemetery in which he or she was buried.

(c)  Where any proof required by this subdivision has been furnished to the county commissioners, no further proof of the same facts shall be required in order to obtain any other benefit under the provisions of this subdivision.

19550130u1921h

(c)  Memorial Observances

 

19550130u1921s

Section 1921.  Appropriations to Veterans' Organizations for Expenses of Memorial Day, Veterans' Day, Flag Day and Independence Day.--(Hdg. amended Nov. 3, 1999, P.L.461, No.42) (a)  The board of commissioners may appropriate, annually, to each camp of the United Spanish War Veterans, and to each post of the American Legion, and to each post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and to each post of the Veterans of World War I of the U. S. A., Inc., and to each post of the American War Veterans of World War II (AMVETS), and to each post of the Society of the Twenty-eighth Division, AEF, Incorporated, and to each post of the Italian American War Veterans of the United States, Incorporated, and to each detachment of the Marine Corps League, and to each Naval Association, and to each post of the Grand Army of the Republic, and to each post of the Disabled American Veterans of the World War, and to each organization of American Gold Star Mothers, and to each organization of ex-service persons incorporated under the act of April twenty-nine, one thousand eight hundred seventy-four (Pamphlet Laws 73), and the supplements thereto, in the county, any sum budgeted to aid in defraying the expenses of Memorial Day, Veterans' Day, Flag Day and Independence Day. ((a) amended Nov. 3, 1999, P.L.461, No.42)

(b)  Where the Grand Army of the Republic has ceased to exist or to function, such appropriation may be made to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War or, in the absence of such order, to a duly constituted organization which conducts the decorating of graves of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

(c)  Such payments shall be made to defray actual expenses only. Before any payment is made, the organization receiving the same shall submit verified accounts of their expenditures.

(1921 amended June 7, 1961, P.L.255, No.150)

19550130u1922s

Section 1922.  Flags to Decorate Graves.--(a)  It shall be the duty of the county commissioners to provide flags on each Memorial Day with which to decorate the graves of all deceased service persons and the graves of all other deceased persons who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine during World War II or any organization officially connected therewith and whose separation from such service was honorable, whether by discharge or otherwise, buried within the county. The flags to be used for such purposes shall be of one standard size, colorfast and American made, and shall be purchased at the expense of the county from moneys in the county treasury. ((a) amended June 11, 2008, P.L.171, No.22)

(b)  Such flags shall be furnished to the various veterans' organizations in such numbers as they shall require for their respective communities.

(c)  The moneys expended by any county under the provisions of this section shall be in addition to moneys appropriated by counties for Memorial Day purposes.

(d)  The authorities in charge of any cemetery are authorized to remove such flags when the same become unsightly or weatherworn at any time not before the first working day after Independence Day of each year.

(e)  Any authority or person in charge of any cemetery who shall remove or cause the removal of the flags prior to the first working day after Independence Day shall be guilty of a summary offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine in the amount of three hundred dollars ($300) and, upon failure to pay such fine, to undergo imprisonment not to exceed ninety days.

(1922 amended June 12, 1986, P.L.253, No.66)

19550130u1923s

Section 1923.  Compilation of War Records; Director of Veterans' Affairs.--(a)  The county commissioners of each county are hereby authorized and directed, at the expense of the county, to compile a record of the burial places within such county of deceased service persons. Such record, so far as practicable, shall indicate the name of each such person, the service in which he or she was engaged, the number of the regiment or company or command, the rank and period of service, the name and location of the cemetery or other place in which his or her body is interred, the location of the grave in such cemetery or other place, and the character of headstone or other marker, if any, at such grave. Such record shall be known as the Veterans' Grave Registration Record of ............................. County, and shall be a public record, open to inspection during business hours.

(b)  The county commissioners of each county shall cause record blanks to be prepared, according to forms prescribed by the Department of Military Affairs, whereby the information required for such record may be transmitted to them.

(c)  Every person, firm, association, or corporation, including a municipal corporation, owning or controlling any cemetery or burial place within the Commonwealth, in which are interred the bodies of deceased service persons, shall file with the county commissioners of the county in which such cemetery is located a certificate, on the record blanks provided by said county commissioners, of the facts required for such record, as far as the same are within the knowledge of such person, firm, association, corporation, or the agents thereof.

(d)  The county commissioners shall cause record blanks to be distributed to such persons, firms, associations, and corporations as they deem advisable, with the request that such information be transmitted to them. Any such person, firm, association or corporation, except municipal corporations, upon receipt of such blanks or forms, who shall refuse or neglect to fill out and transmit to the county commissioners such blanks or forms within six months after receipt of same, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of one hundred dollars ($100).

(e)  For the purpose of locating the burial places of persons who have served in the military or naval service or other branches of the combative forces of the United States during any war or armed conflict in which the United States was engaged, the Grand Army of the Republic, the United Spanish War Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of World War I of the U. S. A., Inc., the American Veterans of World War II (AMVETS), the Marine Corps League, and the Italian American War Veterans of the United States, Incorporated, through their local camps, posts and branches in this Commonwealth, are authorized, without expense to the county, to collect the required data and prepare and file with the county commissioners certificates embodying the information provided for in this section. ((e) amended June 6, 1963, P.L.90, No.63)

(f)  For the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this section, the county commissioners shall appoint a director of veterans affairs, who shall receive such compensation as the salary board may fix.

(g)  It shall also be the duty of the director of veterans affairs to:

(1)  Assist the county commissioners in administering the provisions of this subdivision which relate to the burial of deceased service persons and their surviving spouses and to furnishing markers and placing headstones on their graves. ((1) amended Oct. 4, 1978, P.L.964, No.190)

(2)  Assist war veterans and their families in securing their rights as such in matters relating to their person, property and care of family, under any of the laws of this Commonwealth and of the United States, and for such services the director of veterans affairs shall be entitled to his expenses incurred therein and additional compensation. Both expenses and compensation shall be subject to the approval of the salary board.

(3)  Assist the county commissioners in transmitting records of burial places of deceased service persons to the Department of Military Affairs of the Commonwealth, for the use of the Deputy Adjutant General in charge of Veteran Affairs, and otherwise assist the commissioners in cooperating with the said deputy.

19550130u1928h

(d)  County Histories

 

19550130u1928s

Section 1928.  County History.--The county commissioners of any county, either independently or in connection with any other municipality or municipalities within their county or any society or organization, may appropriate money for the compilation of a county war history or any general history or historical account related to the history records and government of the county, and for the publication and distribution of the same.

19550130u1929s

Section 1929.  Payment to Historical Societies.--The board of commissioners may pay, out of the county funds not otherwise appropriated, a sum of money to a county historical society or to county historical societies to assist in paying the running expenses. Where a society is comprised of residents of more than one county, the commissioners of the respective counties may jointly pay the sum in such proportion as they shall agree.

No appropriation shall be renewed until vouchers have been filed with the commissioners showing that the appropriation for any prior year has been expended for the purpose herein designated.

(1929 amended Nov. 3, 1999, P.L.461, No.42)

19550130u1930s

Section 1930.  Qualification of Society.--In order to entitle any historical society to the said appropriation, the following conditions shall have been first complied with. It shall have been organized at least two years, incorporated by the proper authority, and have an active membership of one hundred or more persons, each of whom shall have paid into the treasury of said society a membership fee of at least two dollars ($2) for the support of the same. It shall hold at least two public meetings yearly, whereat papers shall be read or discussions held on historic subjects. It shall have established a museum wherein shall be deposited curios and other objects of interest, and books, documents and papers relating to the history of the county or Commonwealth. It shall have adopted a constitution and code of by-laws and elected proper officers to conduct its business.

19550130u1931s

Section 1931.  Restoration and Preservation of Historic Sites.--The board of commissioners are hereby authorized to make appropriations out of county funds to any nonprofit corporation organized for the purpose of restoring and preserving historic sites which are within the county: Provided, however, That such sites shall have been designated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as a monument worthy of restoration and preservation: And provided further, That local historical societies, associations or interested citizens shall have made substantial contributions toward such restoration and preservation.

(1931 added Aug. 14, 1963, P.L.838, No.406)

19550130u1935h

(e)  Animal and Plant Husbandry

 

19550130u1935s

Section 1935.  Appropriations to Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.--The board of commissioners may appropriate moneys toward the maintenance of any organization or society, incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, for the prevention of cruelty to animals and which, for a period of at least two years prior to the making of such appropriation, shall have been engaged in carrying out the purposes of its incorporation, in whole or in part, within said county.

19550130u1936s

Section 1936.  Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home Economics.--The board of commissioners may make appropriations annually for agricultural and home economics extension work, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania State University in encouraging improved methods of farm management and home economics and giving practical instruction and demonstrations in agriculture, for the purpose of improving and developing the agricultural resources of the county. An educational program will be conducted to include the body of scientific knowledge in agriculture, family living, and resource development and to encourage application of the same. The money so appropriated shall be expended according to rules and regulations prescribed or approved by the board of commissioners. The board of commissioners may also, where practicable and desirable, provide offices in the county court house for headquarters for such cooperative work.

(1936 amended Aug. 17, 1967, P.L.241, No.92)

19550130u1937s

Section 1937.  Agricultural or Horticultural Societies.--The county commissioners are hereby authorized to make appropriations annually out of the current revenues of the county to any incorporated agricultural or horticultural society or association located within the county. The total amount of any such appropriation in any one county shall not exceed fifteen hundred dollars ($1500) in any one year. Where more than one such society or association is located in the county, the amount appropriated may be distributed and divided among said societies and associations in such proportions and such amount as the board of commissioners, in its discretion, may determine.

The county commissioners are hereby authorized to make additional appropriations annually out of the current revenues of the county to any incorporated agricultural or horticultural society or association regardless of where the same is located within the Commonwealth. Such appropriations may be made in the amount of three hundred dollars ($300) or more, but the total amount of such additional appropriations shall not exceed fifteen hundred dollars ($1500) in any one year.

(1937 amended May 15, 1963, P.L.40, No.36)

19550130u1938s

Section 1938.  Suppression of Animal and Plant Disease.--The board of commissioners is hereby authorized to make appropriations from county funds for the purpose of controlling and suppressing dangerous infectious disease of livestock and poultry and dangerous plant diseases and insect pests and diseases to honeybees, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture of Pennsylvania.

For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section, the board of county commissioners may enter into agreements with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture concerning terms, rules, regulations and practices for conducting the work.

19550130u1939s

Section 1939.  County Fair Associations.--The county commissioners may appropriate, annually, out of current revenues, to any incorporated nonprofit agriculture association or any nonprofit county fair association located within the county, for the repair and maintenance of the real estate, buildings and structures within the county used, annually, by the association for county agriculture fairs and exhibitions, whether or not the real estate is owned by the county and leased to the association. The total amount of any such appropriation shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5000) in any one year, and where more than one such association is located in the county, the amount appropriated may be divided among them in such proportions and amounts as the county commissioners may determine.

(1939 added Jul. 8, 1957, P.L.549, No.304)

19550130u1943h

(f)  Communications

 

19550130u1943s

Section 1943.  Appropriations for Radio Broadcasting Station.--The board of commissioners of any county may make an appropriation for the purpose of assisting any naval reserve unit or amateur radio league in maintaining, equipping and operating a short wave radio broadcasting station or cable television community access stations geared to public access, educational access or governmental access, which shall be available for public use in the event of emergency or disaster.

(1943 amended June 18, 1998, P.L.619, No.79)

19550130u1944s

Section 1944.  Appropriations for Police, Fire and other Public Safety Radio and Telecommunications Networks.--The board of commissioners of any county may make appropriations for the erection, operation and maintenance of a county police radio, fire and other public safety radio and telecommunications networks.

(1944 added Apr. 15, 1965, P.L.9, No.8)

19550130u1947h

(g)  Prevention and Control of Floods

 

19550130u1947s

Section 1947.  Prevention and Control of Floods.--(a)  The board of commissioners may borrow, appropriate and expend money, and may acquire by purchase or dedication or by the power of eminent domain real property, or any interest therein, for the purpose of cleansing, regulating, improving and controlling rivers, streams and other bodies of water and storm water drainage systems lying within the boundaries of the county, either in whole or in part, for the prevention and control of floods. They may make contracts and expenditures for the cleansing, maintaining, regulation, improvement and control of such waters and drainage systems and for the prevention and control of floods by storage or retaining reservoirs, or otherwise, in parts of such waters beyond the limits of the county or of the Commonwealth, when, in their judgment, such expenditures may be necessary and for the benefit of the county. ((a) amended Jan. 26, 1972, P.L.12, No.4)

(b)  The commissioners may also make appropriations and expenditures for the purpose of investigating and examining or for assisting in the investigation and examination of the condition of such waters, within or without the bounds of the county or of the Commonwealth, for the purpose of facilitating the ends aforesaid.

(c)  The commissioners may enter into such arrangements and agreements with the Secretary of Defense or other public authorities empowered to act in the premises under any law of the United States or of this or any other State, as may be necessary and proper for such purposes, with a view to harmonious and efficient action and proportionate contribution as nearly as may be arrived at or be practicable.

(d)  In exercising the powers herein conferred, the county commissioners may, in their discretion, subject to the limitation of the Constitution, issue interest bearing bonds of the county in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Borrowing Law.

19550130u1948h

(g.1)  Disaster Emergency Aid to Municipalities

((g.1) added Feb. 18, 1998, P.L.156, No.23)

 

19550130u1948s

Section 1948.  Emergency Appropriation to Municipal Corporations.--(a)  The board of county commissioners of any county may appropriate money from the county's operating reserve fund, created and maintained in accordance with section 513, for the purpose of assisting municipal corporations within the county with any cleanup, maintenance, repair and improvements undertaken as a result of damage incurred or a dangerous condition caused by either a disaster emergency within the county declared by the Governor or a local emergency declared by the governing body of a municipal corporation within the county.

(b)  As used in this section:

"Disaster emergency" shall have the meaning ascribed to the term in 35 Pa.C.S. § 7102 (relating to definitions).

"Local emergency" shall have the meaning ascribed to the term in 35 Pa.C.S. § 7102 (relating to definitions).

(1948 added Feb. 18, 1998, P.L.156, No.23)

19550130u1951h

(h)  Aid to Fire Fighting Departments

and Companies

 

19550130u1951s

Section 1951.  Counties of Seventh and Eighth Classes; Appropriations to Borough Fire Departments and Volunteer Fire Companies.--The board of county commissioners of any county of the seventh or eighth class may appropriate annually, except as hereinafter provided, a sum not in excess of six hundred dollars ($600), to the fire department of any borough in the county or to any volunteer fire company located within a borough in said county which actually give fire protection to approximately all parts of the county, or may appropriate up to one-half of such amount to each of two such departments or two such companies or one such department and one such company when each gives fire protection to approximately one-half of the entire county. All moneys appropriated to any such fire department or fire company shall be used for the purchase, maintenance and repair of fire fighting equipment. This section shall not authorize the appropriation of any money to any fire department or fire company which receives contributions or appropriations from any township in the county.

19550130u1952s

Section 1952.  Establishment of Fire Training Schools.--The county commissioners of any county may appropriate annually funds to lawfully organized or incorporated county or regional firemen's associations to establish, equip, maintain and operate and may themselves establish, equip, maintain, and operate fire training schools or centers for the purpose of giving instruction and practical training in the prevention, control and fighting of fire and related fire department emergencies to the members of paid fire departments and volunteer fire companies in any city, borough, town or township within such county.

Whenever a firemen's association is comprised of residents of two or more counties or contemplates operation of a regional school in two or more counties, the county commissioners of each county may appropriate funds to the association.

(1952 amended Mar. 2, 1970, P.L.76, No.34)

19550130u1953h

(h.1)  Fire Marshal and Assistant Fire Marshals

((h.1) added May 12, 1965, P.L.62, No.48)

 

19550130u1953s

Section 1953.  Appointment.-- The county commissioners of any county may appoint a fire marshal and assistant fire marshals deemed necessary to perform such duties relating to the prevention and control of fire as the county commissioners shall deem to be in the best interests of the county. Any fire marshal or assistant fire marshals so appointed shall not be assigned duties which will conflict with fire marshals or municipal fire marshals or powers relating to the control of fires conferred by law upon the Pennsylvania State Police. Compensation for the fire marshal and assistant fire marshals shall be set by the county salary board.

(1953 amended Jul. 17, 1970, P.L.491, No.170)

19550130u1955h

(i)  Utilities

 

19550130u1955s

Section 1955.  Drilling Gas Wells and Laying Gas Lines.--(a)  The board of commissioners of counties, situated in regions wherein natural gas is known to be obtainable, may contract for the drilling of gas wells upon any lands owned by the county for the purpose of furnishing gas for light and fuel to the county buildings and for other purposes. For that purpose, they may also contract for the laying of gas lines equipped with such modern appliances and machinery as may be necessary.

(b)  All such contracts, including contracts for the building of rigs or derricks and the purchase of machinery, shall be made by the county commissioners in the manner provided for in Article XX of this act.

19550130u1956s

Section 1956.  Contracts for Relocation, Change or Elevation of Railroads.--Subject to the provisions of the Public Utility Law, the board of commissioners may enter into contracts with any railroad companies whereby the said railroad companies may relocate, change or elevate their railroads within the county in such manner as, in the judgment of the board, may be best adapted to secure the safety of lives and property and promote the interest of the county. For such purpose, the board shall have power to do all acts that may be necessary and proper to effectually carry out such contracts.

19550130u1962h

(j)  Law Libraries

 

19550130u1962s

Section 1962.  Law Library Committee.--(1962 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1963s

Section 1963.  Appropriations.--(1963 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1964s

Section 1964.  Fines and Forfeitures Applied to Law Libraries.--(1964 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1965s

Section 1965.  President Judge May Appoint Librarian.--(1965 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19550130u1971h

(k)  Rewards and Bounties

 

19550130u1971s

Section 1971.  Rewards for Detection or Apprehension of Criminals.--The board of commissioners, when they deem the same expedient, may offer such reward, in addition to that authorized by law, as in their judgment the nature of the case requires, for the detection or apprehension of any person charged with or perpetrating any felony or misdemeanor, or aiding or abetting the same. Upon the conviction of such person, the county commissioners may pay such reward out of the county treasury, but in no case shall the owner of any stolen property be entitled to any of the reward for the detection or apprehension of the person guilty of the larceny. In cases of misdemeanor, the county commissioners must have the approval of the president judge of the court of common pleas of the county before offering or paying such reward.

19550130u1972s

Section 1972.  Bounties for Destruction of Rattlesnakes, Copperhead Snakes and Porcupines.--The board of commissioners of any county of the sixth, seventh or eighth class may provide for the payment of rewards or bounties for the killing within the county of rattlesnakes and copperhead snakes, not more than one dollar ($1) for each, and for the killing of porcupines, not more than fifty cents (50¢) each. They may make appropriations for such purposes.

19550130u1975h

(l)  Garbage and Refuse Disposal

 

19550130u1975s

Section 1975.  Garbage and Refuse Disposal in County Plants.--The county commissioners of any county shall have the power to operate garbage and refuse disposal plants or facilities, and incinerating furnaces, and to enter into agreements or contracts with any person, corporation or political subdivision for the disposal of garbage and refuse in such facilities, erected and maintained by the county, as provided in Article XXIII of this act, and to charge and receive fees for such service.

19550130u1980h

(m)  County and County Aided Institutions

 

19550130u1980s

Section 1980.  Board of Visitors for Charitable Reform and Penal Institutions.--(a)  The court of common pleas in each county shall, annually, appoint three reputable citizens of the county, on or before the first Tuesday of January, to serve as a board of visitors for that year. Two of the members of said board shall be of the majority party in the county and one shall be of the minority party, all of which shall be determined from the registration lists of the county. Vacancies upon the board shall be filled by the said court in like manner. The members of the board shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid such sum or sums for actual and necessary expenses as may be approved by the board of commissioners of the county.

(b)  The board of visitors of each county shall visit at least three times a year all county hospitals, detention homes, children's homes, jails and like institutions of the county, or any agency of the county, or in counties of the third class of the institution district of the county, and all similar institutions and other charitable institutions to which the county appropriates money. Such visits shall be unannounced, and shall be made either by all of the members of the board or by a lesser number acting for the board. The board shall inspect the premises involved, and shall be entitled to full access thereto and to interview any of the inmates thereof, and shall inspect and ascertain all matters pertaining to the welfare and proper conduct of such institutions and, particularly, the treatment received by the inmates. The board shall make an annual report to the court of common pleas, upon a date fixed by the court, regarding all such things and such other matters as may be referred to them by the court regarding such institutions, and the board may also report to the said court, from time to time, as the board shall see fit. A copy of such reports shall be submitted by the board to the proper authorities for such institutions. ((b) amended Jul. 31, 1963, P.L.372, No.200)

19550130u1985h

(n)  Appropriations to Industrial Development

Agencies and Tourist Promotion Agencies

((n) amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.669, No.348)

 

19550130u1985s

Section 1985.  Appropriations to Industrial Development Agencies by Counties.--The board of commissioners of any county may appropriate, annually, such amounts as may be deemed necessary to any "industrial development agency," as defined in the act of May 31, 1956 (P.L.1911), known as the "Industrial Development Assistance Law," to assist such agencies in the financing of their operational costs for the purposes of making studies, surveys and investigations, the compilation of data and statistics and in the carrying out of planning and promotional programs.

(1985 added Jul. 3, 1957, P.L.474, No.267)

19550130u1986s

Section 1986.  Appropriations to Tourist Promotion Agencies.--The board of commissioners may appropriate, annually, such amount of money but not in excess of thirty-five cents (35¢) for each resident of the county, as determined by the last census, which may be deemed necessary to any "tourist promotion agency" as defined in the act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law," to assist such agencies in carrying out tourist promotional activities.

(1986 amended July 9, 1987, P.L.241, No.44)

19550130u1986v

 

Compiler's Note:  The act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111, No.5), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law," referred to in this section, was repealed by the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.621, No.50), known as the Tourist Promotion Act.

19550130u1990h

(o)  Surplus Foods and Food Stamp Program

((o) amended Dec. 1, 1965, P.L.978, No.358)

 

19550130u1990s

Section 1990.  Appropriations for Handling, Storage and Distribution of Surplus Foods.--The board of commissioners of any county to which this act applies may appropriate from county funds, or in counties of the third class from county institution district funds, moneys for the handling, storage and distribution of surplus foods obtained either through a local, State or Federal agency.

All appropriations of moneys heretofore made by the board of commissioners of any county out of county funds, or county institution district funds, for the handling, storage and distribution of surplus foods obtained either through a local, State or Federal agency are hereby validated.

(1990 amended Jul. 31, 1963, P.L.372, No.200)

19550130u1991s

Section 1991.  Food Stamp Program.--The board of commissioners of any county to which this act applies may by resolution adopt the food stamp program. Upon adoption of the program the county shall appropriate money and shall pay, quarterly from county funds, the amounts certified to the county as being the obligations to the Department of Public Welfare for thirty percent of the amount expended by the department for administration of the food stamp program for the county during the fiscal year 1965-1966, for forty percent of the amount expended during the fiscal year 1966-1967 and for fifty percent of the amount expended during the fiscal year 1967-1968 and thereafter.

(1991 added Dec. 1, 1965, P.L.978, No.358)

19550130u1991v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

19550130u1995h

(p)  Historical Property

((p) added Nov. 10, 1959, P.L.1402, No.499)

 

19550130u1995s

Section 1995.  Acquisition, Repair and Maintenance of Historical Property.--The board of commissioners may acquire by purchase or by gift and repair, supervise, operate and maintain ancient landmarks and other property of historical or antiquarian interest, which is either listed in the catalogue of historical sites and buildings in Pennsylvania issued by the Joint State Government Commission, or approved for acquisition by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as having historical significance.

(1995 added Nov. 10, 1959, P.L.1402, No.499)

19550130u1997h

(q)  Transportation

((q) added Sep. 20, 1961, P.L.1536, No.654)

 

19550130u1997s

Section 1997.  Improvement of Operation and Facilities.--The board of commissioners may enter into contracts and long range cooperative programs with Federal, State and local governmental agencies or public utilities for the improvement of transportation operations and facilities within and across county lines. The board of commissioners may independently or in cooperation with any other county or municipality appropriate moneys annually in furtherance of such transportation improvements and, in connection therewith, may also accept on behalf of the county gifts, grants and Federal loans.

(1997 added Sep. 20, 1961, P.L.1536, No.654)

19550130u1998h

(r)  Public Defenders

((r) repealed Dec. 2, 1968, P.L.1144, No.358)

 

19550130u1998s

Section 1998.  Appropriations for Public Defenders.--(1998 repealed Dec. 2, 1968, P.L.1144, No.358)

19550130u1999h

(s)  Appropriations for Recreation and Historic and

Museum Projects of Boroughs and Townships

((s) added May 3, 1965, P.L.37, No.31)

 

19550130u1999s

Section 1999.  Appropriations for Grants to Aid Certain Recreation Projects.--The board of commissioners of any county may appropriate from county funds moneys for grants to assist boroughs or townships within the county in the purchase or acquisition of lands or buildings, or both, for parks, recreation areas, open space projects and other such outdoor projects and for historic or museum projects.

(1999 added May 3, 1965, P.L.37, No.31)

19550130u1999ah

(t)  Appropriations to Institutions of Higher

Learning or to Nonprofit Educational Trusts

((t) added May 12, 1965, P.L.60, No.47)

 

19550130u1999as

Section 1999a.  Appropriations to Institutions of Higher Learning or to Nonprofit Educational Trusts.--The board of commissioners of any county may appropriate from time to time moneys from county funds in such amounts as may be deemed necessary to any nonsectarian institution of higher learning within such county or to any nonprofit educational trust created for the purpose of constructing or maintaining facilities for State Colleges or the Pennsylvania State University within such county to assist the institution or trust in the financing of the functions specified by the board of commissioners.

(1999a added May 12, 1965, P.L.60, No.47)

19550130u1999bh

(u)  Agreements with Federal Government for

the Promotion of Health or Welfare

((u) added Jul. 29, 1965, P.L.258, No.150)

 

19550130u1999bs

Section 1999b.  Federal Health and Welfare Programs.--Any county may, through the commissioners, enter into agreements with the Federal government, or with any city, borough, town, township, nonprofit corporation or association located or carrying on its functions within such county or serving the residents of such county and which city, borough, town, township, nonprofit corporation or association has or is about to contract with the Federal government or with any agency of State government whereby the Federal government will provide a portion of the funds necessary, payable either to the county or State government or directly to the city, borough, town, township, nonprofit corporation or association for any program not in conflict with an existing or hereafter established state program offered by the Federal government for the promotion of the health or welfare of its citizens, including but not limited to the young, the poor and the aged, and in the furtherance of said programs may comply with conditions, rules or regulations attached by the Federal or State governments.

The county may accept gifts or grants of money, property or services from any source, public or private, and may appropriate such funds as may be necessary to carry out said programs.

(1999b amended June 23, 1978, P.L.524, No.87)

19550130u1999ch

(v)  Appropriations for Reservoirs and Water Resources

((v) added Oct. 21, 1965, P.L.644, No.318)

 

19550130u1999cs

Section 1999c.  Appropriations for Reservoirs and Water Resources.--(a)  The board of commissioners may borrow, appropriate and expend money for the construction, acquisition by purchase, lease or otherwise, operation and maintenance of dams, reservoirs, wells and other facilities for the utilization of surface, subsurface, and ground water resources and all related structures, appurtenances and equipment necessary for the use of said dams, reservoirs, wells and other facilities, and may acquire by purchase, lease, gift, or the exercise of power of eminent domain, sites for the same: Provided, That the board of commissioners shall obtain a permit from the Department of Environmental Resources whenever such permit is required by law: And provided further, That the board of commissioners shall not acquire by the exercise of power of eminent domain the property of a public utility subject to the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission or Federal Power Commission.

(b)  The board of commissioners may enter into agreements for the regulation of withdrawals and diversions of waters from said dams, reservoirs, wells and other facilities, and the sale of the same, subject to approval of State, Federal or interstate agencies which may have primary jurisdiction over water resources. Dams, wells and reservoirs acquired by purchase, lease or otherwise, or constructed by the commissioners may be for the sole purpose of water supply or in conjunction with any other purposes, except the generation of electric energy.

(c)  The board of commissioners may enter into contracts or long-range cooperative programs with State, Federal, interstate and local government agencies or public utilities for the development and use of the county's water resources.

(d)  It shall be lawful for any county to execute such agreements and contracts as it may deem necessary or advisable with an authority organized by such county to provide, design, acquire, hold, construct, improve, own, lease, as lessor or lessee, maintain and operate dams, reservoirs, wells and other facilities for the utilization of surface, subsurface and ground water resources and all related structures, appurtenances and equipment necessary for the use of the same; also to grant, convey, lease, transfer, encumber, mortgage and pledge to such authority, its dams, reservoirs, wells and related facilities and any improvements and additions thereto; to assign and pledge to such authority rentals, rates and charges charged and collected by it for the use thereof and to assign to such authority its power to collect the same. No such agreement, contract, grant, conveyance, lease, assignment, encumbrance, mortgage or pledge shall be construed to prevent the affected county from thereafter using its tax revenues for the purpose of maintaining, repairing, altering, inspecting or improving such dams, reservoirs, wells and related facilities.

Every such agreement, contract, grant, conveyance, lease, transfer, assignment, encumbrance, mortgage and pledge heretofore made to or with any authority organized by any county is hereby ratified, confirmed and made valid and the same shall be and remain lawful, valid and enforceable according to its terms.

(e)  Any county may enter into an agreement and contract for the sale of water to any other county, city, borough, incorporated town, township, authority or public utility at reasonable and uniform rates to be determined exclusively by it.

(1999c amended Jul. 29, 1971, P.L.248, No.60)

19550130u1999cv

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Environmental Resources, referred to in subsec. (a), was abolished by Act 18 of 1995. Its functions were transferred to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection.

19550130u1999dh

(w)  Tourist Promotion Agencies

((w) added Oct. 21, 1965, P.L.646, No.319)

 

19550130u1999ds

Section 1999d.  Tourist Promotion Agencies; Appropriations.--The board of commissioners of any county may create or may join with other counties in the creation of a tourist promotion agency for the purpose of making studies, surveys and investigations and for planning and carrying out promotional programs and projects designed to stimulate and increase the volume of tourist, visitor and vacation business within such county or counties and may appropriate funds for such purposes.

(1999d added Oct. 21, 1965, P.L.646, No.319)

19550130u1999eh

(x)  Crime Detection Laboratory and Police Training School

((x) added Dec. 8, 1965, P.L.1054, No.402)

 

19550130u1999es

Section 1999e.  Crime Detection Laboratories and Police Training Schools.--The board of commissioners of any county of the third class may appropriate money and provide for establishing a crime detection laboratory and police training school for the use of any political subdivisions situated within such county, and the training of police employed by such political subdivisions.

(1999e added Dec. 8, 1965, P.L.1054, No.402)

19550130u1999fh

(y)  Parking Facilities

((y) added Dec. 7, 1965, P.L.1048, No.396)

 

19550130u1999fs

Section 1999f.  Parking Facilities.--The board of commissioners of any county may appropriate moneys from the county treasury for the purpose of purchasing, constructing, maintaining and operating as a county facility a motor vehicle parking facility, or may create a municipal authority and appropriate moneys to such authority for such purpose, and the county commissioners, or the municipal authority created for such purpose, may lease to any city, borough or township wherein the parking facility is or shall be constructed, or to a parking authority created by the city, borough or township, the land to be used for a parking facility, or a parking facility, for the use, benefit, health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth. The county, at the discretion of the commissioners, may establish or designate parking areas exclusively reserved for parking by handicapped individuals and may post signs indicating such restriction.

(1999f amended Oct. 5, 1979, P.L.196, No.65)

19550130u1999gh

(z)  Non-debt Revenue Bonds for Industrial Development Projects

((z) added Jan. 12, 1968, P.L.4, No.3)

 

19550130u1999gs

Section 1999g.  Issuance of Non-Debt Revenue Bonds for Industrial Development Projects.--The board of commissioners of any county is empowered to issue non-debt revenue bonds of the county pursuant to provisions of the act of June 25, 1941 (P.L.159). known as the "Municipal Borrowing Law," and its amendments, to provide sufficient moneys for and toward the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, extension, equipping or improvement of an industrial development project or projects, consisting of any building or facility or combination or part thereof occupied or utilized by an industrial, manufacturing, or research and development enterprise now existing or hereafter acquired, including any or all buildings, improvements, additions, extensions, replacements, appurtenances, lands, rights in land, water rights, franchises, machinery, equipment, furnishings, landscaping, utilities, railroad spurs and sidings, wharfs, approaches and roadways necessary or desirable in connection therewith or incidental thereto, said bonds to be secured solely by the pledge of the whole or part of the fees, rents, tolls or charges derived from the ownership or operation of such facilities or for the use or services of the same.

Said industrial development project or projects financed by the issuance of non-debt revenue bonds as in this section provided may be leased by the county in whole or in part to a lessee or lessees for a period of years equal in time to the period of maturity of the bonds so issued.

Included in the cost of the issue may be any costs and expenses incident to constructing and financing the facilities and selling and distributing the bonds.

The board of commissioners in further empowered to sell, lease, lend, grant, convey, transfer or pay over to any authority created pursuant to the act of August 23, 1967 (Act No. 102), known as the "Industrial Development Authority Law," with or without consideration, any project or any part or parts thereof, or any interest in real or personal property or any funds available for industrial development purposes, including the proceeds of non-debt revenue bonds hereafter issued pursuant hereto, for industrial development purposes, and to assign, transfer and set over to any such authority and contracts which may have been awarded for the construction of projects not begun or, if begun, not completed.

The board of commissioners are further empowered to enter into any and all contracts or agreements with any such authority and/or with any tenant or proposed tenant of any industrial development project and to do any or all things necessary or proper to effectuate the public purpose of this section.

(1999g added Jan. 12, 1968, P.L.4, No.3)

19550130u1999hh

(z.1)  Grants to Nonprofit Art Corporations

((z.1) added Nov. 1, 1979, P.L.452, No.89)

 

19550130u1999hs

Section 1999h.  Grants to Nonprofit Art Corporations.--The board of commissioners of any county is empowered to make grants annually, not exceeding an amount equal to one mill of the real estate tax to nonprofit art corporations for the conduct of their artistic and cultural activities. For the purposes of this section nonprofit art corporation shall mean a local arts council, commission or coordinating agency, or any other nonprofit corporation engaged in the production or display of works of art, including the visual, written or performing arts. Artistic and cultural activities shall include the display or production of theater, music, dance, painting, architecture, sculpture, arts and crafts, photography, film, graphic arts and design and creative writing.

(1999h added Nov. 1, 1979, P.L.452, No.89)

19550130u1999ih

(z.2)  Commission on Women

((z.2) added June 25, 1999, P.L.181, No.25)

 

19550130u1999is

Section 1999i.  Commission on the Status of Women.--The board of commissioners in any county may establish a commission on the status of women.

(1999i added June 25, 1999, P.L.182, No.25)

19550130u2001h

 

ARTICLE XX

PLANNING, ZONING AND TRAFFIC

 

(XX repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

 

(a) County and Regional Planning Commissions

 

19550130u2001s

Section 2001.  Creation and Powers of County Planning Commissions.--(2001 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2002s

Section 2002.  Submission of Resolutions for Certain Improvements; Reports.--(2002 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2003s

Section 2003.  Appearance in Proceedings.--(2003 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2004s

Section 2004.  Plans of Subdivisions; Jurisdiction; Scope of Subdivisions; Regulations; Procedure; Penalties.--(2004 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2005s

Section 2005.  Maps of County.--(2005 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2006s

Section 2006.  Recommendations to County Commissioners and Others.--(2006 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2007s

Section 2007.  Cooperation Between Commission and Political Subdivisions.--(2007 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2008s

Section 2008.  Local Authorities to Submit Plans to County Planning Commission.--(2008 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2009s

Section 2009.  Creation of Regional Planning Commission.--(2009 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2010s

Section 2010.  Regional Planning Commission to Make Master Plan.--(2010 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2011s

Section 2011.  Delegated Powers of Regional Planning Commission.--(2011 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2020h

(b)  County Zoning

 

19550130u2020s

Section 2020.  Grant of Power.--(2020 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2021s

Section 2021.  Zoning Commission.--(2021 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2022s

Section 2022.  Assistance from State Agencies; Personnel.--(2022 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2023s

Section 2023.  Preparation of Zoning Plan.--(2023 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2024s

Section 2024.  Zoning Ordinance.--(2024 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2025s

Section 2025.  Method of Procedure.--(2025 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2026s

Section 2026.  Purposes of Zoning Regulations.--(2026 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2027s

Section 2027.  Amendments.--(2027 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2028s

Section 2028.  Cooperation Between Counties.--(2028 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2029s

Section 2029.  The Board of Adjustment.--(2029 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2030s

Section 2030.  Appeals to the Board of Adjustment.--(2030 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2031s

Section 2031.  Court Review.--(2031 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2032s

Section 2032.  Violations; Enforcement and Remedies.--(2032 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2033s

Section 2033.  Nonconforming Uses.--(2033 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2034s

Section 2034.  List of Nonconforming Uses.--(2034 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2035s

Section 2035.  Filing.--(2035 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2036s

Section 2036.  Finances.--(2036 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2037s

Section 2037.  Conflict With Other Laws.--(2037 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2038s

Section 2038.  Subdivision Not to Apply to Certain Buildings of Public Utility Corporations.--(2038 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2039s

Section 2039.  Definitions.--(2039 repealed Jul. 31, 1968, P.L.805, No.247)

19550130u2101h

 

ARTICLE XXI

PUBLIC HEALTH

 

(a)  General Provisions

 

19550130u2101s

Section 2101.  Health Work.--The board of county commissioners may provide and annually appropriate from any moneys in the county treasury not otherwise appropriated such sum or sums as they deem necessary for the protection of the health, cleanliness, convenience, comfort and safety of the people of the county.

19550130u2110h

(b)  County and Joint County Hospitals

 

19550130u2110s

Section 2110.  Expenses of Maintenance, Care and Treatment.--All expenses incident to the maintenance and operation of any county or joint county contagious disease hospitals, and of buildings, wings and units at general hospitals, erected and equipped for such diseases, under the provisions of this act, shall be paid by the county, or by the counties so joining, out of county funds in accordance with the agreement made between or among the participating counties, or between or among the county and any municipalities within the county, in the case of joint county hospitals, or of buildings, wings and units at general hospitals jointly agreed upon by counties under the provisions of this act. The county, or each county in the case of joint arrangements, shall separately be liable to pay the cost of the care and treatment of its indigent patients and those unable to pay the entire cost of care and treatment in such contagious disease hospitals, and in buildings, wings and units at general hospitals, and for such purposes any county, or the counties so joining, shall have power to appropriate county funds.

19550130u2111s

Section 2111.  Administration of County and Joint County Hospitals.--After any county hospital for contagious diseases is erected and equipped and ready for occupancy, it shall be operated by and under the authority of the county commissioners of the county in the same manner that other county buildings and institutions are operated, and in the case of joint county hospitals, the operation shall be in the manner provided in the agreement between the counties. All county or joint county contagious disease hospitals heretofore erected and constructed shall hereafter be maintained and operated in the manner provided by this subdivision.

19550130u2112s

Section 2112.  Removal of Contagious Cases to Hospital.--In any county having a hospital for the care and treatment of contagious diseases, any lawfully authorized health authorities of or within the county may remove cases of contagious disease to such hospital for treatment and isolation, whenever proper quarantine measures cannot otherwise be enforced.

19550130u2113s

Section 2113.  Advisory Board for County Hospital for Tuberculosis.--(a)  If a majority of the electors voting upon the question submitted to them, pursuant to the provisions of this act, at an election, shall be in favor of the establishment of a hospital by the county for treatment of persons afflicted with tuberculosis, the court of common pleas of the county shall immediately appoint an advisory board of five members, all of whom shall be electors of the county and one of whom shall be a licensed physician. The members of said board shall be appointed, one for a term of five years, one for a term of four years, one for a term of three years, one for a term of two years and one for a term of one year or until their successors are appointed and have qualified. All appointments at the expiration of any term shall be for a term of five years.

(b)  The board shall meet monthly and at such other times as it may be deemed necessary. The board shall visit and inspect and keep in close touch with the management and operation of said hospital, and shall, from time to time, make such recommendations and suggestions to the county commissioners for changes or improvements in said management and operation as may be deemed advisable. It shall also make an annual report to the county commissioners concerning the management and operation of said hospital.

(c)  The county commissioners shall, at the expense of the county, provide a meeting place for said board, and furnish all supplies and materials necessary to carry on its work.

(d)  The members of the board shall not receive any compensation for their services, but shall be allowed all actual and necessary expenses, incurred in the discharge of their duties, which shall be paid by the county.

19550130u2114s

Section 2114.  Employes' Salaries in County Hospital for Tuberculosis.--The county commissioners may, after consultation with the advisory board, employ a superintendent and such physicians, nurses and other employes as may be necessary to properly conduct and manage such hospital and the salary board shall fix their compensation. All such salaries shall be paid by the county treasurer in the usual manner.

19550130u2115s

Section 2115.  Management.--The county commissioners shall have power, after consulting with the advisory board, to make general rules and regulations for the management of the county hospital for tuberculosis, and shall have power to do all acts deemed necessary to promote the usefulness of the hospital in the prevention of tuberculosis.

19550130u2116s

Section 2116.  Use of Hospital.--Every hospital established under the provisions of this act for the treatment of tuberculosis shall be used for the benefit of all inhabitants afflicted with tuberculosis resident within the county in which the hospital is located, and all such persons shall be entitled to occupancy, nursing, care, treatment and maintenance according to the rules and regulations prescribed by the county commissioners. The county commissioners may exclude from the use of the hospital any person who wilfully violates any rule or regulation adopted for the hospital by said county commissioners. The county commissioners may charge and collect, from persons admitted to the hospital or persons legally responsible for their maintenance, reasonable compensation for the care, treatment and maintenance of such persons, but free treatment shall be given to all such persons who are, after reasonable investigation, found to be unable to pay.

19550130u2117s

Section 2117.  Patients from Other Counties; Donations.--(a)  The county commissioners may admit patients to the county hospital for tuberculosis who are resident within any other county of the Commonwealth, provided such other county agrees to reimburse the county in which the hospital is located for all charges in connection with the admission, maintenance, care and treatment of such patients, and not paid by the patients themselves. Authority is hereby conferred upon all counties in the Commonwealth to pay to any other county in which such hospital is located reasonable charges for patients cared for by said hospital resident in the county paying such charges.

(b)  All money received from the care and maintenance of patients or from gifts or donations shall be paid into the county treasury and shall be used only for the maintenance of such hospitals. County commissioners are authorized and empowered to receive contributions, donations, property and trust funds for the erection and maintenance of such hospitals as provided in this act.

19550130u2118s

Section 2118.  Appropriations; Tax Levy.--The advisory board for county hospitals for tuberculosis herein provided for shall, by September thirtieth of each year, furnish to the county commissioners and the county controller, if any, a schedule of expenses deemed necessary for the maintenance and operation of the hospital for the ensuing year. The county commissioners shall, after considering the schedule submitted by the advisory board, annually make appropriations deemed by them sufficient to properly manage and operate said hospital. The county commissioners shall levy a special tax sufficient to produce the moneys appropriated to said hospital, which tax shall be collected in the same manner as other county taxes and shall be paid into the county treasury. All payments from the county treasury shall be made by voucher checks in the usual manner.

19550130u2119s

Section 2119.  Hospitals for Tuberculosis Established Under Other Laws.--In any county where any hospital for tuberculosis has been begun or erected under the provisions of any act of Assembly heretofore repealed, such proceedings and hospital may be completed and the said hospital may thereafter be managed and operated in accordance with the provisions of this act.

19550130u2130h

(c)  County Health Aid to Institutions

and Political Subdivisions

 

19550130u2130s

Section 2130.  Appropriations to Hospitals, Tuberculosis Sanitaria and Homes.--The board of commissioners may appropriate moneys for the support of any hospital located within or without the limits of such county which is engaged in charitable work and extends treatment and medical attention to residents of such county, and may also appropriate moneys for the support of any home or place of detention of dependent, delinquent and neglected children located within the county, and may also appropriate moneys for the support of any sanitarium for the treatment of persons afflicted with tuberculosis located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which sanitarium is engaged in charitable work and extends treatment and medical attention to residents of such county.

19550130u2131s

Section 2131.  Appropriation to Society Maintaining Tuberculosis Sanitarium for Indigent.--The board of commissioners may appropriate to any duly incorporated society, chartered to maintain a sanitarium for the treatment therein of persons suffering from tuberculosis, so much money as may be necessary for the maintenance of indigent persons, residents of the county, who may be inmates of such sanitarium and under treatment for tuberculosis. Said appropriation shall not exceed for each indigent inmate the sum of ten dollars ($10) per week, payable every three months at the end of the period. The board of commissioners shall at all times have free access to such sanitarium for inspection of its management and for the ascertainment of the number of indigent persons receiving treatment therein.

19550130u2132s

Section 2132.  Aid to Boroughs and Townships for Sewage Purposes.--The board of county commissioners may appropriate moneys from the county treasury to aid cities of the third class, boroughs, incorporated towns or townships in the construction or maintenance of sewers or sewage treatment works, where such sewers and treatment works have been first approved by the Sanitary Water Board of the State Department of Health in the manner provided by law.

19550130u2150h

(d)  Insect Control

 

19550130u2150s

Section 2150.  Secretary of Agriculture to Cooperate; Elimination and Abatement of Larvae Breeding Places; Liens.--(a)  The Secretary of Agriculture of the Commonwealth is hereby authorized and empowered to cooperate with and assist the county commissioners of any county in the effective carrying out the provisions of this subdivision. He may authorize a deputy to meet with the commissioners as his representative. The necessary expenses actually incurred by the secretary and his deputy, in compliance with this section, shall be allowed and paid by the Commonwealth as a part of the expenses of the Department of Agriculture. He shall furnish the said commissioners with such surveys, maps, information and advice as they may require for the prosecution of their work or as in his opinion will be of advantage in connection therewith.

(b)  The county commissioners shall have power to eliminate all breeding places of mosquitoes, on private or public property, within the county and to do and perform all acts, including entry upon private or public property, and to carry out all plans which, in their opinion and judgment, may be necessary or proper for the elimination of breeding places of mosquitoes, or which will tend to exterminate mosquitoes within said county.

(c)  Any water, in which mosquito larvae breed, is hereby declared a public nuisance and subject to abatement as such. Whenever any such breeding place exists on any lands in the county, other than meadow or marsh lands subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, which breeding place should, in the opinion of the commissioners, be abated they shall, in writing, order the owner or owners of such lands to abate the same within a reasonable period, and in a manner, to be specified in such order. If, at the expiration of such period, such order has not been complied with, or if the owner or owners of such lands cannot be ascertained or found, the commissioners shall, at once, abate said nuisance and may assess all or part of the cost of such abatement against the lands on which such breeding place exists. They may file municipal liens for said assessments within the time and in the manner provided by law, the same to be subject in all respects to the general law providing for the filing and recovery of municipal liens.

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Section 2151.  Not to Affect Public Water Supply.--No order of abatement shall authorize, nor shall the county commissioners employ, any method of extermination which shall in anywise effect waters used and useful in the supply of water to the public, whether by a municipality or a water supply company.

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Section 2152.  Appropriations; Report to Secretary of Agriculture.--(a)  The county commissioners may appropriate the amount of money necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this subdivision. In no year shall the amount, so appropriated, exceed one-fourth of one mill on each dollar of the assessed value of taxable real estate in the county. The sums, so appropriated, or so much thereof as may be required, shall be paid out, from time to time, by the county treasurer on the orders of the county commissioners.

(b)  It shall be the duty of the county commissioners annually, on or before the first day of February of each year, to submit to the Secretary of Agriculture a report setting forth the amount of moneys expended during the previous year, if any, the methods employed, the work accomplished and any other information which in its judgment may be pertinent.

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(e)  Care of Dependents and Children

((e) added Sep. 19, 1961, P.L.1495, No.638)

 

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Section 2160.  Definitions.--As used in this subdivision, unless the context otherwise indicates:

"Institution district" means a county institution district managed by the commissioners of the county.

"Dependent" means an indigent person requiring public care, including maintenance, medical care, clothing and incidentals, because of physical or mental infirmity.

"Institution" means an infirmary, poorhouse, almshouse, hospital or sanitarium managed by the commissioners of the county.

"Public charge" means a person who is unable to maintain himself and who requires and receives aid from the Commonwealth or from any political subdivision thereof.

(2160 amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.673, No.353)

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Section 2161.  County Institution Districts Abolished.--All county institution districts in counties of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes are hereby abolished. The property, real and personal, of each such existing county institution district on the effective date of these amendments is hereby transferred to and vested in the county wherein the institution district is located. All indebtedness of any institution district, whether current or bonded, incurred in the acquisition of any of such property, and in erecting improvements thereon, shall become the debt and obligation of such county and shall be paid by it. All the powers and duties of the institution districts, in connection with administering their affairs, are hereby transferred to the counties in which such institution districts are located.

(2161 amended Jul. 31, 1963, P.L.372, No.200)

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Section 2162.  Records.--The commissioners of each county of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth class shall keep records of the work necessitated by this subdivision as prescribed by the Department of Public Welfare, and shall from time to time, make such reports to such department as it shall require.

(2162 amended Jul. 31, 1963, P.L.372, No.200)

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Compiler's Note:  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

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Section 2163.  Powers and Duties.--The county commissioners of counties of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes shall have the power and their duty shall be:

(1)  To erect, equip, maintain, repair, alter and add to institutions for the care of dependents, and to equip, maintain, cultivate and improve farms, using their produce for the support of dependents, or if a surplus of farm products should exist, the commissioners may sell the surplus pursuant to section 1805 of this act. Any plan for the erection or substantial alteration of an institution must be approved as to suitability by the Department of Public Welfare.

(2)  To pay the necessary expenses of land and buildings for the care of dependents and farms.

(2163 amended Apr. 29, 1982, P.L.359, No.100)

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Compiler's Note:  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

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Section 2164.  Further Powers and Duties.--The county commissioners of counties of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth classes shall have the power and it shall be their duty, with funds of the county, according to rules, regulations and standards established by the Department of Public Welfare: (Par. amended July 31, 1963, P.L.372, No.200)

(1)  To care for any dependent having a settlement in the county, who is not otherwise cared for: Provided, however, That no applicant for public nursing home care under the medical assistance for aged provisions of the "Public Assistance Law," who resides in Pennsylvania, shall be rendered ineligible for such care by lack of settlement in the county. ((1) amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.673, No.353)

(2)  To contract with other counties, any institution district, or any individual, association, corporation or other entity for the care of any dependent. ((2) amended July 3, 1985, P.L.135, No.37)

(3)  To contract with any association in Pennsylvania organized to provide a home or employment for deaf and dumb or blind persons having a settlement in the county, or to care for any dependent having a settlement in the county, who is deaf and dumb or blind or to help him through employment.

(4)  To pay the cost or part of the cost with respect to mental or other patients imposed by law upon county institution districts.

(5)  To take any other action authorized by law.

(6)  To contract with any individual, association, corporation, institution or governmental agency for the purpose of providing foster home care for persons over