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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 1, 2020 11:17 AM
From: Senator John P. Blake
To: All Senate members
Subject: Act 511 Clarifications
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation to clarify the intent and interpretation of certain aspects of Act 511 of 1965.
The City of Scranton has had its Act 511 taxation methodologies and collections challenged in the Lackawanna Court of Common Pleas.  The lower court ruling is currently on appeal.  Should an appellate court uphold the ruling, it will basically bankrupt the City of Scranton by requiring it to repay tens of millions of previously collected Act 511 taxes.
This bill will clarify the intent of Act 511 of 1965 by clarifying the application and the interpretation of the provisions dealing with the calculation of the aggregate amount of all taxes imposed under section 320 of the Local Tax Enabling Act.   
This clarification of Act 511 levies would have important implications as it will safeguard other municipalities with similar tax structures against legal challenges which could ultimately result in the bankruptcy of many municipalities around the state.
In addition to the City of Scranton, these municipalities include the Cities of Beaver Falls, Carbondale, Coatesville, Easton, Farrell, Harrisburg, Mahanoy, McKeesport, New Castle, Reading, Shamokin, Sharon, Warren, Washington, Wilkes-Barre, as well as the Boroughs of Cassandra, Rankin, Youngsville and Upland.
In order to insulate Scranton and many other political subdivisions in Pennsylvania from this danger, I ask that you please consider joining me in co-sponsoring and advancing this legislation.

Introduced as SB1188