City of Monessen, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 12-19-2007 by Ord. No. 7-2007[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. II, Emergency and Municipal Tax, adopted 12-2-1965 by Ord. No. 622, as amended in its entirety 12-23-2004 by Ord. No. 13-2004.

§ 350-13 Definitions.

The following words and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context or language clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
COLLECTOR
The person, public employee or private agency designated by the political subdivision to collect and administer the tax herein imposed.
DCED
The Department of Community and Economic Development of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
EARNED INCOME
Compensation, as defined in Section 13 (relating to earned income taxes) of the Local Tax Enabling Act, the Act of December 31, 1965, P.L. 1257, § 13, as amended, 53 P.S. § 6913, as amended.
EMPLOYER
An individual, partnership, association, limited-liability corporation, limited-liability partnership, corporation, governmental body, agency or other entity employing one or more persons on a salary, wage, commission or other compensation basis, including a self-employed person.
HE, HIS or HIM
Indicates the singular and plural number, as well as male, female and neuter genders.
INDIVIDUAL
Any natural person engaged in any occupation, trade or profession within the corporate limits of the political subdivision.
NET PROFITS
The net income from the operation of a business, profession, occupation, trade or other activity, as this term is defined in Section 13 (relating to earned income taxes) of the Local Tax Enabling Act, the Act of December 31, 1965, P.L. 1257, § 13, as amended, 53 P.S. § 6913, as amended.
OCCUPATION
Any trade, profession, business or undertaking of any type, kind or character, including services, domestic or other, carried on or performed within the corporate limits of the political subdivision for which compensation for services rendered is charged or received, whether by means of salary, wages, commission or fees.
POLITICAL SUBDIVISION
The area within the corporate limits of the City of Monessen.
TAX
The local services tax at the rate fixed in § 350-14 of this article.
TAX YEAR
The period from January 1 until December 31 in any year; a calendar year.

§ 350-14 Levy of tax.

A. 
For specific revenue purposes, an annual tax is hereby levied and assessed, commencing January 1, 2008, upon the privilege of engaging in an occupation with a primary place of employment within the City of Monessen during the tax year. Each individual who exercises such privilege for any length of time during any tax year shall pay the tax for that year in the amount of $52, assessed on a pro rata basis, in accordance with the provisions of this article.
B. 
This tax may be used solely for the following purposes as the same may be allocated by the Council of the City of Monessen from time to time:
(1) 
Emergency services, which shall include emergency medical services, police services and/or fire services;
(2) 
Road construction and/or maintenance;
(3) 
Reduction of property taxes; or
(4) 
Property tax relief through implementation of a homestead and farmstead exclusion in accordance with 53 Pa.C.S.A. Chapter 85, Subchapter F[1] (relating to homestead property exclusion).
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 8581 et seq.
C. 
The political subdivision shall use no less than 25% of the funds derived from the tax for emergency services.
D. 
This tax is in addition to all other taxes of any kind or nature heretofore levied by the political subdivision.
E. 
The tax shall be no more than $52 on each person for each calendar year, irrespective of the number of political subdivisions within which a person may be employed.

§ 350-15 Exemption and refunds.

A. 
Exemption. Any individual whose total earned income and net profits from all sources within the political subdivision is less than $12,000 for any tax year in which the tax is levied is exempt from the payment of the tax for that tax year. In addition, the following individuals are exempt from payment of the tax:
(1) 
Any individual who has served in any war or armed conflict in which the United States was engaged and is honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service if, as a result of military service, the person is blind, paraplegic or a double or quadruple amputee or has a service-connected disability declared by the United States Veterans' Administration or its successor to be a total, one-hundred-percent disability.
(2) 
Any individual who serves as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces and is called to active duty at any time during the tax year. For the purposes of this subsection, "reserve component of the armed forces" shall mean the United States Army Reserve, United States Navy Reserve, United States Marine Corps Reserve, United States Coast Guard Reserve, United States Air Force Reserve, the Pennsylvania Army National Guard or the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.
B. 
Procedure to claim exemption.
(1) 
An individual seeking to claim an exemption from the local services tax may annually file an exemption certificate with the political subdivision and with the individual's employer, affirming that the individual reasonably expects to receive earned income and net profits from all sources within the political subdivision of less than $12,000 in the tax year for which the exemption certificate is filed. In the event the political subdivision utilizes a tax collection officer, it shall provide a copy of the exemption certificate to that officer. The exemption certificate shall have attached to it a copy of all the individual's last pay stubs or W-2 forms from employment within the political subdivision for the year prior to the fiscal year for which the individual is requesting to be exempted from the tax. Upon receipt of the exemption certificate and until otherwise instructed by the political subdivision or except as required by Subsection B(2), the employer shall not withhold the tax from the person during the tax year or the remainder of the tax year for which the exemption certificate applies. Employers shall ensure that the exemption certificate forms are readily available to individuals at all times and shall furnish each newly employed individual with a form at the time of hiring. The exemption certificate form shall be the uniform form provided by the political subdivision.
(2) 
With respect to an individual who claimed an exemption from the tax for a tax year, upon notification to an employer by the individual or by the political subdivision that the individual has received earned income and net profits from all sources within the political subdivision equal to or in excess of $12,000 in that tax year or that the individual is otherwise ineligible for the tax exemption for that tax year, or upon an employer's payment to the individual of earned income within the political subdivision in an amount equal to or in excess of $12,000 in that tax year, an employer shall withhold the tax from the individual under Subsection B(3).
(3) 
If an individual who claimed an exemption from the tax for a given tax year becomes subject to the tax for the tax year under Subsection B(2), the employer shall withhold the tax for the remainder of that tax year. The employer shall withhold from the individual, for the first payroll period after receipt of the notification under Subsection B(2), a lump sum equal to the amount of tax that was not withheld from the individual due to the exemption claimed by the individual under this subsection, plus the per-payroll amount due for that first payroll period. The amount of tax withheld per payroll period for the remaining payroll periods in that tax year shall be the same amount withheld for other individuals. In the event the employment of an individual subject to withholding of the tax under this subsection is subsequently severed in that tax year, the individual shall be liable for any outstanding balance of tax due, and the political subdivision may pursue collection under this article.
(4) 
Except as provided in Subsection B(2), it is the intent of this subsection that employers shall not be responsible for investigating exemption certificates, monitoring tax exemption eligibility or exempting any employee from the tax.
C. 
Refunds. The Council of the City of Monessen, in consultation with the Collector and DCED, shall establish procedures for the processing of refund claims for the tax paid by any individual who is eligible for exemption, which procedures shall be in accord with provisions of the general municipal law relating to refunds of overpayments and interest on overpayments. Refunds made within 75 days of a refund request, or 75 days after the last day the employer is required to remit the tax for the last quarter of the tax year, whichever is later, shall not be subject to interest. No refunds shall be made for amounts overpaid in a tax year that do not exceed $1: The Council of the City of Monessen or the Collector shall determine eligibility for exemption and provide refunds to exempt individuals.

§ 350-16 Duty of employers to collect.

A. 
Each employer within the political subdivision, as well as those employers situated outside the political subdivision but who engage in business within the political subdivision, is hereby charged with the duty of collecting the tax from each individual engaged by him or performing for him within the political subdivision and making a return and payment thereof to the Collector. Further, each employer is hereby authorized to deduct this tax for each individual in his employ, whether said employee is paid by salary, wage or commission and whether or not all such services are performed within the political subdivision.
B. 
An individual subject to the tax shall be assessed by the employer a pro-rata share of the tax for each payroll period in which the individual is engaging in an occupation. The pro-rata share of the tax assessed on the individual for a payroll period shall be determined by dividing the rate of the tax levied for the tax year by the number of payroll periods established by the employer for the tax year. For purposes of determining the pro-rata share, an employer shall round down the amount of the tax collected each payroll period to the nearest 1/100 of a dollar. Collection of the tax shall be made on a payroll-period basis for each payroll period in which the individual is engaging in an occupation, except as provided in Subsection D of this section. For purposes of this subsection, "combined rate" shall mean the aggregate annual rate of the tax levied by the school district and the political subdivision.
C. 
No individual shall be subject to the payment of the tax by more than one political subdivision during each payroll period.
D. 
In the case of an individual's concurrent employment, an employer shall refrain from withholding the tax if the employee provides a recent pay statement from a principal employer that includes the name of the employer, the length of the payroll period and the amount of the tax withheld, a statement from the employee that the pay statement is from the employee's principal employer and a statement that the employee will notify other employers of a change in principal place of employment within two weeks of its occurrence. The employee's statement shall be provided on the form approved by DCED.
E. 
The tax shall be no more than $52 on each individual for each tax year, irrespective of the number of political subdivisions within which an individual may be employed. The political subdivision shall provide the individual a receipt of payment upon request by the individual after the tax has been paid.
F. 
No employer shall be held liable for failure to withhold the tax or for the payment of the withheld tax money to the political subdivision if the failure to withhold taxes arises from incorrect information submitted by the employee as to the employee's places of employment, the employee's principal office or where the employee is principally employed. Further, an employer shall not be liable for payment of the local services tax in an amount exceeding the amount withheld by the employer if the employer complies with the provisions of Subsection B of § 350-15 of this article and this section and remits the amount so withheld in accordance with this article.
G. 
Employers shall be required to remit the taxes 30 days after the end of each quarter of a tax year.

§ 350-17 Returns.

Each employer shall prepare and file a return showing a computation of the tax on forms to be supplied to the employer by the Collector. If an employer fails to file the return and pay the tax, whether or not the employer makes collection thereof from the salary, wages or commissions paid by the employer to an employee, except as provided hereafter in this article, the employer shall be responsible for the payment of the tax in full as though the tax had been originally levied against the employer.

§ 350-18 Dates for determining tax liability and payment.

In each tax year, each employer shall use his employment records to determine the number of employees from whom such tax shall be deducted and paid over to the Collector on or before the 30th day following the end of each tax quarter of each such tax year.

§ 350-19 Self-employed individuals.

Each self-employed individual who performs services of any type or kind or engages in any occupation or profession within a primary place of employment within the political subdivision shall be required to comply with this article and pay the pro rata portion of the tax due to the Collector on or before the 30th day following the end of each quarter.

§ 350-20 Individuals engaged in more than one occupation or employed in more than one political subdivision.

A. 
The situs of the tax shall be the place of employment on the first day the individual becomes subject to the tax during each payroll period. In the event a person is engaged in more than one occupation, that is, concurrent employment, or an occupation which requires that the person work in more than one political subdivision during a payroll period, the priority of claim to collect the tax shall be in the following order:
(1) 
First, the political subdivision in which a person maintains his principal office or is principally employed;
(2) 
Second, the political subdivision in which the person resides and works if the tax is levied by that political subdivision;
(3) 
Third, the political subdivision in which a person is employed and which imposes the tax nearest in miles to the person's home.
B. 
In case of dispute, a tax receipt of the taxing authority for that calendar year declaring that the taxpayer has made prior payment constitutes prima facie certification of payment to all other political subdivisions.

§ 350-21 Nonresidents subject to tax.

All employers and self-employed individuals residing or having their places of business outside of the political subdivision but who perform services of any type or kind or engage in any occupation or profession within the political subdivision do, by virtue thereof, agree to be bound by and subject themselves to the provisions, penalties and regulations promulgated under this article with the same force and effect as though they were residents of the political subdivision. Further, any individual engaged in an occupation within the political subdivision and an employee of a nonresidential employer may, for the purpose of this article, be considered a self-employed person, and in the event his tax is not paid, the political subdivision shall have the option of proceeding against either the employer or employee for the collection of this tax as hereinafter provided.

§ 350-22 Appointment and duty of Collector; administration and enforcement of tax.

A. 
The Collector shall be appointed by resolution of the political subdivision. It shall be the duty of the Collector to accept and receive payments of this tax and to keep a record thereof showing the amount received by him from each employer or self-employed person, together with the date the tax was received.
B. 
The Collector is hereby charged with the administration and enforcement of this article and is hereby charged and empowered, subject to municipal approval, to prescribe, adopt and promulgate rules and regulations relating to any matter pertaining to the administration and enforcement of this article, including provisions for the examination of payroll records of any employer subject to this article, the examination and correction of any return made in compliance with this article and any payment alleged or found to be incorrect or as to which overpayment is claimed or found to have occurred. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Collector shall have the right to appeal consistent with the Local Taxpayers Bill of Rights[1] under Act 50 of 1998.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 8421 et seq.
C. 
The Collector is hereby authorized to examine the books and payroll records of any employer in order to verify the accuracy of any return made by an employer or, if no return was made, to ascertain the tax due. Each employer is hereby directed and required to give the Collector the means, facilities and opportunity for such examination.

§ 350-23 Recovery of unpaid tax; interest; penalty for nonpayment.

A. 
In the event that any tax under this article remains due or unpaid 30 days after the due dates above set forth, the Collector may sue for the recovery of any such tax due or unpaid under this article, together with interest and penalty.
B. 
If for any reason the tax is not paid when due, interest at the rate of 6% on the amount of such tax shall be calculated beginning with the due date of the tax, and a penalty of 5% shall be added to the flat rate of such tax for nonpayment thereof. Where suit is brought for the recovery of this tax or other appropriate remedy undertaken, the individual liable therefor shall also be responsible and liable for the costs of collection.

§ 350-24 Violations and penalties.

Whoever makes any false or untrue statement on any return required by this article, or whoever refuses inspection of the books, records or accounts in his custody and control setting forth the number of employees subject to this tax who are in his employment, or whoever fails or refuses to file any return required by this article shall be guilty of a violation of this article, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 and costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to imprisonment for not more than 30 days, as permitted by law. The action to enforce the penalty herein prescribed may be instituted against any person in charge of the business of any employer who shall have failed or who refuses to file a return required by this article.

§ 350-24.1 Interpretation; validity.

A. 
Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to empower the political subdivision to levy and collect the tax hereby imposed on any occupation not within the taxing power of the political subdivision under the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
B. 
If the tax hereby imposed under the provisions of this article shall be held by any court of competent jurisdiction to be in violation of the Constitution of the United States or of the Constitution or any law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as to any individual, the decision of the court shall not affect or impair the right of the political subdivision to impose or collect said tax or the validity of the tax so imposed on other persons of individuals as herein provided.

§ 350-24.2 Repealer; effect on other legislation.

Except as set forth hereafter, all ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed. Nothing herein shall be construed to repeal the imposition and collection of an occupation privilege tax, plus applicable penalties and interest, for calendar year 2005 and all prior calendar years, or of an emergency and municipal services tax, plus applicable penalties and interest, for calendar years 2006 and 2007, as the same exist prior to this amendment.

§ 350-24.3 Effective date.

The tax imposed by this article shall be effective on January 1, 2008, and all calendar years thereafter unless repealed or modified by Ordinance of the Council of the City of Monessen.