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Township of Unity, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 11-28-2011 by Ord. No. O-4-2011]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COLLECTOR or TAX COLLECTOR
The person appointed by the Board of Supervisors of Unity Township to collect the Local Services Tax levied by this article and to administer the provisions thereof.
CORPORATION
Any corporation or joint stock association, organized under the laws of the United States, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or any other state, territory, or foreign country or dependency.
EMPLOYER
Any individual, partnership, association, corporation, governmental body or unit or agency of any other entity who or that employs one or more persons on a salary, wage, commission, or other compensation basis.
NONRESIDENT
An individual, fiduciary, partnership or other entity domiciled outside the Township of Unity, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
OCCUPATION
Any enterprise, activity, profession, or undertaking of any nature conducted for profit or ordinarily conducted for profit, whether by an individual, association, or any other entity, whereby any wage, salary, commission or other compensation is earned.
PERSON
A natural person, partnership, association, corporation or fiduciary. Whenever used in any clause prescribing or imposing a penalty, the term "person" as applied to associations shall mean the partners or members thereof, and as applied to corporations, the officers thereof.
RESIDENT
An individual, partnership, association or other entity domiciled in the Township of Unity, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
SALARIES, WAGES, COMMISSIONS AND OTHER COMPENSATION
Includes salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, incentive payments, fees and tips that may accrue or be received by an individual for services rendered, whether directly or through an agent and whether in cash or in property, but shall not include periodic payments for sick or disability benefits and those commonly recognized as old-age benefits, retirement pay, or pensions paid to persons retired from service after reaching a specific age or after a stated period of employment, nor public assistance or unemployment compensation payments, nor any wages or compensation paid by the United States to any person for active service in the Army, Navy or Air Force of the United States, nor any bonus or additional compensation paid by the United States or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any other state for such service.
TAXPAYER
A person required hereunder to file a return on earnings or net profits or to pay a tax thereon. The singular shall include the plural and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Unity, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
A. 
A Local Services Tax is hereby levied at the maximum amount authorized by the State Legislature, which is currently $52 per year, for any of the following purposes:
(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.
(4) 
Property tax relief through implementation of a homestead and farmstead exclusion in accordance with 53 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 85 Subch. F (relating to homestead property exclusion).
(5) 
The Township shall use no less than 25% of the funds derived from the local services tax for emergency services.
B. 
The tax levied under this article shall relate to and be imposed:
(1) 
Upon all nonresidents who hold an occupation in the Township; and
(2) 
Upon all residents who hold an occupation in the Township.
C. 
The tax levied under this article is hereby levied, assessed and shall be collected at the taxpayer's place of employment within the Township. In the event of concurrent employment in two or more political subdivisions imposing the Local Services Tax or in the event circumstances of employment entitle more than one political subdivision to share in all or portions of the proceeds of such tax the tax collected shall be allocated and distributed among the entitled political subdivisions pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Local Tax Enabling Law currently at 53 P.S. § 6924.301.1(f)(9).
D. 
Those persons that are subject to the tax pursuant to this article, but earn less than $12,000 annually, shall be exempted here from upon the filing of an affidavit with their employer that they anticipate earning less than such stated amount due to seasonal employment or otherwise. In addition:
(1) 
A person seeking to claim an exemption from the local services tax may annually file an exemption certificate with the office of the Tax Collector and with the person's employer affirming that the person reasonably expects to receive earned income and net profits from all sources within the political subdivision of less than $12,000 in the calendar year for which the exemption certificate is filed. The exemption certificate shall have attached to it a copy of all the employee's last pay stubs or W-2 forms from employment within the Township for the year prior to the fiscal year for which the employee is requesting to be exempted from the local services tax. Upon receipt of the exemption certificate and until otherwise instructed by the Township Tax Collector or except as required by Subsection D(2) thereafter, the employer shall not withhold the tax from the person during the calendar year or the remainder of the calendar year for which the exemption certificate applies. Employers shall ensure that the exemption certificate forms are readily available to employees at all times and shall furnish each new employee with a form at the time of hiring. The Department of Community and Economic Development will develop and make available to political subdivisions and employers uniform exemption certificates required by this clause.
(2) 
With respect to a person who claimed an exemption for a given calendar year from the local services tax, upon notification to an employer by the person or by the Township that the person has received earned income and net profits from all sources within that political subdivision equal to or in excess of $12,000 in that calendar year or that the person is otherwise ineligible for the tax exemption for that calendar year, or upon an employer's payment to the person of earned income within that political subdivision in an amount equal to or in excess of $12,000 in that calendar year, an employer shall withhold the local services tax from the person under Subsection D(3) hereafter.
(3) 
If a person who claimed an exemption for a given calendar year from the local services tax becomes subject to the tax for the calendar year under Subsection D(2) above, the employer shall withhold the tax for the remainder of that calendar year. The employer shall withhold from the person, for the first payroll period after receipt of the notification under Subsection D(2), a lump sum equal to the amount of tax that was not withheld from the person due to the exemption claimed by the person 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 calendar year shall be the same amount withheld for other employees. In the event the employment of a person subject to withholding of the tax under this clause is subsequently severed in that calendar year, the person shall be liable for any outstanding balance of tax due, and the Township may pursue collection under this article and the act establishing such tax.
(4) 
Except as provided in Subsection D(2) above, 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 Local Services Tax.
E. 
Exemptions.
(1) 
The following persons shall be exempt from the payment of the Local Services Tax imposed herein:
(a) 
Any person 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 100% permanent disability.
(b) 
Any person who serves as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces and is called to active duty at any time during the taxable year.
(2) 
For 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.
A. 
Every employer who employs one or more persons on a salary, wage, commission or other compensation basis whose earnings are subject to the tax imposed by this article shall deduct the amount of tax levied by this article from the salaries, wages, or compensation paid to the employee from the first payment made each year as measured from the enactment of this article, from January 1 of each year thereafter, and from the date of hiring for each employee hired subsequent to the enactment hereof.
B. 
The tax shall be paid to the collector on a form furnished, if any, and/or shall include the employee's home address and social security number.
The Supervisors of the Township of Unity, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania shall designate a Collector of the tax imposed herein by subsequent resolution, and the compensation of such Collector shall be fixed by the Township Supervisors by subsequent resolution. The Collector shall collect and receive all taxes imposed by this article; furnish receipts for their payment; keep records showing amounts received by the Collector from all taxpayers and the dates of such receipts; and keep such other records as may be from time to time required by the Board of Supervisors of Unity Township.
The Collector of the tax imposed herein is hereby charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this article and is authorized and empowered as follows:
A. 
To administer and enforce the provisions of this article and all rules and regulations prescribed, adopted, and promulgated by the Board of Supervisors of Unity Township relating to the enforcement and administration hereof, and consistent with such rules and regulations, shall have the power and authority to re-examine and correct any and all returns filed hereunder, and to compute, settle, re-settle and discharge all taxes hereby levied.
B. 
The Collector or any agent or employee of the Township, authorized in writing by the Collector, is hereby authorized and empowered to examine the books, papers and records of any employer or taxpayer in order to verify the accuracy of any return made, or if no return was made, to ascertain the tax imposed by this article. Every such employer or taxpayer is hereby directed and required to give to the said Collector or a duly authorized agent or employer of the Township, the means, facilities, and opportunity for such examination and investigations as are hereby authorized. The Collector is hereby authorized to examine any person under oath concerning any income which was or should have been returned for taxation, and to this end, may compel the production or books, papers and records and the attendance of all persons before him, whether as parties or witnesses, who he believes to have knowledge of such income.
C. 
Any information gained by the Collector or any authorized agent or employee of the Township as a result of any returns, investigations, hearings, or verification, required or authorized by this article, shall be confidential, except for official purposes and except where disclosure of the contents thereof is required by proper judicial order or decree, or as otherwise provided by law, and any person or agent who divulges any information so obtained shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine or penalty not exceeding $600, and costs for each offense, or to undergo imprisonment for not more than 30 days for the nonpayment of such fine or penalty and costs.
The Board of Supervisors of Unity Township shall be empowered from time to time to adopt by resolution additional rules and regulations pertaining to this article, including, but not limited to, regulations for the processing of refund claims for overpaid Local Services Taxes for any calendar year. The regulations shall be consistent with 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 8425 (relating to refunds of overpayments) and 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 8426 (relating to interest on overpayment). Refunds made within 75 days of a refund request or 75 days after the last day the employer is required to remit the Local Services Tax for the last quarter of the calendar year under Section 312 of the Act[1] enabling this tax, whichever is later, shall not be subject to interest imposed under 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 8426. The Township shall only provide refunds for amounts overpaid in a calendar year that exceed $1.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now 53 P.S. § 6924.312.
All taxes imposed by this article remaining unpaid after they become due shall bear interest at the rate of 6% per year, and the persons upon whom said taxes are imposed shall be further liable to a penalty of 1/2 of 1% of the amount of the unpaid tax for each month or fraction of a month during which the tax remains unpaid.
All taxes imposed by this article, together with all interest and penalties accruing thereon, shall be recoverable by the Township of Unity as other debts of like amounts are recoverable.
Any violate of any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $600 and costs and, in default of payment thereof, shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation of this article continues shall constitute a separate offense.
The tax imposed by this article shall not apply to any person as to whom it is beyond the legal power of the Township of Unity to impose the tax or duties herein provided.
If any sentence, clause, or section or this article is for any reason found to be unconstitutional, illegal, or invalid, such unconstitutionality, illegality, or invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, or sections of this article. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Township of Unity that this article would have been adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal, or invalid sentence, clause, or section not been included herein. If any other article of the Township is determined to be in conflict with the terms or provisions of this article, the terms and provisions of this article shall prevail and be controlling.
The article and the tax herein levied shall be effective on January 1, 2012, and on a continuing annual basis thereafter, unless the rate of said tax is subsequently changed.