State and Local Taxation: What’s in a Name? That Which We Call a Privilege Can Be Taxed

state and local taxJust before Christmas 2015, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania addressed the scope of a business privilege tax imposed by Lower Merion Township; the case was brought by a group of landlords, who contended that the township could not tax revenue generated from leasing property, and a divided Court sustained the tax. Fish v. Township of Lower Merion, No. 29 MAP 2015, 2015 Pa. LEXIS 2979 (Pa. Dec. 21, 2015).

Under the Local Tax Enabling Act, various municipalities are entitled to impose a tax “on persons, transactions, occupations, privileges, subjects and personal property within the limits of such political subdivisions, and upon the transfer of real property, or of any interest in real property, situate within the political subdivision levying and assessing the tax .… Read More